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Strategic Communication: PR and Advertising: Article / Book Databases

A resource guide for research in marketing, advertising, and public relations

Types of Research - Scholarly

Quantitative - information collected and numerically represented

  • surveys
  • questionnaires
  • experiments

Qualitative - information collected by observation & interpretive approaches

  • participant observation
  • interviews
  • focus groups

Source:  Accredited in Public Relations presentation.


Commercial Research - Research conducted by commercial companies.  Businesses purchase this research to gain a competitive edge in their market areas. 

Examples of commercial research companies:


Mintel Nielsen
Simmons Equifax
Euromonitor (Passport) Ipsos
Experian Gallup

Grey Literature

"Grey Literature are materials and research produced by organizations outside of the traditional commercial or academic publishing distribution channels."  Grey Literature includes:

  • working papers
  • government documents
  • white papers

​Producers of Grey Literature include:

  • government
  • organizations/associations
  • academic institutes/centers
  • private companies and consultants

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, April 22). Grey literature. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:19, September 9, 2018, from

Trade Publications

Trade publication/media articles - “How to do it well”, “This is how we did it” articles written by practitioners

Example Sources:

  • Advertising Age
  • Public Relations Strategist
  • Adweek

About this page

Advertising Age magazine cover image

Search the databases on this page to find scholarly and professional/trade articles on marketing, advertising, and public relations topics. Strategic Communication subjects spread over many disciplines - communication, business, government, etc.. This page lists key databases to find these articles.

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Play the Research Wheel

Articles / Books

Begin your search here:  WorldCat Discovery-a mega search tool!

Find books, articles, media, and more at Butler and beyond

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Article Databases

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Case Study Research

A case study is empirical research - based on observed and measured phenomena and deriving knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief. 

Case studies are not always defined under the same parameters. Sometimes these publications will classify themselves as a case study and clearly label themselves as such in their titles; other times, the content matches the definition of a case study but the term is not explicitly used. This can make locating these studies tricky. Don't worry - we will get you started today in class, and you can follow up with Amanda if you are still not finding what you hoped for.

Even if it's not labeled as a case study, it may still qualify.  Does it detail an actual situation involving some sort of problem? Does it include a methods section where they share the way they addressed the problem and assess their success? Look it over carefully and see if it would allow you to accomplish the assignment. Also, when in doubt, ask Dr. Ems!


BROAD SEARCH (Including books and ebooks)

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Literature Review Writing

The University of Guelph, McLaughlin Library (Ontario, Canada) has a good overview on writing a literature review.

Keeping Up-to-Date

Browse these professional journals to keep current on what what is happening in the strat comm world. 


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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