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Communication Theories & Research Methods

Suggested Keywords

Communication -- Research
Communication -- Research -- Methodology

Communication -- Statistical methods

Communication in politics -- Research

Mass media -- Philosophy

Mass media -- Research

Mass media -- Research -- Methodology

Qualitative research

Qualitative research -- Methodology

Quantitative research

Quantitative research – Methodology

Social sciences -- Research

Social sciences -- Methodology

Communication Theories

Suggested Tip for Finding a Theory Relevant to Your Research Topic 

  • Search article databases in Communication or other related fields as suggested below with the topic of your interest as a search term. Then read the Literature Review section of the articles to find the theories that guided the research. 
    • Communication & Mass Media Complete 
    • ERIC (Education)
    • PsycINFO (Psychology)
    • Business Source Complete or ABI/INFORM (Business)
    • CINAHL FullText (Nursing. Public Health)
    • Google Scholar
  • Search Encyclopedias of Theories in Communication or in other related fields, and search the full text using the topic as a keyword. For example, if you are looking for theories in behavioral health, look up the Encyclopedia of Theories in Psychology for the entry of "Behavioral Health."  Under the entry, you will find common theories that have been used to research the topic.  

Communication Research Methods

Books on Research Methods, Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods in Social Sciences

Books in red are eBooks. 
For books on a particular method, such as the "grounded theory," search the library catalog with the method as a keyword.


Video Tutorials on Research Methods and Statistics Programs

  • LinkedIn Learning Online Training (available > Resources > Linkedin Learning)
    • Questionnaire/survey design
    • Survey Monkey 
    • Goole Forms  
    • Excel
    • SPSS 
    • NVivo 
    • Tableau (information visualization tool) training 
  • Qualtrics Survey (available > Resources > Qualtrics Survey) 

Measures and Instruments

Polls and Statistics

Public Opinions
              Pew Research Center   (explore Topics)
              iPOLL Databank (Roper Center)

              U.S. Census Bureau
              American FactFinder…provides community-level demographic information 
              U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Statistical Databases (@FSU Libraries)
              Social Explorer
              ProQuest Statistical Insights 
              Historical Statistics of the United States

Health Statistics
              National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
                            E.g., Smoking
              MedlinePlus Health Statistics
              World Health Organization (WHO)’s Global Health Observatory   
                             E.g., Nigeria’s neonatal mortality rate

FSU Student Statistics
              FSU Office of Institutional Research

Statistics on College Students
              Almanac of Higher Education (from The Chronicle of Higher Education)
              Open Doors (for international students in the U.S. and American students studying abroad)

              Newspapers or journal articles might be an excellent source to look up the statistics on college    
              students.  Depending on your research topic, you might want to explore a Psychology database
              such as APA PsycINFO, an Education database such as ERIC, or even a Nursing database such as

              At Google Scholar, try the following search statement:
                          ("college students" OR "university students") "mental health" survey
à This will yield papers, blogs, etc. that are about survey research on mental health issues of
              college students.  Please note that I used quotes for a phrase searching, and used parentheses
              to group similar concepts together.  
                             Another example:
                         ("college students" OR "university students") ("video game" OR gaming) qualitative
              Not always, but highly likely, you may find the questionnaire that was used to conduct the
              research at the Appendix or Supporting Material section of a research paper.

              CIA The World Factbook (for a country stats)
              Google Public Data
    …a source for U.S. government’s open data

Basics of Business Research

Company information
              Company Website > About > Invest Relations  (or Investors) > Annual Report
              Business Source Complete database …Company profile. SWOT Analysis.
                            E.g., Microsoft

Industry information
              For sales, audiences, revenue, the proportion of the market (market ratio)
              IBISWorld Industry Market Research database…Industry report. Industry SWOT analysis
                            E.g., Beer (brewery) industry  (for major players and the market share)

              eMarketer Pro 
E.g., Internet of Things (under Media), college students (under Demographics)


Consumer and Market information
              Mintel Academic
                            E.g., Movie theatres (see data book), luxury consumers.
                                           Search the database with “college students” to pull off various market reports
                                           on college students

Business Journal Articles
              Business Source Complete database
              ABI/INFORM Collection database


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