Where Can I Find Information on My Topic?
Journalism Library/Database Instruction
Types of Sources
- Local – Columbia/Boone County sources
- State – State of Missouri sources
- National Sources
Columbia/Boone County — Local Online Information Sources
Below is a brief listing of resources found on the library and newsroom web pages. Take some time to explore these sites!
- Columbia Missourian Archives in MerlinOne (Feb. 2002 – present)
Username: merlin Password: missourian#1
- Columbia Daily Tribune – Archives from 1993 to present
- Missouri Historical Newspapers
- includes the full-text of the Columbia Missourian for the years 1929 and 1966-1985.
- Missourian Guide to Columbia and Boone County
- Missourian Newspaper Library Online
- This web page contains beat information, a “sources” database, links to local government, and current issues of the KC Star and St. Louis Post Dispatch
- To find personal property taxes or real estate values for Columbia or Boone County
- To find address and relatives of people
- To find your voting place in Columbia or Boone County
- To find business property (you will need to register for a username & password) for Columbia and Boone County.
- J-2100 Library Web Page – contains numerous links to local information
- Freedom of Information Center
- Here you will find FoI’s online document, ACCESS, which contains complete information on local government for Boone County and Columbia. This includes contact people, addresses, phone numbers, etc. It also gives information on what records are retained by which agencies, and who has the right to see those records.
Local Information Sources not online, found at the Missourian Newspaper Library
- City of Columbia Directory
- City of Columbia Ordinances
- City of Columbia Budget
- Boone County Budget
MISSOURI - Where to Find State Iinformation
- This database contains full-text articles from 3 Missouri newspapers:
- Kansas City Star, The (1991-Current)
- News-Leader (Springfield, MO) (1999-Current)
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1988-Current)
- Lexis/Nexis Academic Universe
- Missouri Sources: (click on “Guided Search” U.S. News top box and Missouri for the state.)
- Associated Press State & Local Wire, The- (August 4, 1998 through current)
- Kansas City Daily Record (Kansas City, MO) – (March 8, 2002 through current)
- Pitch Weekly (Kansas City KS & Kansas City MO) - (July 2001 through current)
- Riverfront Times (St. Louis, Missouri) - November 25, 1998 through current
- St. Charles County Business Record (St. Charles, MO) - March 16, 2001 through current
- St. Louis Daily Record/St. Louis Countian (St. Louis, MO) - January 1, 1989 through current
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch- January 1, 1989 through current
Missouri Government Sites
- Missouri Government Page – http://www.state.mo.us/
- Web Resources to other State Government pages – http://library.missouri.edu/journalism/j105/
- Official Manual of the State of Missouri – http://www.sos.state.mo.us/BlueBook/
- Missouri Roster – http://sos.mo.gov/MOroster/
- Missouri Revised Statutes – http://www.moga.state.mo.us/statutesearch/
Where to find useful government and statistical information
- U.S. Government Manual – http://www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual
- Washington Information Directory –latest volume in Ellis Ready Ref.
- Federal Regulatory Directory – latest volume Ellis Ready Ref.
- Statistical Abstract of the U.S. – latest edition JOUR Ready Refhttp://www.census.gov/statab/www/
- CQ Public Affairs Collection – http://library.cqpress.com/cqpac
Databases available through the MU Libraries
- MU students have access to a wide array of databases available through the MU Libraries.
- Searching these databases and electronic journals is a good place to begin when back grounding your stories.
- While you must be very careful of information taken from the World Wide Web, these databases are reliable sources of information.
Ellis Library web page – http://library.missouri.edu/
Journalism Library web page – http://library.missouri.edu/journalism/databases/ .
- The Journalism Library web page separately lists the databases most often used by journalism students.
Some databases that are particularly useful for journalism include:
- Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost). If you select the “Choose database” tab at the top, you can then retrieve a list of the titles indexed in each. Good place for finding information on current events.
- Alternative Press Index – indexes over 250 alternative, radical and left periodicals, newspapers and magazines. Coverage is international and interdisciplinary.
- Factiva provides access to current issues and an archive of over 8,000 publications from around the globe. It includes the Wall Street Journal, web news, news transcripts and photos.
- Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe. Choose the Guided Search” tab on top and then choose General News for Major Papers, or U.S. News for region-specific newspapers. Other categories you may search in Lexis-Nexis are: Business, Legal news and cases, Medical and Reference. In Lexis-Nexis you may use the w/n connector, which allows you to find words within a certain number of words of each other, which allows you to refine your search.
- NewsBank – Indexes the Kansas City Star and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as well as news articles about regional and state events and issues, including full-text coverage of the Star from 1991 and the Post-Dispatch from 1989 to date.
- Newspaper Source provides selected full-text for nearly 30 national and international newspapers.Also contains full-text television and radio news transcripts, and selected full-text for more than 200 regional (U.S.) newspapers.
- PressDisplay. Over 200 newspapers from more than 50 countries in original format, layout and pagination.Only available in the J-School buildings.
For historical background information:
- Select Proquest
- Click on databases selected at the top.
- Proquest has the digitized version of the New York Times from 1851-2001 and the Wall Street Journal from 1889-1987.
- The Columbia Missourian is also digitized for the years 1929, and 1966-1985 here: http://newspapers.umsystem.edu/Archive/skins/missouri/navigator.asp? This site also has some other digitized historical Missouri newspapers.
Tips on Searching Online Resources
Boolean Connectors. All databases and search engines use Boolean Logic.
•The OR connector tells the computer to retrieve items with either term
(internet or web) – use parenthesis when using the OR connector
•The AND connector tells the computer to retrieve items with both terms
media and censorship
Truncation is used in all databases to search singular and plural versions of a word as well as a word stem. Common truncation symbols are:
* ? $
- Check each database for the truncation symbol used.
- For Example: If you were searching for articles on censorship in the media you could type
Censor* retrieves articles on censorship, censoring, censors, censored.
- Don’t truncate fewer than 3 letters or you will get a lot of unnecessary and irrelevent articles.
- For example using ad* will retrieve articles containing the words advertise, adjunct, addict, adhoc, etc.
- To search for articles on ads in the media or advertising in the media you would need to type in (ad or ads or advertis*) and media.
NOTE: Please be aware that just because you don’t find something doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t there!! We often hear the statement: “It’s not in ….(insert database name).” Maybe you are using search terms that are not mentioned in the article. Think of different terms that might be used, and try synonyms. Try more generic search words. If you’re searching using someone’s name, try removing the first name or use a different variation, i.e. Fred or Frederick or Fredrick. And please don’t hesitate to ask a librarian for help! That’s why we are here.
Databases Useful for Finding Information on Current Events, Statistics, Government
- EBSCO ( Academic Search Premier ) - Current news and general interest articles
- Lexis/Nexis Congressional – U.S. Congress bills, documents, votes, etc.
- Lexis/Nexis Statistical – U.S.Statistics.
Web Pages to remember – Selected good, reliable sources.
- Columbia Missourian Archives – MerlinOne Feb. 2002 present
- Missourian Newspaper Library’s Web page
- Journalism Library’s J-webpage
- Journalism Library handout – Sources for Reporters
- Missourian Newsroom Web Resources
- Freedom of Information Center’s Web page -
- Case.net http://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet or through the Missouri Judiciary home page http://www.courts.mo.gov and click on the Case.net link. Missouri’s judicial case information portal.
Access is limited to cases filed in Missouri that have been deemed public information.
- OSEDA Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis – http://www.oseda.missouri.edu/. Demographic, social and economic information for Missouri localities and thematic maps.
- Missouri vital records:http://www.vitalrec.com/mo.html
- Missouri Census Data Center – http://mcdc.missouri.edu/
- OSEDA – Office of Social and Economic Analysis
Tips on How to Evaluate Information Found on the Web
Use this web site to find out how to be a better search engine user. Learn search engine math, or use search engine tutorials to learn how search engines work, etc.
Other Ways to Evaluate Web Sites:
- Currency – When was the website last updated?
- Authority – Who is the author or creator of the information?
- Affiliation – who produced the site? – A Government agency, educational institution or commercial entity?
- Validity/Accuracy – Is the information on the website accurate, reliable?
- Audience – What is the purpose of the website?
- This database contains full-text articles from 3 Missouri newspapers: