Library course for new MA students in Media Studies

This course is focused on how to search, find, access, evaluate, and manage the literature you need to do your best research. You will also get a tour of the library's resources, including the Digital Scholarship Center.

Mentimeter for this course 08.31.22 

Searching for literature

Are you struggling to formulate a research question? Literature searches can help your ideas get going. It is also a way to enter the academic discussion your own writing will take part in. Once you have more of a sense of your topic, literature searches become essential to research and map the topic for your literature review (kartlegge for litteraturgjennomgang). 

Using the library's discovery tool Oria and databases we subscribe to that are relevant to your field, will help you cover the ground and find as much as possible of all the relevant literature for your project. We demonstrate:

  • how to do advanced searches to cover a topic using keywords,
  • truncating with asterisks (feminis*),
  • using quotation marks to search for exact phases ("social media"),
  • searching with Boolean terms (AND, OR, NOT),
  • searching in different scopes,
  • and tweaking and narrowing your search with various facets.

Assignment: literature searches

In this section of the course, you will have a chance to do your own searches. 

Search for and find 5 topic relevant sources of research literature (academic, scholarly books and peer-reviewed articles), save them in your favorites in Oria, and label them so that you get a separate folder for them, and thus can keep better keep track of your research. 

  • Oria: the library's catalog and discovery tool (see how to get the most out of your searches)
    Oria is a discovery tool/search engine that allows you to search the library’s resources (i.e. material and databases that we have paid for), such as books, articles, magazines, music, movies, online resources etc. 

  • Databases that are relevant to media studies
    Oria is an excellent resource, but will not bring up all the results that match your search due to competition between the different contractors/providers we subscribe to (spelled out: the provider of Oria competes with some of the providers of the databases we subscribe to, and will therefore not harvest and show hits from them).
    I have made a subject page for Media studies where you can find the most relevant resources for your studies, including the most relevant databases.
    Or see more relevant databases for media studies here.
  • Google scholar and Google
  • Subject relevant journals
    On the subject page for Media studies, scroll down to the category “Journals” where you will find relevant journals on level 2 (highest) and 1 (also very good).
  • Open access archives:

    • DUO: DUO is the online research archive for UiO students' master theses and UiO scholars' academic publications. This is where you eventually will submit and publish your completed thesis. Note: do NOT select “Restricted access” when publishing your thesis, but allow “Open access.” This is UiO policy.
    • NORA: Online research archive for all Norwegian institutions in higher education. (Not complete: new national platform is in development.)

Accessing literature with plug-ins

Managing your literature in Oria, databases, and with reference tools

Reference styles

Selecting your reference style.

Assessing the literature

For articles: is it peer reviewed?

For books: is it published by a specialist in the field? By a reputable publisher? Is it based on solid research? Is it academic, sound, reliable, relevant?

Learn more about evaluating the credibility and quality of literature at Search & Write

Assignment: literature assessment (source and information criticism)

In this part of the course, you will work in groups assessing sources on a reference list.

Research data management

Have you thought about all the needs and requirements you might encounter in your research in terms of research data management?

Senior Academic Librarian in Open Research Agata Bochynska presents: link to her presentation on research data management

Tour of the library

We conclude with a short video tour of the library, including the Academic Writing Center and the Digital Scholarship Center, and where you can find the library's media studies collections and browse the open shelves collection (2nd floor: media studies from a social science perspective, 3rd floor: media studies from a humanities perspective).

See where you can get IT-support and how you can reserve study spaces and colloquium rooms in the TP-system. 

Get more help

Find selected resources on the Subject page for Media studies and
contact your Subject specialist, Anne Sæbø

My video guides and tutorials

• HumSam-hjelpen

Video guides from Search & Write

• How to search with keywords

• How to search with Boolean terms

• How to search in databases

• How to cite sources and avoid plagiarism?

Suggest a purchase

You are welcome to suggest additions to our collection (books, journals etc).

Remote access

Access library resources when you are not on campus.


Finally a few words on this…:

Google vs. library search engine (Oria):

  • Neither Google nor Google Scholar fetches results from our library’s search engine.
  • Google searches the web; Google Scholar indexes a wide range of scholarly literature, but the content is not organized by experts, and there is no option to search by subject area and filters are very limited; the library’s search engine/discovery tool Oria and the library’s databases we subscribe to search the library’s resources and specialized academic databases organized and maintained by subject experts. Searching by subject area is essential when writing a literature review.
  • Using the library’s search engine and the library’s databases lets you narrow findings to peer reviewed scholarly research based material and gives you full-text access to digitized material (books and articles).

That said, not saying never use Google:

Found a book that looks interesting that you want to find out more about? Google it, perhaps you find it in Amazon where you can often get a preview of the table of contents and some pages.

Published Sep. 10, 2020 3:15 PM - Last modified Aug. 31, 2022 6:06 PM