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Communications Research Guide

Communications Research Guide

Welcome to the Communications Research Guide. This guide is to assist students who are taking courses in the Luther College of Arts and Sciences, and can also assist students, faculty, and staff doing research in this area.

This Research Guide will provide information on the most relevant databases to search from, online periodicals we may subscribe to, and websites and open access options for this subject.

If you have questions or would like assistance with your research, please contact the Head Librarian at


Academic Search Complete

Coverage of most academic areas including business, social sciences, general academic, and general sciences.

Directory of Open Access Journals

A large database of open access peer-reviewed  journals and articles.


This database includes two Arts and Sciences collections with journals from subjects including the social sciences, education, law, criminology, history, etc.

Points of View Reference Center

Critical analysis with overview, point, and counterpoint on hundreds of topics.


Directory of Open Access Books

A large collection of open access eBooks.

eBook Academic Collection

Collection of text from a wide range of academic disciplines.

eBook Collection

Collection of eBooks with a wide range of subjects.



Off Campus Link

Research diverse perspectives, topics, and trends that align with curricular areas such as Political Science, English, Sociology, Humanities, Business, International Studies, and more.

New York Times

Create a login for free and read articles from the New York Times.

Qualitative Research

This website provides resources for students, teachers, and researchers interested in action research (some of the resources include links to action research texts).

Action Research Network

This website is a tool that enables researchers (the teachers) to share their research and view the findings of others.

Appreciative Inquiry Commons

This website provides information and resources on appreciative inquiry.


This website provides a definition of a/r/tography and information and resources on a/r/tography.

The Association for Qualitative Research (Great Britain)

This website is devoted to qualitative research resources (glossary of qualitative terms, event information, conference information, etc.). The Association formerly was called the Association of Qualitative Research Practitioner.

Center for Narrative Inquiry

This website provides resources and examples related to narrative inquiry.

Center for Urban Ethnography

In addition to general information about conferences and ethnography publications, this website also provides links to several ethnography projects.

Centre for Arts-Informed Research

This website provides links to art-informed projects (in addition to information on events and conferences).

Centre for Narrative Research

This website provides definition of narrative research and other information about its purpose.

The Grounded Theory Institute

This is the official website of Dr. Barney Glaser and classic grounded theory.

Grounded Theory Online

This website is devoted to Glaser’s grounded theory approach and ways to help students work with that approach.

Human Science Research Studies

This website lists human science research studies (articles, chapters, books, monographs) that are within the phenomenological and hermeneutical/interpretive traditions, broadly defined.

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

This website provides information on IPA and a link to a research teaching/training tool.

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) Tumblr Page

This website provides additional IPA links and resources.

QualPage – Resources for Qualitative Researchers

This Web page describes several different qualitative research approaches.


This website is designed to connect the research community.

Online QDA

This website provides a step-by-step process for qualitative data analysis.

Qualitative Inquiry Growth

Through this website, Thomas Groenewald provides descriptions of various qualitative research approaches.

Research Salad: Mixed Methods, Tossed Up Fresh Every Day

This blog provides information on issues in research (such as authorship).

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Qualitative Research Guidelines

This website contains information for people developing, evaluating and engaging in qualitative research projects in healthcare settings.

Situational Analysis

This website developed by Adele Clarke describes situational analysis and provides information about other methods.

Social Research Update

This website is the quarterly journal from the department of sociology at the University of Surrey.

The Sensory Ethnography Lab (SEL) at Harvard University

This website provides information about current sensory ethnography projects and sensory ethnography courses.

The Research Methods Knowledge Base

This website provides information on research methods, with key terms and definitions.

Taking a Side


A news aggregator that curates news and uses crowd-sourcing technology to identify perspective in news stories. Use this site to see how different sides of an issue are reported on.

New York Times: Room for Debate

In Room for Debate, The Times invites knowledgeable outside contributors to discuss news events and other timely issues. Reader comments are moderated Monday through Friday. is a nonprofit public charity that has no government affiliations of any kind. The site provides resources for critical thinking and education without bias.


