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Get started with researching your media studies dissertation using LSE library resources
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Get started with researching your media studies dissertation using LSE library resources


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Get started with researching your media studies dissertation using LSE library resources

Get started with researching your media studies dissertation using LSE library resources

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  • 1. Get started with researching your Topic using LSE Library resources.Here is a quick guide to looking for information for your media and communication studiesdissertation.Before you begin.• Analyse Your Research Topic.Be clear about the type of information that you want. Identify any dates, key persons,geographical locations or concepts which relate to your needs.Find out how many words you need to write.The type of resources you need. Is it just books or newspaper articles, or films?• Select Your Search Terms· It is necessary to choose your search terms correctly. Remember that search toolsare machines they will look for whatever you type in, they cannot currently interpretit. Ideally your number of search terms should not exceed 6 to 8 keywords orphrases.Some good tips areCheck your spellingIdentify any terms which have alternative spellings (e.g. labor and labour)Identify any synonyms (e.g. women or female)Identify any search terms that may have alternative word endings (e.g. Marx and Marxism)Identify key concepts, writers or research institutions associated with your topicConsider the level of specificity. This is one of the most difficult things to get right. Makeyour search terms too broad and you will get too many hits. Make them too specific and youwill get too few. Be prepared to refine your search after reviewing your initial results.Avoid using prepositions, conjunctions or common verbs as search terms. These include:and, about, if, the, of, a, not, why, before, is, at. Search Engines refer to them as stopwordsand usually ignore them.Once you have run your search look at the results and try to refine your search.Save your references and make sure the citations are correct!Using the library to find resources.Summon is a good starting point it can find too many results! To search effectively choose the advanced search form asthis enables you to limit your search to specific types of materials (eg full text , journal articles) youcan also deselect newspaper articles.Note that Summon does not contain all the items in the library.It does not include many government documents or law reportsSearching newspapers on Summon can lead to broken links. It is usually better to go direct to thenewspaper databasesBecause of this students preparing their dissertations are recommended to supplement researchon Summon/Google scholar with research on the separate databases listed below.Looking for Journal ArticlesNote that if you just use Google to find articles you may not get everything you need and many ofthe links may not work so always check journal titles on the library catalogue!
  • 2. Full guidance on databases for your subject area is at on by clicking on the online links field. Then enter your LSE network username and password.When you have run your search click on the orange LSE article finder symbol to see it if isavailable in full textHowever the major journal article databases are:Communication and Mass media complete full text articles covering media, communication studies and journalism. Remember this is aspecialist media database so you should also try searching the more general social science oneslisted below ie Scopus and ISIThe ISI Web of Knowledge access to a collection of databases which enable you to trace references to academicjournal articles and conference papers. Covers social sciences, sciences and medicine. You cansort results by number of times cited.Scopus references to journal articles covering all aspects of the sciences and social sciences from1996 onwards.SocIndex sociology and the social sciences.Business source Complete leading business research database which provides access to the text of more than 2,300journals covering business, management, finance and market research topics. Useful for Mediaindustry researchLooking for Newspaper articlesNEXIS full text of newspapers and newswire services from around the world. It includes the fulltext of UK daily newspapers from 1980 to the present day. daily updates. Major foreign languagenewspapers also accessible.Factiva for business/economic sources. Also good coverage of Indian newspapersLooking for Uk Government reportsMost of these are not listed individually on Summon on the LSE library catalogue. The Ukgovernment offers many free recent reports online via its website
  • 3. LSE Library also subscribes to the House of Commons Parliamentary papers database and ReferencingCheck the guidance in your course handbookGood free guides to APA, MLA style can be found on the free Purdue website LSE has guides to using Endnote at help needed?ContactYour liaison librarianHeather