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Information Literacy Pathways for CAS: Pathways: MC Public Relations

This research guide outlines the instructional support provided by UAB librarians regarding a variety of subject areas.


The Mass Communication concentration allows students to specialize in journalism, broadcasting, or public relations. Minors are available in Mass Communication. A Minor is required for a degree in Mass Communication. Students in broadcasting prepare for professional careers in digital media, television production, news operations, or management. In addition to skills courses, students are given a strong theoretical foundation designed for both the media professional and the potential graduate student in mass communication.

Library Instruction

The UAB Library Research & Instruction program is committed to providing the following support to the Department of Public Relations:

  • Library Instruction is available to any instructor that has an identifiable need for research support in his or her communication course.
  • Research consultations are available to all Communication students by request.


Before, during or after students’ library instruction, the librarian will distribute a pre-assessment to determine how well students have retained the objectives from the previous library instruction.

Spot the Troll

The quiz where you examine images of real social media content and decide whether it's from a legitimate account or an internet troll.

At the end of each semester the Mass Communications Librarian will distribute a survey to every participating faculty member to determine faculty perceptions of student research skills.

Information Skills Pathway: Public Relations

Level One

Library instruction session for Public Relations students during their freshman/sophomore year. 

Level Two

Library instruction session for Public Relations students during their junior year. 

  • Learning Outcomes
    • Identify databases most relevant to research
    • Evaluating resources  

Level Three

Library instruction session for Public Relations students during their senior year. 

  • Learning Outcomes
    • Demonstrate ethical behaviors in public relations
      • Identify the differences between copyright, fair use and open-source resources
    • Identifying reliable sources

Learning Outcomes

Students who have met the level of research competence expected of the Department Public Relations will be able to:

  1. Identify specific information needs.
  2. Identify how to narrow or broaden their topic.
  3. Identify potential keywords pertaining to their research questions.
  4. Recognize reliable and non-reliable resources 
  5. Summarize pitfalls and opportunities with search engines
  6. Navigate subject-specific databases that support the Public Relations Department.
  7. Demonstrate ethical reporting and research gathering.

These learning outcomes represent only the minimum expectations of research skills for Public Relations majors and do not supplant any expectations made by Public Relations faculty. Instructors are encouraged to develop more specific outcomes as necessary.

Communication Liaison Librarian

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