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Collection Development @ SJSU Library

Collection Development Policy -  Communication Studies

Last Updated: 2018

Programs Supported

Selection for this discipline is designed to support undergraduate and graduate study leading to:

  • MA in Communication Studies
  • BA  in Communication Studies
  • BA in Communication Studies in Preparation for Teaching (in cooperation with the English and Comparative Literature Department)
  • Minor in Communication Studies
  • Minor in Communication in the Information Age
  • Minor in Legal Studies

Programs include:

  • Forensics Program
  • Califia Performance Collective
  • Social Media Team

The department offers courses dealing with the nature and methods of communication. Programs leading to the undergraduate major or minor are designed for students who desire a broad cultural education in the liberal arts or for those who plan to enter vocations in which communication is essential. These include, but are not limited to: law, education, business, social work, public administration, and politics. The department also offers courses that satisfy the general education requirement in oral communication, critical thinking & writing, human behavior, human understanding & development, and culture & diversity in a globalized world.

Existing Resources

The University Library serves as the University’s main resource for Communication Studies.  Faculty and students conducting research depend upon the many different resources of the University Library, offered primarily in print and digital formats. The collection is enhanced by access to materials at other libraries through the CSU+, Interlibrary Loan, and  Link+ (which requires a public library card).


There are many areas of shared interest between Communication Studies and other academic departments. Interdisciplinary purchases are decided through consultation with the librarians for these departments: Anthropology, Business, Health, Linguistics & Language Development, Management, Nursing, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, TV-Radio-Film-Theater, and Women’s Studies. Communication among cultures is of interest to both Ethnic Studies and the Library’s Africana, Asian American, Chicano, & Native American Studies Center.

Collection Strengths

SJSU Library provides the essential resources (including books and journal/article databases) and services (such as obtaining materials from other libraries) in order to support the Communication Studies programs. A major strength of the Communication Studies Collection lies in the growing number of electronic resources to support on and off campus research. During the past few years, funds have been used to change from print to web-based resources. This reflects the demand for off-campus access for faculty and students, the need for enhanced searching capabilities, and the use of electronic resources in industry. All of these resources are tied to the curriculum and some also support faculty research.

The periodicals collection remains strong, and the print collection has been enhanced through access to full-text publications such as e-journals or databases. The primary Communication Studies Database is Communication & Mass Media. Other pertinent databases include Academic Search Complete, Education Research Complete, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts, and many others. The usage statistics of these important databases show steady and frequent use by students and faculty. All of these databases provide a solid core of communication journals dating back from the late 1800's, thus providing a strong foundation for the entire discipline. See the Communication Studies Guide page: Databases & Articles.

Evaluation of Collection

Periodicals and electronic databases: Providing access to primary research materials continues to be important at the SJSU Library. New and existing programs will be supported with essential journal titles or online databases, depending on available funding. Relevant Databases are listed on this Communication Studies Subject Guide Page: Databases & Articles

Books: The SJSU Library will continue to order books with a focus on filling in gaps and purchasing current materials of interest to students and faculty. The format preference will be multi-user eBooks, to allow access to students and faculty from anywhere and at anytime they conduct research. Information on collection use by the campus and public community will be part of future analysis, and periodic review of the Communication Studies print collection will be conducted to maintain the quality of the collection. See Senate Policy 15-10, Section 7: "Evaluation of the Print Collection."

Media: The library offers streaming media with institutional licensing. The large selection of movies, documentaries, and related classroom media can be accessed through the web pages: A-Z Databases: Streaming Video and A-Z Databases: Streaming Audio.

There is room for growth in funding for resources such as books, journals, and media, which are key resources for undergraduate students. The focus continues to be to fill in gaps and provide current essential books, e-books, additional print materials, and other pertinent resources. Students, faculty, and staff can use the following free-of-charge services to obtain materials not held by the SJSU King Library: CSU+Interlibrary Loan (ILL), and Link+. Please note that Link+ requires a San Jose Public Library (SJPL) card. Constant improvement to these services allows the library to continue to be a great resource for students and faculty 

In acquiring new materials, special emphasis will be given to the Department’s curriculum cornerstone interests: democracy, diversity, technology, and globalization. Primary areas of interest for the Department are: Intercultural Communication, Organizational Communication, Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, Rhetoric, Interpersonal & Small Group Communication, and Crisis & Conflict Resolution. An emerging area of interest is Health (and other STEM-related) Communication.