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Commerce Subject Guide: COMM 3401: Research Methods in Business

A guide to key databases, reference & web sources, and research & citation guides for Commerce.

Commerce 3401: Research Methods in Business

Business Topics and Research Methodologies:

The library has books on business issues and the research methods most frequently used in business and the social sciences. Search Novanet using relevant keywords (e.g. research methodology, focus groups, interviewing, etc.). E.g.


Reference books provide concise definitions, explanations, examples, related issues, recommended uses for methodologies, etc. For example:

Finding Articles

Find articles by searching the library's subscription article databases listed in the "A-Z List of Databases."

Recommended databases for academic research on business and related topics: 

ABI/INFORM, Canadian Business & Current Affairs (CBCA) and Business Source Complete(Note: These databases include non-academic sources as well, e.g. newspapers, magazines, etc. Searches can be limited to "scholarly", "academic", or "peer-reviewed".)

Other databases that may include research articles on your topic: PsycINFO, PsycArticles, ScienceDirect, Sage, Taylor & FrancisSocINDEX.  Some of these databases can be searched together. (Within a ProQuest or EBSCO database, you can select multiple databases to search by clicking on the "Databases" or "Choose Databases" tab.)



Use Boolean operators to focus searches:

Use "AND" to combine keywords (narrow the search) e.g. employees and benefits

Use "OR" to search for synonyms or variants of a term (broaden the search) e.g. stocks or shares

Use parentheses when using 2 or more Boolean operators, e.g. employees and (stocks or shares)

Use " " (quotation marks) for a phrase (2 or more words together in the same order) e.g. "stock options"

Use * (truncation symbol) to get the root word and all possible endings e.g. "organizational behavi*"

Use ? (wildcard symbol) to replace a character within a word that can vary e.g. organi?ational

Change the search field to be more specific e.g. keywords in Abstract rather than in full text, or use the Company Name field

Use subject terms where available (see in records found or by using the database thesaurus) to find articles specifically about the topic, and to search for concepts that have many keyword variants

Select methodology where possible: e.g. in PsycINFO: "empirical research". In ABI/INFORM: classification code 9130 for "experimental & theoretical treatment"

Use other limiters where relevant (e.g. NAICS code for type of industry (in BSC & ABI, or classification code for broad topic areas (ABI & PsycINFO)

Consider sorting results by date to see the most recent articles first.

Limit a search to only scholarly or peer-reviewed journal articles where available.

Take note of other relevant search terms found while searching and modify searches as needed.

No direct link to a PDF or HTML article? Click the "Find @ MTA" link to request the article by interlibrary loan.


Need help? Contact your Commerce Librarian, Laura Landon, or visit the Research Help Desk

Article Critique Assignment

The following resources will help you find and evaluate top quality vs. poorer quality journals for your article-critique assignment.


More information: See ABDC Journal Quality List