Library Research Guide for Communications
(Journalism, Film, and Rhetoric)
Use the Master’s College Library Web site to access the library’s online catalog and the many online databases the library has to offer. The library’s Web site also provides information on how to do research, library services, hours, personnel, links to other libraries’ catalogs and links to other recommended scholarly Web Resources.
Dewey Decimal Classification Numbers
The TMC library’s collection is arranged according to the Dewey Decimal Classification System (DDC) with a few exceptions. An outline of the whole DDC can be found at Summaries: DDC. The following are the more common Dewey numbers used in the field of Communications.
070 – News Media, journalism, publishing
384 – Communications, telecommunications
778 - Cinematography
791 – Motion Pictures
808 – Rhetoric
808.5 - Speech
Library of Congress Classification Numbers
The Master’s Seminary Library and many other libraries around the world use the Library of Congress Classification System (LC). For an outline of the entire LC System go to the Library of Congress Classification Outline. The following are the more common LC numbers used in the field of Communications.
HE 7601-8700 – Broadcasting, Telecommunications
PE – Rhetoric
PN 4001-4355 Oratory
PN 1993 – Motion Pictures
PN 4699-5650– Journalism
TR 847 - Cinematography
The library’s Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) is the index to all the resources the library provides. This is a good place to start looking for information related to the field of Biblical Studies. The following are suggestions for getting started with research in this field. For more detailed information about how to use the OPAC select OPAC Help at the bottom of the OPAC main page or go to the research guide “Help Using the OPAC”
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
Search the OPAC for appropriate LC Subject Headings (not to be confused with the LC Classification System) to use in your research. Select the Basic Search screen and type in a broad subject term in the free text field, and then select the Subject Browse field (see Figure 1). When you receive your hit list, be sure to click on any “Info” and “Note” links as they will lead you to important information about the subject heading and additional related terminology.
Notable broad communications subject headings include:
Communication (not Communications)
Use Mass Media for Mass Communication
Use Oral Communication for speaking as a means of communication
Public Speaking for works on speaking effectively in public
Oratory for works on the rhetorical aspects of speeches
Rhetoric for advanced level works on written composition viz a viz Composition (Language arts) which is used for elementary and/or secondary level works on written composition
Journalism, Telecommunication, Broadcasting, Radio,
Cinematography, Motion Pictures
The reference collection is one of the first places to start doing research because the resources there will provide background information on the topic, a ready made outline, expert authors in the field and contextual parameters of a topic. To find appropriate reference books using the Search Limits feature in the OPAC set the Location: to Reference then from the Advanced Search screen use the appropriate term as a Keyword.
To find materials in the main collection use the same search strategy used to find reference books but without setting the Limits option to Reference. For example (refer to Figure 2 above) type in appropriate search term(s) in the “Search for:” free text field, select the most suitable Boolean operation (“any of these”, “all of these”, as a phrase”) and then select an applicable field from the “Search in:” drop down menu.
Research TIP: Use Sources to Find Other Sources -- when relevant records are identified search the Call Numbers and Subject Headings found with those records to identify additional related resources. Also, scroll through the hit list and identify the most commonly used Dewey Classification numbers and then browse the shelves in those areas.
Magazines, Journals, Newspapers
For all periodical titles available through the TMC library go to library Web site and select Periodical Holdings from the menu on the left. From this page you can find periodicals by title or by subject. There are also links to the online indexes that provide full-text articles. The periodical holdings list indicates which periodical titles are held by the library as well as inclusive dates and format availability -- microform, print, electronic.
Periodical Indexes are used to identify the location of articles contained in magazines, journals and newspapers. These indexes provide citations to the articles (author, title of the article, journal title, volume, issue, date, and page numbers). Some indexes also provide abstracts (includes a summary of the article) and many online indexes provide the full-text (FT) of the article (e.g. the complete text of the article).
To access the indexes available to the TMC community go to library Web site and select Library Databases/Indexes. Use the various search options to identify all available print and electronic indexes by either title or main topic and type.
Several of the indexes you will find there have the added benefit of the Journal Linker service. Journal Linker enables you to link from the citation in the online index to the library’s periodical holdings information of full-text and print journals. Then from there, you may link directly to the online journal, the online article or to the print holdings record in the OPAC. In the event the TMC library does not have the journal in question, Journal Linker also provides a link to our interlibrary loan service. Look for the Journal Linker iconin these periodical databases:
Research TIP: The Periodical Holdings List and Journal Linker are especially useful when attempting to determine whether or not the library has a particular journal either in print or electronic formats. For those indexing databases where Journal Linker does not apply, keep two browsers open: one for searching the online index and one with the Periodical Holdings page open for quickly checking to see if TMC has the journal containing the article. If TMC does not have the article, it may be ordered through ILL.
Listed below are periodical indexes containing various types of resources that are of particular interest to the field of Communications.
Academic Search (EBSCO)
Arts & Humanities Citation Index (FirstSearch)
Essay & General Literature Index (FirstSearch)
Newspaper Source (EBSCO)
Proquest Research Library
SIRS Researcher (FirstSearch) (Social Issues Resource Series)
For more comprehensive online research tools select Library Databases/Indexes from the library main menu. The Databases/Indexes page includes all electronic periodical indexes as well as other electronic research tools. Select Database by Topic and by Type for all online databases that will provide information for the chosen field.
Listed below are Databases containing various types of resources that are of particular interest to the field of Communications.
Focal Dictionary of Telecommunications (xreferplus)
Hargrave’s Communications Dictionary (xreferplus)
Audio – Video Resources
To retrieve records reflecting the library’s holdings in a specific format such as video, DVD, CD or audio cassette from the Library Catalog select “Set Limits”. Then from the Location option select the desired format. For multiple formats hold the CTRL key down while selecting formats. Then click on the “Set Limits” button and wait for the page to refresh before clicking on “Search”. Use the Advanced Search screen; do not use the Basic Search screen as the Limits function will not apply. Search for a broad topic or specific keyword as appropriate for the research need.
Go to the library Web site and select Web Resources from the menu on the left, then using the Topic/Type matrix select “Communications” from the “Main Topic” box and select the “Type” appropriate to the information need. Be sure to read the “Explanation of Types” to understand what is included in each.
All Web sites posted have been evaluated and recommended by subject specialists. For a more exhaustive listing of reputable Web sites reviewed and annotated by scholars and specialists in the field search The Scout Report at http://scout.wisc.edu/.
Of particular interest are:
Basic Steps in Library Research – six simple steps explaining the research process
From Cite to Hand - Books – how to actually obtain books and other materials whether or not the library owns them
From Cite to Hand - Articles – how to actually obtain magazine and journal articles whether or not the library owns them
Finding Articles in Two, sometimes Three, OK maybe Four Easy Steps
Identifying Scholarly Books – clues for distinguishing scholarly books and journals
Identifying Scholarly Periodicals- clues for distinguishing between magazines, journals and peer reviewed journals
Evaluating Resources – easy way to help evaluate the usefulness of research resources both paper and electronic
Research Worksheet – designed to make research simpler by working step by step through the research process
Copyright for Higher Education– help in understanding the copyright law as it pertains to faculty and students
Last updated September, 2005.
 Summaries: DDC: http://www.oclc.org/dewey/resources/summaries/deweysummaries.pdf