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Syracuse University Libraries

COM 100 - First Year Seminar (Fall 2018)

Welcome COM 100 Students

  • This guide offers sets of databases and other research starting points for COM 100 students (and COM 107 related research)..and beyond COM 107
  • If in doubt where to begin or having difficulty with a source, contact Public Communications Librarian, Michael Pasqualoni to arrange a consultation. 
  • Be Selective:  No one student will require all these sources for any single project or paper.  Make wise selections.  Some projects focusing on highly current news or social media may not require many library databases (though they may help tremendously with effectiveness of sorting and analysis, and recent as well as deeply historical points of view).  Judicious database selection can bring great efficiency to your source exploration because systems like Nexis Uni (formerly known as LexisNexis Academic), ProQuest News & Newspapers, Access World News, Television News Archive, etc. add significant indexing and advanced search features that often then boost the relevancy of your results.  Article databases like Communication Source, Business Source Elite or ProQuest also can help if exploring specific regulations or technologies connected to a media platform, especially discussions appearing either in scholarly journal articles or within trade publications (aka:  industry magazines)

Newspaper and Business Article Sources

For well organized gathering of news coverage of your public figure.  Important note:  News databases like Access World News, Nexis Uni and Proquest News and Newspapers, while primarily collecting text from newspapers, also harvest article text from cross sections of news websites, blogs - and Access World News does pull in some new website video (with mostly a U.S. focus).

Book Locations

Circulating books on journalism, mass media, television, radio, & film reside primarily on Bird Library’s 5th Floor.  Use basic and advanced searches in the SU Libraries SUMMON search engine or, alternatively, classic catalog, to determine specific titles and locations of interest that are related to your media platforms, or - other relevant books - if your public figure is well known enough to be covered in books or book chapters, or perhaps has written a book(s).  Photography books are shelved in the Carnegie Library.

  • Your SU ID Card is your library card
  • The borrowing period for undergrad students is 28 days, and most items can be renewed by clicking on the Library website's "Your Accounts" link.


Want to explore some specific large SU Libraries ebook collections directly, for discussion of your public figure - or - in particular - solid overviews of other aspects of your chosen media platforms?  Try ebook databases such as these:

When searching within the SUMMON search environment, to limit results to ebooks, add to your search these two refinements, in combination (refinements can be specified either prior to, or after, entering search teminology):

  • Book/eBook
  • Full Text Online


If you are interested in books other libraries have in their collections, perhaps substantially about, or written by - a well known public figure, the database that can help you identify which libraries have those books, outside of SU - is called  Worldcat - keep in mind that for book titles you need that are not at SU - you can submit the reference information for such books to the library's interlibrary loan service,  Illiad, to get free short term access to such books


A concise list of SU Libraries subscription databases in media studies and news that represent (or otherwise contain) significant online video, audio or image content. Kanopy, recently added, in addition to non-fiction and documentary video, also contains numerous U.S. and international feature films:

See also freely available news video searching available via:

  • Internet Archive TV News Search
    (free online access to streaming news video - covering 2009 thru present.  Downloading available via fee based loan on DVD - must be returned to Internet Archive.  SU affiliated students and faculty should also visit the SU Libraries subscription to Vanderbilt University's Television News Archive, where online streaming news video is available for CNN (1995 - present) and NBC (1968 - present).  Other major networks are indexed, but no immediate access to video online - for those - download is via a loan of those clips on DVD-must be returned to Vanderbilt Univ.)

See also the Internet Archive's "Wayback Machine" for systematic archiving of a wide variety of website URLs.  This can be a very effective tool for looking back at historical coverage of a public figure or related events on specific known websites (or, their self presentation on their own website(s), if applicable).  Archiving includes images.  Be aware that over time, interactive features on these sites connected to embedded audio, slideshows, streaming video, database driven polling, etc. may not function.  But Wayback Machine remains a good tool for digital news platforms which are only rarely literally "collected" by libraries.

Additional Magazine Article Access

ProQuest database will be excellent for getting to a lot of current magazine article text with mentions of public figures.  However, here are two additional databases to consider:

Scholarly Journal Articles (aka: "peer reviewed" research literature from academic periodicals) - And trade publications as well

When seeking a bit more information regarding technology and your media platforms, or regulation(s) of your platforms, or advertising in relation to your platforms, in addition to relatively recent books and book chapters being superb in discussing those broad landscapes [to identify such books - use SU Libraries SUMMON search engine] , additionally - often you may find helpful discussion about that in recent scholarly articles (or also often in trade publications [aka: industry magazines]).  These are helpful databases below for locating such discussion in one or both types of articles.  For instance, enter the proper name of your media platform as a whole (either the brand name - i.e., "Twitter," "Youtube," et al or the platform's generic name - such as "newspapers" or "television" or "social media," etc.) AND combine that with search words or phrases such as

  • regulation
  • regulatory
  • laws
  • advertising
  • technology
  • technological {note:  an asterisk at the end of a root, brings back varying endings - thus, a search for technolog* brings back articles using terms like 'technology,' technologies,' 'technological,' etc.}



Communication Source  - is a primary collection of articles and other references to published literature in all sub-disciplines of public communications, including advertising and public relations.  Covers articles from scholarly peer-reviewed journals, as well as trade journals and other periodicals in additional related fields such as media studies, broadcasting, journalism, linguistics, rhetoric and more.  This database merges together two previously named resources, formerly known as "communication & mass media complete" (ebsco) and "comabstracts" (sage).

