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AKU-KE | Executive Masters in Media Leadership and Innovation: Databases

Virtual Access

Welcome to how to find research and study materials online in the GSMC Library.

Where to Search

Usually, you may start from a general research space.

  • Google Scholar  indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines.
    • Google Scholar searches scholarly materials like books, articles, and other documents as can be searched in a Library catalogue and research databases, which is what distinguishes it from a general Google search.
  • Do not use Google, as google searches the popular web and may not provide scholarly, peer-reviewed research level information.

The Search Strategy

  • First, be clear about the search terms you wish to use. What exactly are you looking for?
  • Very simple and general words tend to return millions of very wide-ranging results.
  • A combination of proper terms and phrases for the search tend to bring fewer, more relevant and focussed results.
  • Exact phrase searching placed within opening and closing inverted “ditto marks” returns items with the exact idea or phrase being sought.

Compare the two searches below

Google Search   Google Scholar Search
  • Use ScholarGoogle Advanced Search when you wish to combine different terms or phrases


Maximising ScholarGoogle Searches

Items not readily accessible in full text on ScholarGoogle

While ScholarGoogle may guide one to rich resources, it may however not be a comprehensive "one-stop shop" and one may not get full access to all information items they may wish.

  • Books may be available on GoogleBooks, but even there, some pages may not be available.  
  • To access articles and books in full text, and for deeper, more precise searching, more search features, and more content, use the Databases that the AKU Library's has subscribed to.

To Search Library Subscribed Databases

Access the GSMC Homepage -



Scroll down and select your chosen library (GSMC Library)


Scroll down to your preferred database/s


Accessing the Online Resources when away from campus (Virtual Private Network – VPN)

You can access library databases and e-resources when away from the campus via

Log in with your AKU username and password [nbi\augustine.gitonga] [pw: **********]


Once you log in, on this page select as highlighted: GSMC Library


Note the list of databases and select any one of your interest to search in.



List of preferred journal (GSMC) databases

African Journals Online (AJOL): abstracts and full-text of African-published journals with document delivery

EBSCO Host Research Databases - Communication Source: very comprehensive communication research resource with e-books available (premium)

Emerald Management: peer-reviewed business and management journals

Edinburgh University Press - books and journals including in the humanities and social sciences.

E-duke journals scholarly collection​ - journals including in the humanities and social sciences.

Factiva: global news database including licensed publications, influential websites, blogs, images and videos not available on the free web (premium)

​​​HeinOnline​​  - comprehensive coverage of law and public management

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) - Subject Strengths: Telecommunications, Computer Science Information Systems, Artificial Intelligence​​ among others

International Monetary Fund (IMF)​ - macroeconomics, globalization, development, trade and aid, technical assistance, demographics, emerging markets, policy advice, poverty reduction, and so much more.

JSTOR (Journal store): access to full-text journal articles and scanned pages and back issues of scholarly journals

LexisNexis® Academic: access to billions of searchable legal, news and business documents and records

McGraw-Hill eBooks has over 3000 available titles

OECD iLibrary online (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) featuring its books, papers and statistics and is the gateway to OECD's analysis and data.

OpenEdition Journals -a bundle of 175 journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences, published by university presses and small academic publishers

PressRe​ader​: distributes digital versions of over 7,000 global newspapers (premium)

Project MUSE: comprehensive coverage of humanities and social science (premium)

Proquest Ebook Central (Ebrary) - e-book provider (premium)

Sage Research Methods - Over 550 journals in the business, humanities, social sciences and STM.

Taylor & Francis Online Journals: comprehensive coverage of humanities, social sciences and applied sciences (premium)

University of Chicago Press -Subject Strengths: Economics, Education, Humanities, Law

Other Resources

  • Use government and/or organisational/institutional websites to access institutional information, including media groups webpages
    • Check for Publications tab on institutional websites for research materials published by the organisation

As much as possible, avoid ‘googling’ (using Google) and other general search engines or Wikipedia for scholarly research


How to Cite sources in your scholarly work

  • Once you identify the information resource/s
    • Open the full text and read
    • Preferably download and save it in your on your device in subject/topical folder for further reference
  • All materials you have referred to in developing your own research output must be acknowledged
    • Lack of acknowledgement is referred to as Plagiarism, which is dishonest and is ideally theft of others’ intellectual output
  • Use either proprietary citation software (purchased/subscribed to) or free open access software (one can easily download and install and even self-train using available manuals online)
    • EndNote (proprietary – subscribed at AKU)
    • Mendeley – open access
    • Zotero – open access
      • Once you use one software on a document, it is not transferable to another; stick to that for consistency
      • Prefer to install only one software on your device as installing several may conflict and not work well
    • The Word referencing is manual and cumbersome as you have to input all the details of an item
    • The Citation software are able to organise both the downloaded items as well the bibliographic details more easily, requiring less input
  • Once you have installed the appropriate Citation/Referencing software:
  • Each database including ScholarGoogle allows for downloading and uploading of citations into the referencing software
    • On ScholarGoogle, click on the ditto marks ” which opens a citation window


  • Each database has its own appearance for identifying and downloading reference citations

EBSCO Host Research Databases

EBSCO Host Research Databases including Communication Source, the premier research database offering information for scholars studying mass media, communications theory, linguistics and organisational communication.


A global news database featuring nearly 33,000 sources, including licensed publications, influential websites, blogs, images and videos. Thousands of sources not available on the free web are available on Factiva on or before the date of publication by the source. 

Project MUSE

Online access to over 430 full-text journals and read whole e-books and e-book chapters online

Proquest Ebook Central

Proquest Ebook Central authoritative and scholarly ebooks in multiple subjects from world-renowned publishers. (Software requirements: Adobe Editions to be able to download and read). Create an account, for free. Download and take out the book just like in a library situation – after the duration given (7, 14 or 21 days) the item will no longer be available on your device, unless you request again.

Taylor & Francis Online Journals

Covers over 1300 titles in the humanities, social sciences and applied sciences.




Harvard Business Publishing: a blog that seeks to influence change in the business world by extending the reach of ideas, improving strategy, and promoting learning for business professionals and leaders. Topics range from communication and leadership to talent management and workplace culture, among others.


MIT Management Executive Education: a blog by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology intended to create better leaders and inspire them to advance management practices in the workplace. Topics range from improving leaders and leadership strategy, women in business, how to maintain a work-life balance, and business innovations.

Faculty Liaison Librarian

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Augustine Gitonga
The Aga Khan University - Graduate School of Media and Communications,
P.O. Box 30270 - 00100 GPO Nbi
3rd Parklands Avenue, Nairobi
+254 719 231 530