COMM 227

Interpersonal Communication

Vocabulary is the Key to Information Search

Databases contain 'records', which are text descriptions of each item - usually articles - in the database. The records include: the title, the author(s), the publication date and the publisher, and sometimes keywords or subject terms. Some databases include 'abstracts,' which are summaries of the main elements of the article.  Many but not all databases contain or link to the full text of each item.


The key to discovering relevant material is identifying the VOCABULARY – words and phrases – that will bring up useful articles.

You need to use the words and concepts being used by the people doing the research, which may not be the same words you yourself would use.

For example, in the record above, the casual term "breaking up" is described in the article record as "relationship termination" (who knew!). Knowing this phrase, you can re-run your search and find more relevant material.