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Loyola University Chicago Libraries

Journalism Research

This guide will direct students in the School of Communication to appropriate resources for research in the subject of Journalism.

What is Interdisciplinary Research?

Interdisciplinary research means you're doing research in multiple disciplines.  Some examples:

You are writing a paper on citizen journalism during a time of crisis.  You will use the journalism resources to research citizen journalism, and even specific events like the Boston Marathon Bombing, or Benghazi.  However, if you select the Benghazi case, you may need to do some additional research.  This may involve some political science research on Libya, some history research on the entire region - or maybe even some technological/industry research to see how many people have access to mobile technology.

You are asked to write a newspaper article on Rahm Emanuel's latest statement on public schools.  You will want to do a search for other statements he has made on public schools, and other policy decisions in general.  Doing a search in the newspaper collections should give you a good idea about public statements he has made in the past.  Using local government resources you should also be able to access formal documentation on policy changes, meetings, and press releases.  Next, you may want to explore some education resources to learn more about what experts have to say on these topics.

The goal of interdisciplinary research is to be able to take information from multiple resources in different areas of study to form one, coherent idea on a complex subject.

How do I find the right resources?

Start by using the research guides.  Each subject area at Loyola has a research guide associated with it.  If you can't find what you need, start with the School or College the discipline would be in.  For example - there is not currently an Advertising research guide, but there is a section for Advertising research on the Communication research guide - since Advertising is a major in the School of Communication.

Each research guide is organized in essentially the same way.  The home page will always be the "most used" resources in that subject area - and you should also see contact information for the subject specialist librarian.  Contact this person if you need more research advice.  Using the tabs across the top of the page - you'll see some more specific subdivisions of information, an alphabetical list of every database in that subject area, and guides to getting help.

Using Keywords for Interdisciplinary Searching

Many databases like Academic Search Complete will allow you to search multiple fields of study at one time.  When searching, avoid searching for full sentences.  For example, instead of searching:

  • Who is the president of the United States?

Search for:

  • US Presidents, Barack Obama, or Obama.

If you're searching for multiple ideas, instead of searching for:

  • "Economic Impacts on Education" try searching for
  • "Economics" on the first line
  • Use the AND in the drop down menu
  • On the second line enter "Education."  

This way you will be searching for articles that are about both education and economics.

Suggested Databases to Get Started with Interdisciplinary Topics