Communication and Mass Media Complete

Open Communication and Mass Media Complete in another browser window to work through this tutorial side by side.


This tutorial covers:
  • what’s in Communication and Mass Media Complete
  • search tips 
  • how to find the full text of articles 

Use the arrows below to move through the tutorial and follow along by searching in the database to the right.

What is Communication and Mass Media Complete?

Communication and Mass Media Complete is a library database and a great place to find research in the communication field. Here you’ll find academic journal articles (including peer-reviewed articles) as well as descriptions of books and dissertations on a broad range of communication topics.


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Let’s say you’re interested in doing research on relationships. Let’s begin searching by putting relationships in the top search box and hitting Search.

What happens?


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Over 42,000 results! Yes, this is fewer than you’d get in Google, but still too many. Luckily, there are ways we can narrow this down. To the left of our results is a column to Refine Results.


Which filters would be useful to narrow down our search? 


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Let’s first refine our search by narrowing our results to scholarly journals because we only want to view peer-reviewed journals.

This brings our results down to about 30,000 results – which is still a lot.

To narrow our results even more let’s use the publication date slider to limit our articles to the last ten years.

Limit to Scholarly Journals and last ten years

What happens? 


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We still get over 18,000 results that are not relevant to what we are interested in. So, we want to think about what specific type of relationship are we interested in?

Let’s say that we are really only interested in romantic relationships. So let’s add romantic relationships to our search bar and click search.


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This narrows our results significantly and the results are more relevant to our interest which is romantic relationships.

Next, you need to ensure your search results focus specifically on the role of communication in interpersonal relationships. So you need to add communication to the second search bar then click search.


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We now have about 300 results which is a still a bit much. So we need to ask ourselves: what about romantic relationships are we interested in studying?

Let’s take a look at our results’ titles and subject terms to find some additional search terms that sound interesting and that could help us focus our results.


After scrolling through the results, let’s say we’ve decided that what we really want to focus on are articles about the role of conflict in romantic relationships. So let’s add conflict to the third search bar and click search.

What does adding additional keywords do to our search?


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Our search resulted in just over 50 results which is a great place to settle when researching in databases. We can skim through the pages of our results to find articles that stand out to us without feeling overwhelmed.

Getting the Article

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Now the fun part! You've found something great and want to dive into it. But, even if you click on the title of the article, what you are viewing isn't the whole article…


If the article is available in this database, you will see either a html full text or a pdf full text icon on the left side of the page. Clicking on those icons will take you to the full article. But what if those icons aren't there?

Getting the Article

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In place of the full text icons, you may see an ArticleLinker icon. ArticleLinker is a guide that will help you find the full article if it's not in this article database. Follow the steps to get to your article.

Find more details about using ArticleLinker.


Useful Tools

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 This database includes the option to get you started with citing the articles you’ve found. Click on the title of an article to open its article record. On the right side you’ll see an icon that looks like a sheet of paper and says Cite.


Click on it to see your article formatted in a number of citation styles, including APA. Scroll down to find the one you need, and then copy and paste it into your bibliography.

Caution: Make sure you look over the citation with a citation guide to make sure there aren't any mistakes. Sometimes capitalization of the article title can be wrong in APA.

Useful Tools

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Look at the other options below Tools (on the right side of an article record). 

What other great things does Communication and Mass Media Complete allow us to do with an article?

The End!

Congratulations! You have now completed the tutorial.

Want more ideas? Need some help?

  • The library has a collection of quick how to guides to help you with your research.
  • You can always email or call the Comm Studies librarian for help.

Go to the next page if you need to e-mail a completion certificate to your instructor, but remember to only enter one e-mail address at a time. Happy researching!


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You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.


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