Library Research Guide
This is a brief guide to some of the resources available for research in this course, in particular for the term paper. It also includes tips on searching, evaluating, and citing sources.
The library has many current books on general and specific marketing concepts and issues. These books can provide a good starting point for your research by providing an overview of the topic, context for the issues, and clarification of key concepts.
Marketing books in the library are generally located on the 2nd floor book stacks; with call numbers starting at HF 5400... Others may be found elsewhere depending on format, (e.g. Reference books on the main floor), or with related subjects. The most efficient way to find books on your topic is to use the library catalogue, available on the library homepage.
LIBRARY CATALOGUE SEARCH TIPS:
One way to start is with a keyword search, combining different concepts with "and" to narrow the search:
e.g. kw: marketing and entertainment
Use "or" to include more than one option for the same concept:
e.g. kw: marketing and (email or e-mail) -- (NOTE: Use parentheses if combining 'and' & 'or' in same search line, or use the Advanced Search screen.)
Use the truncation symbol: "$" to get the root word and all possible endings:
e.g. kw: sport$ and marketing -- (NOTE: * is used in most article databases)
To ensure that words are together in the same order, use single quotation marks:
e.g. kw: 'corporate social responsibility' -- (NOTE: Double quotes are used in most article databases)
Once you have found a good book on your topic, click on the link to the full "Catalog Record" so you can see the subject headings applied. You can then click on the best subject heading to see more books on that subject. Searches can also be limited to the subject field by changing "words or phrase" to "subject".
Selected marketing-related subject headings:
New Products - Marketing
The library subscribes to many article databases that allow you to find articles on your topic.
Select the "A-Z List of Databases" from the library homepage to start. Then select a database by name (click on alphabetical link), or by subject area covered (Commerce) or type of article needed (e.g. News).
There are many different kinds of articles. You will have to evaluate and read critically to select the best ones for your purposes.
e.g. Journal of Marketing, Journal of Retailing, Marketing Theory, Journal of Advertising Research, etc.
The highest level academic journals are peer-reviewed. These journals publish articles only after several experts in the field have seen and approved the manuscript. Articles in these journals cover original research, or substantial original content, theory or analysis, and generally follow a standard format starting with an abstract and literature review, and ending with a list of sources cited. Other academic business journals (e.g. HBR, Journal of Advertising Research) may not follow such stringent guidelines or formats. Academic articles should generally form the core of your sources, providing research-based findings or analyses of the topic rather than opinion, anecdotes or sales pitches.
ABI/INFORM Collection and Canadian Business & Current Affairs (CBCA) (both in ProQuest Central)
- Search Tip: Enter search terms, then limit results by "Source Type": Scholarly. (Note:"Peer-reviewed" will be more restrictive.) Within a PQ database, select "Change databases" to confirm selection of dbases searched or to select others.
Business Source Premier - Search Tip: Limit to "Scholarly, (peer-reviewed) journals", or Source type: "Academic Journals"
- BSP can be searched together with other EBSCO databases if appropriate (e.g. sociology and psychology databases SocINDEX and PsycInfo). Click on "Choose databases" tab and select databases to search together.
Science Direct - Search Tip: This is a database of mostly peer-reviewed journals. Search can be limited to Business journals.
ABI/INFORM, if searched alone, provides the most powerful search options. These will help you to hone in on a few really good articles, rather than having to spend time looking through too many that are not useful. Whether you get too many articles, or too few, knowing how to use these features will allow you to finesse your search and get what you need:
NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) Code: Use to limit a search to an industry, e.g. sports promoters
Classification Code: Use these to limit by a broad topical area, management function, organizational type, etc. that may be hard to capture adequately in one subject term, e.g. Code: 7000 = Marketing
or by type of article, e.g. Code 9130 for articles based on experiment or theoretical treatment of the topic.
Thesaurus: Allows you to see subject terms (controlled vocabulary) and related terms.
Some Key Academic Marketing Journals:
e.g. Advertising Age, Chain Store Age, Adweek, etc.
These are usually published by a professional organization or industry association and are intended for its members and others who work in the field. They may include some scholarly articles but generally articles are written by practitioners; sources may not be cited, may not be based on research, but generally reflect first-hand knowledge and practice in the field.
Business Source Premier
e.g. Maclean's Magazine, Forbes, Canadian Business, Business Week, Sports Illustrated, etc.
These magazines are geared to the general public. They may be general news magazines or limited to a specialized audience based on interest in the subject matter. Articles are usually written by staff writers, tend to be brief, with a mix of reporting and opinion, written to inform and/or entertain.
Business Source Premier and CBCA
Can be from major national or regional daily papers (e.g. Globe & Mail, Moncton Times & Transcript), business newspapers (eg. Financial Times, Wall Street Journal), radio and TV news reports, newswires, blogs and other alternative news media.
Canadian Newsstream(ProQuest) Provides dozens of major Canadian dailies and smaller regional papers.
CBCA (ProQuest) Has a few newspapers and TV news transcripts.
LexisNexis (especially for U.S. and international news) Select the "Search the News" tab. You can then limit by type or select "All News".
NOTE: Mainstream media, with editing staff and trained journalists, should be providing unbiased, objective reporting, but can reflect the biases of their owners and funders. Note that these sources also generally include opinion pieces (columnists' articles, editorials, letters to the editor, unidentified article marketing pieces, etc.) Learn to distinguish opinion pieces from reporting, and read critically.
Can appear as press releases, news releases, online newsletters by companies, industries, consultants, etc. Real news may include notification of "material changes" or a significant event that can affect a public company's stock price, but for the most part, they tend to have a public relations or promotional/marketing purpose.
LexisNexis (Select "Search the News" tab: includes newswires and other similar sources)
An Internet search will find many of these kinds of sources too.
