To find the best research available in the university library you need to select the right tool. There is no "one-stop shopping" for information.
Regardless of the topic of your search, you should plan on performing multiple searches in several different tools. Start off with tools that will quickly help you learn more about your topic: reference resources like specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias.
The Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) provides online access to over 120 encyclopedias.
From the library home page follow the "Reference Resources" link to get to a search box for GVRL.
Armed with new terms concepts and knowledge about your topic, another search tool to use is the library catalog. The EIU library catalog will help you find books, book chapters, and media related to your topic.
Tip: your first search will always limit to what we have at EIU. Select "All I-Share Libraries" to retrieve books from 85+ libraries across Illinois.
When you find something you want, note the call number, the location and the availability.
What is the call number for the book below? What is the location? Is it available?
Scholars in the field of communication use the journal article to communicate with each other. It is how they report their research to other scholars in the field. You can search for journal articles by using the article databases licensed by Booth Library that focused on media and communications research.
Although it is possible to find research articles on free search engines, it is harder to distinguish between the research and the popular articles, and often you'll be asked to pay for articles. Library databases provide journal articles free of charge. If the full article is not immediately available, you can often rtieve it or request it (again, free!) within a few clicks.
The databases most appropriate for Communications research are Communications and Mass Media Complete, and Academic Search Complete, both databases are provided by EBSCO interface. For a longer list of databases that are related to communication studies, follow the links to the databases on the library home page and select Communications as your subject.