UCB Libraries

ATLS 4519: Western Fires

  • Research Process

  • Media
  • Audiences


Search Strategy


A little planning at the beginning of your research process will save time. Consider these questions as you begin your research.


  • What types of information will you need?
  • What might that information look like? Audience demographics? Consumption trends?
  • Who might keep track of that information? The Census Bureau? Trade groups? Your target outlet?
  • Is the information likely to be freely available or hidden behind a paywall? Is it something a company might not want their competitors to see?


For information on choosing the right keywords and using them effectively, see this guide.



Using the Library

If you do your research away from campus, you may wish to connect through the VPN. The VPN software makes it appear as though you are accessing the Library's subscription resources from on campus, thus reducing the need to log in to each subscription database.

NOTE: Some of our databases require a VPN connection. Those databases are identified with this icon: VPN Only Icon

Problems with the VPN software should be referred to OIT, the Office of Information Technology. Walk-in computer support hours and locations are here.


In addition to books and periodicals in print, CU provides access to a huge number of subscription websites, article databases, and ebooks. Finding these resources can be tricky. If you need a refresher on how to find books, journals, articles, or data owned by the Library, see the "How do I...?" pages.


Research Help

Have questions about using the library or library databases? Feel free to ask me. I'm available for consultation via email or in person by appointment.

Natalia Tingle


(303) 492-3034; Koelbel 200E

Office Hours: Mondays 3-5 or by appointment.





SRDS NOTE: SRDS only works with Internet Explorer

SRDS is a directory of consumer and business publications, newspapers, local media, newspapers, and websites. The database provides contact info, circulation, and general audience demographics.


Use SRDS to quickly identify publications or outlets by consumer classification (e.g., affluent, ethnic, mature market) and topics (e.g., nature & ecology, entertainment, farming). Identify all local media outlets by DMA (designated market area).


This database is geared toward advertisers, so only publications and websites which sell advertising space are included.


SRDS has excellent tutorial videos here.


Pew Research Journalism Project

Pew Research Journalism Project

This project "publishes research on who is reporting the news and what new players are emerging; what is being reported on and what gaps in coverage exist; how news is consumed and how the economic models for news are changing."


This is an excellent source for data and analysis. See especially the "State of the News Media" annual report.




Nielsen Audio

"As the definitive source for comprehensive radio metrics and insights, Nielsen Audio has the beat on this dynamic and evolving industry."

See especially Reports (e.g., Public Radio Today 2013) and Reference Library.



Alliance for Audited Media provides some data about trends in readership for some consumer magazines, newspapers, and business publications.




SRDS - Market Segmentation

SRDS NOTE: SRDS only works with Internet Explorer

SRDS Online provides access to the Local Market Audience Analyst reports, including Market Profile Reports, Lifestyle Analysis Reports, Demographics Reports, and PRIZM Reports.


See a list of the PRIZM Social and Lifestage Groups here and find out how to read a PRIZM Target Group Concentration Report here.


Search 210 DMAs (Designated Market Areas) for the cities with the highest concentration of your target market. This video explains how.


Getting the type of data you want is a little tricky. Use these videos and gudies to find what you need.


From the SRDS homepage, choose Local Market Audiences:


Screenshot of Local Market Audience Analyst link


This is what the LMAA interface looks like:


Local Market Audience Analyst interface




Simmons VPN icon


For an excellent overview of searching for and interpreting Simmons data, see these videos created by Jill Markgraf, Head of Research and Instruction at the McIntyre Library - University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.

The first video explains how to find data about product use in specified demographic groups.


For this class, you might want to replace the target product with a behavior. Some to consider are recycling and belonging to an environmental organization.


Linked from: www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6UGzwoyoGU.


The second video explains how to interpret the data.
Linked from: www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3Kl54PJ-m4.




Google Trends

Use Google Trends to examine brand or product searches over time. Also, see what part of the country is searching most for a topic.



Power Searching with Google Quick Reference

Some useful examples are:

  • (brand) strategy filetype:ppt
  • (location) population site:gov