For articles about a specific company or product limit article searches using the "company name" or product field. (Most business-related databases have this: e.g. ABI/INFORM, and Business Source Premier).
GENERAL ARTICLE SEARCH TIPS:
Use "AND" to combine keywords (narrow the search) e.g. marketing AND athletes
Use "OR" to search for synonyms or variants of a term (broaden the search) e.g. walmart or wal-mart
Use " " (double quotation marks) for a phrase (2 or more words together in the same order)
Use * (truncation symbol) to get the root word and all possible endings) e.g. sport* (Exception: Lexis/Nexis uses !)
Change the search field to be more specific e.g. keywords in Abstract, rather than in full text (esp.for academic journal articles)
Use controlled vocabulary subject terms where available (see in records found or by using the thesaurus, where available).
Research Tip: Use the Reference Lists or Bibliographies in books and articles found to locate other relevant sources. (To access these, use Library QuickLinks: Library Catalogue (to search for book titles) and Journal Finder (to find the full-text journal in which the article is published, so you can access the article.)
There are many specialized reference books for marketing-related research. The latest editions of these examples are found on the main floor of the library in the Reference section (REF).
Business Rankings Annual. HG 4050 .B88 (2 vols.) REF
- provides top 10 lists of US and worldwide companies, products, services and activities compiled from a variety of published sources. Indexed by company, product name, country and industry code.
International Dictionary of Marketing. By David Yadin. HF 5415 .Y33 2002 REF
- includes terms and definitions specific to marketing. e.g. "psychological pricing".
Market Share Reporter. HF 5410 .M35 2015 REF
- annual compilations of market share data reported on companies, products and services.
Marketing Facts. By Canadian Marketing Association. HF5415.12 .C3 M37 2015 REF
- a useful compilation of Canadian statistics for marketers (e.g. top marketing trends, social media usage, etc.)
Sports Market Place Directory. HD 9992 .U52 S667 2014 REF
- provides details on the sports marketing industry.
Industry Associations. Most associations conduct research for their members and make some of it available on their websites. Find associations by references in articles, or by using a directory, e.g. Associations Canada or Canadian Almanac and Directory, both available online through the A-Z List of Databases under "CIRC" (Canada's Information Resource Centre).
Public Opinion/Consumer Survey/Polling Companies. Summaries of studies are reported in the news and business media or on polling company websites. (See e.g. COMPAS, Gallup, Ipsos, Nielsen, Numeris, Pew Research Center.)
Company and Industry Profiles. These can include detailed descriptions, top competitors, SWOT analyses, financial information, etc. Find in Business Source Premier (use "Company Profiles" tab, and Publication type: "Industry Profile"), in ProQuest Central (limit by Document type: "Company Profile" or "Industry Report"), and in LexisNexis (select 'Get Company Information', or select "Industry Analyst Reports" from the Source Directory.) Public companies' financial reports are accessible in the Canadian SEDAR and the U.S. EDGAR databases.
Government Websites. Search the websites of government bodies involved with regulating your type of business for statistics, industry financials, and research reports. (e.g. N.B. Lotteries and Gaming Corporation publishes periodic "Gambling Prevalence" studies.) Google site search can be helpful, e.g.: site:gnb.ca keyword. Major source for statistics: Statistics Canada. http://www.statcan.gc.ca Key Resources include: Census and related demographic statistics for populations by age group, income, etc. - CANSIM - for time series data, Articles and reports on surveys covering many consumer and business topics. Search by Subject and follow links, or use the site search function and limit to type of resource, or use the "Information for Researchers" tab. Sample survey topics: Internet Use, Household Spending, etc.
Look for the same information you need to cite a source to also evaluate it:
Author: If there is no author given (or authoring organization) then the source is likely not reliable to use. There should be information about who the author is (credentials, expertise, affiliation, etc.) If an author or responsible organization is not given, you should be wary of using the information.
Date: Look for the date the information was created or last updated (usually different from the web site’s date).
Article Title: Google searches can lead you to sections within documents or bits of text that are taken out of context. If there is no title, look for links back to the homepage, or back through the URL to find the document or context for the information.
Publication / Source: The source is probably the most important aspect to consider when evaluating the reliability of information. Government bodies like Statistics Canada are mandated to collect certain kinds of information and follow stringent quality guidelines. Academic and research institutions strive to present their research findings in objective and balanced ways. Some organizations such as certain research institutes may state their mandate as being research and public education, but further checking reveals funding from major corporations or a particular lobby group, which may result in biased information. Industry associations publish information on their industry, but may present only selective information to lobby on behalf of their members, or to promote their practices or products. Commercial information makes up the majority of the information on the Internet and is often not clearly identified as such. Knowing the source of the information is crucial to evaluating its use for your purposes and for using it appropriately.
Beyond these citation evaluation steps, reading the content critically is also necessary to decide whether the information is reliable and appropriate for use or not. For more details on critically evaluating content, see the MTA guide: Evaluating Web Sources.
Citing sources used is a cornerstone of academic work. It shows your audience that you are basing your work on relevant and appropriate information, and allows them to find the same sources you used, to build on or expand your work.
The library web site links to a collection of tip sheets on writing, research, and citing sources, including several for using the APA citation format required for this course.
For guides to citing sources see the "Research Help" tab on the library homepage, then select: "Cite Your Sources", then see the options under "APA" http://libraryguides.mta.ca/research_help/citation_guides/apa
Need help? Research Librarians are available to help you in the library at the Research Help Desk, by phone, chat and email at email@example.com most days, evenings, and Sunday afternoons. Hours are posted on the library website.
For assistance with research relating to Commerce assignments in particular, please contact Anita Cannon, Commerce Librarian at firstname.lastname@example.org