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BUS160W: Library Resources and Search Strategies

library instruction to students of BUS160W.

Library Resources and Search Tools

-- BUS 160W Resources Center

-- QC & CUNY Library search tools

-- Useful accounts for research

-- World-wide Resources

Recommended Databases & E-book Collections

Search Strategies & Tips

Here are some strategies and tips to find peer reviewed scholarly journal articles using Database "Business Source Complete", you can use similar tips to find other resources.

  • "Limit your results"

       Most of databases have similar interfaces which generally contain such components as one search box for "Basic Search" vs. multiple search boxes for "Advanced Search," "Limit your results" and other features. Properly limiting your results can help you find relevant results more effectively and efficiently. For example, to find peer reviewed journal articles published in recent 5 years, you can make the following options: (1) Scholarly (Peer Reviewed), 2. Publication Date (2015- 2020), Publication Type (Journal), Doc Type (Article), and Language (English).


  • Query 

           - Initial keyword search - general search vs. specific search
           - Iterate your search – broadening vs. narrowing down

  • Browsing 

            - Browsing titles/abstracts/Subjects – take notes
              * Subject Terms under the title/abstract of an article interested
              * Subject (filter)
              * Subject: Thesaurus Term
                - Filter results
                -  More relevant articles 
              * “Cited References” 
              * “Times Cited in this Databases” 

  • More Tips

           - Phrase searching – use quotation marks
             e.g., “captains of industry” or “United States”
           - Boolean – AND, OR, NOT


  1. Searching "Thesaurus" is a good start if you want to investigate your topic to gather more information.
  2. Performing a general key term searching is also a good start 
  3. Use "AND" to combine search terms if you want to narrow down to get more specific or fewer results; Use "OR" for more results; Use "NOT" to exclude certain results.
  4. Use quotation marks to have your terms shown up tied together as a word or a phrase
  5. Use the default setting of the option as you will have a lot of ways to filter your results later.

More examples (i.e., searching Mergent Online database to find company profiles)