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COMM 2090: UO Communication Research Methods - Assignment 2

1. What you need to do

Finding academic and industry sources for your report critique

This guide will help you find academic and industry sources for your research report critique. It will also help you find information about different research methodologies. 

To do the analysis for your research report critique you will need to:

  1. Search for information on the report's topic.
  2. Explore the research methodology used in the report.

Remember to always check your course website and outline to know exactly what you need to do.

2. Types of information

For this report you can use both academic and industry sources.

The table below explains some of the differences between academic and industry sources:

Academic sources Industry sources
Examples include scholarly articles and books                                                                                    Examples include trade journals, company annual reports, industry reports and some government publications
Peer reviewed Not peer reviewed
Include in-text citations and a reference list May not include in-text citations and a reference list

Find out more:

3. Plan your search

Creating a mind map or table to organise the ideas you read about can be a useful. Consider how ideas may be expressed differently by others and also add these. The ideas you identify can be used later in your searches.

Tip: The below examples are not comprehensive. Add more concepts you think might be relevant.

Key concepts Synonyms or alternative concepts
and media industry

E&M industry (television, film, gaming, newspapers, magazine etc.)

trends disruptions, challenges, innovation, technology, digital, artificial intelligence, virtual reality
consumer preferences consumer engagement, user engagement, user experience
Key concepts Synonyms or alternative concepts
safety and wellbeing

cyber bullying, bullying, harassment, respect, unhealthy relationships, violence, eating disorders

young people youth, adolescent, adolescence, teenager
online campaign online marketing, social media, social marketing campaigns
Key concepts Synonyms or alternative concepts
fashion style, trend, appearance, brand
workers employee, laborer, wage earner
suppliers distributor, provider, manufacturer, vendor, customer, retailer, product
Key concepts Synonyms or alternative concepts
children youth, adolescent, teenager
digital divide digital media, technology gap, information divide, information gap, data gap
social change progress, economic development, social advancement, political movement

To understand how to join your concepts together to form a search, watch:

To create a mind map, you can either do this with pen and paper or try the following tools:

4. Where should you search

Getting Started                              Key Databases for Report Topic            Key Database for Research Methods
Library collection ProQuest Central SAGE Research Methods
Google Scholar Business Source Ultimate  
  WARC: World Advertising Research Center  
  Passport GMID  

The Library Collection and Google Scholar are good places to start your search. 

Use a Library database to help focus your search and to find scholarly and reliable information. Some of the results you may not find elsewhere.

Watch the following video for more help on how to get started:

5. Types of information

For this report you can use both academic and industry sources.

Slide the bar across the image below to see the difference between academic and industry sources:

Find out more:

6. How to search the Library catalogue and Google Scholar

The Library Collection and Google Scholar are good places to test out your concepts. You may want to search for both background information on the research topic and explore the research methodology used.

TIP: The same search can be done in Google ScholarAccess Google Scholar from the library homepage to ensure you access the full text available from the library.

Our top search tips:

  1. Add a date range such as the last 5 years to find recent results

  2. Select peer reviewed journals to find scholarly articles (if available)

  3. Change your search if you don't find much. Try different concepts

Example catalogue search:

  • Background information for Young and Online: Children's Perspectives on life in the digital age. 

Select the boxes to view the search. Notice the searches are limited to the last 5 years and peer-reviewed articles. 

Find out more:

7. How to search a library database

Search ProQuest Central and Business Source Complete

TIP: Use the Advanced Search to combine your key concepts

Example ProQuest Central search:

  • Information for Keep it tame report 
  • The same search can be done in Business Source Ultimate
  • Notice that synonyms or alternative concepts are combined with OR
  • Adding alternative concepts will broaden your search

bullying example

TIP: Once you generate a search you can further refine by date, location and peer-reviewed.

Search WARC and Passport GMID

Use WARC and Passport GMID to find articles, case studies of campaigns and research on industry and consumer trends.

Use the search box to add your search terms or browse by topic.

Example search in WARC:

  • Finding the 'entertainment and media industry' report 
  • More > Browse by interest - Topics > Categories > Leisure and Entertainment

  >    >  

Find out more:

8. Understand research methods

Your critique requires you to identify the various research methods used in the report. If you need help understanding different research methods, see the database:

Tip: You may want to explore the Research Methods Map. Find it by scrolling down once you are in the database.

9. Help writing your assignment

Look at the UniSA Study Skills on writing and academic language to help you locate resources outlined below. 

11. Feeback