Library tutorial: business programmes
What is an academic library for?
Where to start?
Scholarly (academic) publications
Google Scholar tips
Market research, statistics and data
Example 1: SWOT analysis of Tesco
Once you know what SWOT is about, you are ready to start looking for statistics, market data, news reporting and analytical reporting about Tesco using specialist electronic resources. These resources can be found on the list of Databases.
In Business Source, search for Tesco.
Change the order from Date Newest to Relevance.
On the left-hand side of the screen, limit your search results to the full text only and the publication date - to the last few years.
Specify the Source Type, e.g. SWOT Analysis and Industry Reports, and click on Apply.
The list shows now relevant reports.
TIP: When reading market reports, pay attention to the vocabulary (terminology) and use it in your research and writing.
In Mintel, type in "Tesco" in the ''I'm looking for...'' search box. In the ''Show all content types'' drop-down menu, select reports to narrow down your search.
Example 2. PESTLE analysis of the aviation industry in Canada
Once you know what PESTLE is about, you are ready to start looking for statistics, market data, news reporting and analytical reporting in specialist electronic resources. These resources can be found on the list of Databases, as follows.
In Business Source, search for "Canada" in the first search bar and "airline industry" in the second search bar.
Limit your search to the full-text results and the publication date - to the last few years.
Specify the Source Type you are looking for, for example, industry reports or SWOT analysis, and click on Apply.
The list shows all the industry reports mentioning airlines and Canada.
TIP: Reading about particular companies will help you understand the whole industry better.
Example 3. Literature review
The purpose of a literature review is to research what others have already written on your subject. Check with your lecturer if only scholarly research is allowed or if you can use other publications, e.g. trade publications (i.e. published by professionals for other professions or practitioners). When lecturers use the phrase "academic sources", they often mean good quality publications, not just scholarly publications. For the meaning of these words, please see the relevant sections above. So you need to research what others have written on your subject. What questions have they raised, what conclusions have they come to?
A good literature review provides a broad and balanced picture of the subject. Researching the literature on your topic will allow you to say that "academic literature suggests that..." and "researchers have noticed that...".All your conclusions will be about what others have already researched, discussed and agreed on (disagreed about); not your own discoveries.
Explore now the Effective search guide, in particular - the Define search terms section. It suggests that you should not limit yourself to searching for words in the title of your assignment, essay or dissertation.
Google Scholar is an obvious search tool to use for this assignment. It searches for scholarly publications accessible via University subscriptions, as well as trade publications.
There is a particular type of research called systematic review: researchers review other researchers' findings over a period of time to identify the main themes and points of consensus or disagreement. Adding the word review or the phrase systematic review to your search terms will help you discover such research (if it has been conducted). Obviously, do not limit yourself to systematic reviews.
As you read some of these publications, pay attention to the vocabulary used. If any of those terms are likely to help you with developing your research, use them as search terms.
Pay attention to the Cited by link in Google Scholar: the most cited (i.e. used by other researchers) publications are likely to be the most important, most trusted pieces of research.
Trade publications are helpful to uncover how particular ideas or research are applied in professional practice.