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Communication and Media Arts Research Guide: Finding Journal Articles & Databases

An introductory guide to research in Communication & Media Arts at Sacred Heart University Library

How to Find Journal Articles

For our example search, we want to search for journal articles that discuss issues of racism in the films of John Ford for a paper assigned in a film history class. To begin, we will start at the Sacred Heart University Library homepage at

To start our example search, we will select one of the “Key Databases” from our list to the right. For this search, we’ll use JSTOR. To access the database, we need to hover over the “Search” tab on the menu bar at the top of the library homepage and select “Databases A-Z” to take us to an alphabetical list of databases from the library.

From the "A-Z Databases" list, click on the letter "J."

From the menu below, we will select the link for JSTOR at the top of the list of databases

The JSTOR main page presents a one-box basic search. For our search, we want to use the advanced search option. Click on the link for “Advanced Search."

The “Advanced Search” page allows us to search with multiple keywords linked by what are called Boolean operators. Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT are used to combine or exclude items in an advanced search. Using Boolean operators can yield more focused results from your search query. When using AND, you are searching for only results that include both keywords inserted into the separate search boxes. OR will yield results that include at least one of the keywords in the search boxes. NOT allows you to exclude a particular term from the search, like having a search for cats that excludes dogs (cats NOT dogs). For our purposes, we want a search that yields article results combining “racism” AND “John Ford,” so we can retrieve results that only include both keywords

Additionally, we want to narrow our search through the "Journal Filter: Narrow by Discipline and/or Subject." It's location on the search screen is shown above. Scrolling down through the disciplines, you will see "Film Studies." Click the box next to the discipline and click the search button at the bottom or top of the page.

This search yields 40 results.

From here you can sift through the results, read and download articles, and generate pre-formatted citations for your bibliography. Click "Cite this item" and a window pops up that presents copyable, formatted citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago style for the selected article, as shown below.

Additionally, after clicking on the title on the results page, you can send an article permalink to your own email, as seen in the steps below.

Step 1.

Step 2.

Key Databases

  • Academic Search Premier   
  • Multi-disciplinary resource with full-text articles from nearly 4,500 journals including 3,600 peer-reviewed titles, many from 1975 forward. Searchable cited references for 1,000 titles, including titles relevant to Communication & Media Arts. For assistance searching Academic Search Premier, see the video below.

  • JSTOR  
  • Multidisciplinary resource, which houses a significant number of resources of interest to Communication & Media Arts, with full-text articles from thousands of scholarly & peer-reviewed journals. For help with searching JSTOR, click on the icon below

  • Project Muse
  • A leading provider of digital humanities and social sciences content; since 1995, its electronic journal collections have supported a wide array of research needs at academic libraries worldwide. MUSE books and journals are from leading university presses and scholarly societies.

    For assistance using the advanced-search functions in Project Muse, see the video below.

Locating Databases

If you need help locating further general and subject-specific databases from Sacred Heart University Library, view the video below:

SHU Library Minute: How to Find Databases from Sacred Heart U Library on Vimeo.

Interlibrary Loan

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

Interlibrary loan (ILL) is a free service that obtains books and articles that the library does not own.  All faculty, staff and students can use this service.  All you need is a current SHU email address and password to set up an ILL account.  First time users can visit the library website to activate this account.  Remember, this is not an immediate service.  Some requests may take longer than others.  Contact Shari Baron at 203-371-7705 and/or with any questions.


Request an Interlibrary Loan

Please note: Before requesting an article, a book chapter, or book through the interlibrary loan, please search Sacred Heart University Library's catalog and Quick Search to make sure the library does NOT own the resource.  We cannot request items that we already own.  Consult the Reference Desk (203-371-7726) on the 1st floor of the Ryan Matura Library if you need further assistance determining the availability of an item. 

SHU Library Minute: InterLibrary Loan from Sacred Heart U Library on Vimeo.