ALA | First Amendment

American Library Association page with links to U.S. Supreme Court Links and Findlaw First Amendment Annotations Expanded.

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

AEJMC’s mission is to promote the highest possible standards for journalism and mass communication education, to encourage the widest possible range of communication research, to encourage the implementation of a multi-cultural society in the classroom and curriculum, and to defend and maintain freedom of expression in day-to-day living.

Association of Business Communication

The Association for Business Communication (ABC) is an international organization committed to fostering excellence in business communication scholarship, research, education, and practice.

Coalition for Health Communication

The Coalition for Healthcare Communication is an organization that promotes the free exchange of scientific and medical information. It is essential that healthcare professionals and the general public receive truthful, accurate information regarding pharmaceuticals, medical products and devices, and patient care.

In addition to white papers and other documents published by the Coalition, you can also find relevant information on current healthcare economics issues, as well as policy positions published by government agencies and other professional organizations.

International Association for Media and Communications Research

IAMCR is a large international association for communication studies.

International Association of Business Communication

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network of communication professionals committed to improving organizational communication.

International Communication Association

International Communication Association is the main international association for communication studies, which combines an older focus on quantitatively based social science studies with newer critical and cultural studies of communicative phenomena. Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism is dedicated to trying to understand the information revolution. We specialize in using empirical methods to evaluate and study the performance of the press, particularly content analysis. We are non-partisan, non-ideological and non-political.

Our goal is to help both the journalists who produce the news and the citizens who consume it develop a better understanding of what the press is delivering, how the media are changing, and what forces are shaping those changes. We have emphasized empirical research in the belief that quantifying what is occurring in the press, rather than merely offering criticism, is a better approach to understanding.

National Association of Broadcasters

The National Association of Broadcasters is the voice for the nation’s radio and television broadcasters. As the premier trade association for broadcasters, NAB advances the interests of our members in federal government, industry and public affairs; improves the quality and profitability of broadcasting; encourages content and technology innovation; and spotlights the important and unique ways stations serve their communities.

National Communication Association

National Communication Association (NCA): The main national professional organization covering many of the areas of communication studies in the U.S.

Nebraska Broadcasters Association

The Nebraska Broadcasters Association was formed in 1934, with the purposes of advancing the best interests of the free, local, over-the-air, full service radio and television broadcast industry in the State of Nebraska.

News Media Alliance

The News Media Alliance is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. The organization was founded in 1992 through a merger of seven associations serving the newspaper industry and was originally known as the Newspaper Association of America (NAA).

Pew Internet & American Life Project

The Pew Internet & American Life Project is one of seven projects that make up the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The Project produces reports exploring the impact of the internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life.

Pew Research Center

The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The center conducts public opinion polling, demographic studies, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. It does not take positions on policy issues.

The Center’s work is carried out by seven projects:

  • Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
  • Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism
  • Pew Internet & American Life Project
  • Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
  • Pew Hispanic Center
  • Pew Global Attitudes Project
  • Pew Social & Demographic Trends Project

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press is an independent, non-partisan public opinion research organization that studies attitudes toward politics, the press and public policy issues. In this role it serves as a valuable information resource for political leaders, journalists, scholars and citizens.

Public Relations Society of America

Largest professional organization of public relations specialists representing business, consulting firms, government, associations, and schools.

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA)

RTDNA is the world’s largest professional organization exclusively serving the electronic news profession, consisting of more than 3,000 news directors, news associates, educators and students. Founded as a grassroots organization in 1946, the association is dedicated to setting standards for newsgathering and reporting. Although news techniques and technologies are constantly changing, RTNDA’s commitment to encouraging excellence in the electronic journalism industry remains the same.

Society for Technical Communication (STC)

With increasing demand for technical products, the technical communication field has grown. What used to be the strict discipline of creating and editing policies and manuals has now exploded into a rich field of communicating in many media as well as performing user analysis, applying usability methods, creating e-learning, and much more.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

An independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University, the Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States. The Archive won the 1999 George Polk Award, one of U.S. journalism’s most prestigious prizes.

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