It’s January 2012, folks. A brand new year. A brand new semester. And the perfect time to highlight a brand new database purchased specifically for communication majors!
(Well, it’s not a bad time at least.)
ComAbstracts (CIOS) is an OpenURL-enabled database of article abstracts, books, bibliographic records, and other sources of relevance to researchers, scholars, and students interested in fields related to human communication studies, including mass communication, human interaction, rhetoric, health communication, communication and new media, journalism, communication history, and more.
Coverage includes over 150 scholarly journals — several of which are not covered by AU’s two alternative communication-specific databases: Communication Abstracts (ProQuest) and Communication & Mass Media Complete (EBSCO).
As its name suggests, ComAbstracts is affiliated with the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship (CIOS), a U.S. not-for-profit organization that supports the use of computer technologies in the service of communication scholarship and education. You can learn more about CIOS by visiting their website, or though links in the database itself.
One unique feature of the ComAbstracts database is its “Visual Communication Concept Explorer” (VCCE), or tool that encourages users to browse the database’s holdings according to important idea clusters.
Clusters are formed based on relationships between frequently occurring concepts, and are assigned numbers to help identify their degree of attachment. Communication undergraduates may find this tool particularly helpful as a way of brainstorming keywords, or otherwise broadening/narrowing potential research topics.