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Broadcast : Journal Articles & Databases

Tips for Searching Online Databases

When you are searching with multiple keywords or search terms:

  • "and" means both terms must show up in your results = fewer results
  • "or" means either term must show up in your results = more results
  • "not" means that therm must not show up in your results = fewer results

Consider limiting your search by:

  • full-text only
  • date
  • peer reviewed or scholarly publications

You can keep phrases together  by putting quotation marks around them, i.e. "fake news"

Scholarly vs. Popular Style in Sources

Scholarly vs. Trade vs. Popular

Clues to look at Scholarly Trade Popular
Authors Academics or experts in the field, with credentials and affiliations clearly listed Practitioners or educators in the field Paid journalists
Language Technical or scholarly, often requires knowledge of discipline and jargon to fully understand Has industry jargon, assumes a background in the field Easy to read
Look Usually black and white, sometimes charts or drawings but little colour or pictures Glossy paper, with colourful pictures and industry-related advertisements Glossy, colourful, full of pictures and advertisements
Abstracts (very short summary of the article) Generally present Generally absent Absent
Reference List Bibliographies or footnotes always present, and generally substantial Short bibliographies may be present Absent
Intended audience Academics Other practitioners in the field General public
Article Length Long articles, often split into sections like abstract, introduction, methods, discussion Varies Shorter articles


Online Databases

Google Scholar