Library course for Master students in Political Communication

This course is tailored to students in MEVIT/JOUR 4000 and aims to support the students in formulating a research question through literature searches; conducting literature searches to cover the research done on a topic; assessing sources; and managing sources. 

University of Oslo Library with the HumSam Library in focus

University of Oslo Library with the HumSam Library in focus

Video tour of the library


Booking a colloquium room or study space at the library in the TP-system.

Course program

Searching for literature

Are you struggling to formulate a research question? Literature searches can help your ideas get going. Once you have more of a sense for a topic, doing literature searches about this topic can help you sharpen your research question, which in turn can make your research through literature searches more productive.

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.

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

Assignment: literature searches

First we'll do a mentimeter poll to gather some ideas before your practical literature search assignment. If you're still blank, I would like you to imagine that you have this assignment:

Case: write an essay about how politics has affected the media coverage of various pandemics and especially covid-19. Search for and find 5 relevant references of research literature to get your bibliography started (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 in your favorites, and thus can keep better keep track of your research. Also copy the references one by one and paste them into a Word document, and you will have the start of a bibliography for the assignment. Choose Harvard, APA 6th or Chicago Author Year as your reference style. Remember to sort alphabetically. And remember to spell out your case as a heading to your bibliography. 

Deliver the finished bibliography in Canvas at the end of the session. Submission of a bibliography is a prerequisite for approval of participation on this day.

Assessing the literature

The discovery tool Oria and academic databases have functionalities that will help you assess the quality and academic soundness of the literature. But a lot is also left to you to figure out. In this section we go through some of the most important things to keep in mind while assessing the literature.

Assignment: assessing the literature

In this part of the course, you will work in groups assessing sources on a reference list. You will find much helpful literature on assessing sources at the site of Search & Write. This assignment will be available in padlet.

Get more help:

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

Course feedback:

We are here to help and eager to learn how we best can do that for you. We conclude the course with an anonymous poll with some questions about the course. Also, feel free to e-mail me your feedback.  

Want a repeat of the course? View it here in my YouTube-channel.

Publisert 25. aug. 2020 18:47 - Sist endret 17. aug. 2022 09:38