This page provides a list of resources you can use to start your research, as well as strategies you can use to improve your searches. But before you start conducting business research, you should know that researchers who have a good understanding of the business information environment will have a more pleasant and effective research experience.
In business research, it is important that researchers understand the inherent characteristics of information sources and content, as well as their relative availability. Sources and content in the business information environment can be:
Once you have a topic in mind and have an idea of the type of sources that will help you answer your questions, you can begin your search. But where should you start your search? You'll want to think about where you're most likely to find the information you need. The following video explains the difference between what you can find with Google and what you can find in the libraries' research databases.
Ultimately, you'll probably want to use a combination of sources including Google, company and government websites, and the libraries' research databases. The following databases are a good place to start to find journal articles, newspaper articles, trade publications, magazines, SWOT reports, company profiles, and other electronic resources:
You might be used to using natural language searching when you use Google, meaning you use everyday terminology and perhaps even complete sentences to find what you need. However, you'll notice that same strategy is not as effective in the libraries' databases. Instead, you'll need to spend some time identifying the keywords from your research topic or question and using those as a starting point for developing effective search terms. The following video goes into more detail on what this process can look like:
If you want to learn more about developing search terms and other search strategies that will help you find the information you need, you can complete the Search Terms and Strategies online lesson, or use the worksheet to guide your process.