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Business & Management: Research Tips for Business

business graphic

You may be assigned a research project in one of your Business classes, and the library has many resources to help you choose a topic and find supporting evidence. As you begin, consider that research in this subject area will require persistence and creativity. Proprietary information is not always available online (i.e. business models, organizational charts, supply chains, production costs). You will need to find related and relevant information to make inferences about your topic.

This guide will cover how to search the library databases, trade publications, and company or government websites.

Form a Search Strategy

The library's Business databases contain scholarly articles, e-books, newspaper articles, business reports, and even film clips. Determine what type of information you are looking for to get started. Below is just a sampling of the resources you may use.

Company Profiles & Investment Research

Demographics & Statistical Data

Research in Organizational Culture or Management

Refine Your Search Skills

You may need to extend your search to the internet or use the library's OneSearch if you don't find what you are looking for in the databases above. 

Try searching for exact phrases by using quotation marks around two or more words that belong together (i.e.: "organizational leadership skills").

Revise your search terms:

  • What are similar (synonym) words that describe what you are looking for?
  • Try several searches using different combinations of these synonyms.
  • Are you looking too narrowlyTry searching on a broader industry category such as those used for NAICS Codes from the US Census Bureau.
  • What is a similar company, product, or marketing strategy on which you can find information? Use what you find for leads to other resources or to make inferences.

Using library databases or OneSearch: 

  • Use an asterisk "*" to search for all alternate endings of a word (supported by most databases) e.g. manag* (will return management, manager, managed, etc)
  • Use the filter features in your search results list (try limiting to just "Trade Publications" or to certain years)
  • Search by NAICS Code

Using Google search engine: 

  • Target your search by type of website for more credible results (i.e.: site:gov AND export -- gives results for "export" from only US government websites)
  • Use the Advanced Search or Tools to narrow down your results by time period.