Business Source Elite - Full-text coverage for nearly 1,100 business publications and economics journals, including nearly 500 peer-reviewed publications. In addition to the full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 1,800 journals. Business Source Elite contains full text from the world's top management and marketing journals including the Harvard Business Review.

ProQuest - Enormous repository of articles from newspapers both recent and deeply historical, scholarly journals, popular magazines, business/trade journals, and more.

JSTOR  - Full-text archive of scholarly publications in mathematics, science, and the social sciences. Moving wall principle means coverage of journal titles here ranges between 1 and 3 to 5 years behind the current date.   Currency varies one journal title to the next.

Scopus  -  The world's largest abstract and citation database, with over 33 million records. Its coverage of Scientific, Technical, Medical and Social Sciences literature includes 15,000 peer-reviewed journals, 1,200 open-access journals, 500 conference proceedings, over 600 trade publications, and 200 book series. Scopus also covers 386 million quality web sources, including 22 million patents.  Its most powerful feature may be its tracking of subsequent citation to earlier articles for the publications it contains.  A great tool for compiling a scholarly "literature review" on any topic (remember this database for any research project "after" COM 107, in any course at SU, where the objective is gathering relevant academic articles).

Two additional multidisciplinary scholarly journal databases that will tend to offer excellent results for all disciplines covered at Newhouse School are these (maybe some discussion here of academic analysis of a few public figures  primarily - these are additional databases whose recent scholarly articles may yield good discussion of technological, regulatory or other background on your chosen media platforms):


And if you seek far more in-depth discussion of your platform from the literature of computer science (beware, because some of these sources may be a bit technologically intense for COM 100/107) - you could explore a search for the name of your platform [NOT your public figure] using this database (perhaps looking to a recent article source that does not appear too saturated in high level computer science specialization):

Lastly, keeping in mind you are not at Whitman School creating an in-depth business plan - some COM 107 students when exploring broader background tied to regulation and technology of their named platforms, might find promising results when pulling up in-depth industry reports from industry databases like these appearing below (note, with some exceptions - multiple reports on specific types of media platforms seem a bit more common in IBIS - whereas Marketline offers recent industry profiles of the United States media industry as whole - and for other countries as well as global reports;  Marketline also does contain some recent industry profiles of both the newspaper industry and also publishing industry, for the U.S., a wide variety of other countries and for the globe as a whole):

Annotated Bibliographies

If seeking further explanation or examples for the typical formatting common to annotated bibliographies, see these guides:

If struggling with decision-making as to formatting of an annotated bibliography, one that has evaluative elements, do not forget that SU students also have access to the SU Writing Center and its consultants

Current Newspaper Headlines

To browse a recent two to three weeks of articles from a set of major U.S. national and regional newspapers (with ability to quickly jump into specific sections of these papers), connect to Factiva, then click News Pages on the top toolbar.

News titles covered by the Factiva "News Pages" feature include: Wall Street Journal; New York Times; Washington Post; Los Angeles Times; Chicago Tribune; USA Today; Atlanta Journal Constitution; Tampa Bay Times; Barron’s; Forbes

Factiva database news pages search interface

NOTE:  Factiva's license at SU has a five simultaneous user limit, so if turned away when accessing this database - take a brief break and try again shortly.  Even when large groups access Factiva, it is rare for five people to access this BOTH at exactly the same time and also for exactly identical duration of use.  You are welcome to report persistent Factiva database turnaway problems to the Public Communications Librarian at (315) 443-3715

  Watch for the SULinks icon

S U Links

If you see this icon next to the record for an article in one of the databases, click on it to see if the full-text is available online through the SU Libraries

Video Collections at SU Libraries

For more information about video visit SU Libraries -  video and music website.  These two very large streaming video databases are not directly compatible with SUMMON, but you are welcome to search them individually.

Retrieving Specific Periodical Titles

To identify whether SU Libraries has a specific newspaper, journal or magazine title in its print or online collection, you can:

  • Enter the journal title into the SU Libraries journal locator (the "journals" link at the Library's website)  AND/OR
  • Enter the journal title into the SU Libraries classic catalog (making sure to employ a 'journal title' search)