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Business Web Research Basics Resource Guide: Find Journal / Magazine Articles on Your Topic

Sample search in the database BUSINESS SOURCE COMPLETE

By leaving the search form at "Select a Field (optional)," the search engine will automatically search for the terms in all the higher weighted fields, i.e. Author, Title (of the article), assigned Subject Terms, the article's Abstract (summary), and the Publication title.

Note: Unless the user specifically chooses "TX All Text," the Business Source Complete search engine does NOT search through every single word of every single full text article in the database.

Note: Generally speaking, Business Source Complete will interpret two words typed adjacent to each other as a phrase, as in the example here: driverless cars. See the EBSCO help screens for a lengthy description of how search terms are handled.

Search Results in Business Source Complete

The list of results automatically defaults to a sort by relevancy. Depending on the topic, it can be useful to sort the results by date descending, so that the most recent results are on top. Note: the first article in this list, sorted by relevancy, is from December 5, 2011. When the results were re-sorted by date descending, the first article is one dated on April 16, 2012.

Use SUBJECT TERMS to Gather Similar Articles:

All of the articles in the database are assigned SUBJECT TERMS, a.k.a. descriptors, or DE. Clicking on the subject term Automobile industry generates a brand new search, gathering all the articles which share that particular subject.

In addition to subject terms, this article also indexes company names and NAICS codes, which can be used in a similar manner to the subject terms.

The Subject Heading Generates a Brand New Search:

In this example, the search on the subject heading Automobile Industry generated over 95,000 results.

One way to reduce the number of results is to limit by certain criteria such as:
  • Availability: the full text is available in Business Source Complete.
  • Level of scholarship: Scholarly / peer reviewed designates the highest level of scholarship; an article will not be published in a peer reviewed journal unless it has been approved by other scholars in that field.
  • Date of publication.
However, none of the above will narrow down the topic.

To narrow the search by refining the topic, additional terms must be added. In the illustration below, the term sensors has been added to find more articles on one aspect of the technology behind driverless cars.

The term sensors is added to the search by using the AND, which performs the function of requiring that both sets of terms, the subject descriptor Automobile Industry and the keyword sensors, appear within each result.

The AND is a Boolean connector. See this one page PDF for an overview of Boolean searching.

Use of Limiters and SOURCE TYPES to Narrow and Refine Searches

As noted above, users may limit their results to only those articles which have been published in scholarly or peer reviewed journals.

There is a separate Library Guide which outlines the concept of scholarly / peer reviewed journals.
In Business Source Complete, searches which generate a large number of results can be narrowed down by use of Source Type limiters. If Show more is displayed, then there are more source types available amongst the results of that search.
This being a business journal database, some of the source types relate to business topics, such as industry profiles, market research reports, and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analyses.
In addition to the source types, other limiters include subject headings, name of the publication, company name, geographic location, and NAICS industry codes.

EBSCO's Business Source Complete