EBSCO's New Communication and Mass Media Complete (CMMC) Database
Oldenkamp, David M., Searcher
Attention communication studies librarians everywhere: There is a new kid on the block. On January 1, 2004, EBSCO Information Services, a division of EBSCO Industries, Inc., premiered two new electronic products in communication studies. These products--Communication and Mass Media Index (CMMI) and Communication and Mass Media Complete (CMMC)--add an important set of databases to EBSCO's extensive catalog of bibliographic and full-text databases. (For a full list of database offerings, visit http://www.epnet. com/.) While CMMI carries indexing and abstracts only, CMMC takes the CMMI content and adds a healthy dose of full-text coverage. Given their similarity, this review will focus on the full-text CMMC product.
It is too early to predict how the entrance of CMMC into the communication studies database market will affect its rivals, but it is clear that CMMC will have a large impact on communication studies scholars, faculty, students, and librarians. Many librarians will celebrate this introduction of a new communication studies database, while others may raise a critical eyebrow at the entrance of EBSCO into this market.
Identifying the Need: The Communication Studies Discipline
When a communication studies student approaches my reference desk, it can take a few moments before I choose a database to search. Why the delay? Well, to be perfectly blunt, the communication studies literature is all over the place. If the question relates to an aspect of the communications industry, I will often begin with a business database. If the question concerns the effects of media violence on children, I may choose to search one or more of the following: ComAbstracts, PsychInfo, Sociological Abstracts, ERIC, and even a few large aggregators, such as WilsonWeb's OmniFile and EBSCO's Academic Search Premier. In addition, there is the question of finding a single database that covers the communication science and disorders field and the more mass media-focused communication studies field. The result has been a searching strategy that relies on consulting multiple databases--a strategy that may not please impatient or inexperienced patrons.
The need for such an assortment of databases is symptomatic of the discipline. The field of communication studies is extremely interdisciplinary. The discipline's roots began in the study of rhetoric and journalism and now encompass subjects ranging from political communication to film studies to advertising to journalism to communication disorders to digital convergence and to every manner of media. The discipline has strong roots in the social sciences, but also draws heavily on the humanities and the sciences. As some have put it, there is an aspect of communication studies in every discipline. This leaves librarians with the difficult task of finding a single database that covers this wide-ranging discipline. Enter EBSCO's new Communication and Mass Media Complete database.
The Development of the CMMC Database
Recognizing the need for comprehensiveness in a communication studies database, EBSCO has made its foray into this market with CMMI and CMMC. But how did EBSCO come up with this new product? If CMMC were to be thought of as a pot of soup, there would be four key ingredients:
Ingredient #1: CommSearch
This first ingredient contains all of CommSearch's bibliographic records and the full text of the National Communication Association (NCA) journals. CommSearch was an electronic product produced by the NCA that began around 1991 and featured abstracts and indexing for 26 NCA and non-NCA journal titles. CommSearch had reached its third CD-ROM edition with six NCA titles in full-text for the publication dates 1991-1997. These NCA titles are heavyweights in communication studies. The full-text titles include Communication Monographs, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research, and The Quarterly Journal of Speech. …