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Search Specific Fields: 

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Use the Search Options to limit your results by Full Text availability, Peer-Review status, Date PublishedPublication TypeLanguage, and more

Refine Your Results:

Use Different Keywords

Brainstorm a few keywords based on your topic or research question - think of synonyms or alternate terms for each concept.  Use the exercise below to help you:

  1. ex. Capitalism     OR       capitalist          OR       free market       OR       economy
  2. ____________   OR   ____________   OR   ____________   OR   ____________
  3. ____________   OR   ____________   OR   ____________   OR   ____________
  4. ____________   OR   ____________   OR   ____________   OR   ____________


Use Advanced Search Operators

  • Use quotation marks around words that are part of a phrase:
    • “Broadway musicals”
  • Use AND or a plus sign to connect words that must appear in a document:
    • Ireland AND peace; Ireland +peace
  • Use NOT or a minus sign in front of words that you don’t want to appear in a document:
    • Titanic NOT movie; Titanic -movie
  • Use OR if you need only one term to appear in the document:
    • “mountain lion” OR cougar
  • Use an asterisk to find word variations:
    • child* (for child, children, children’s, childhood, etc.)
  • Use parentheses to group a search expression and combine it with another:
    • (cigarettes OR tobacco OR smoke*) AND cancer

From: Hacker, Diana. A Writer’s Reference. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. Print.


Use & Find Subject Terms

Subject terms describe the main focus or topic of an article and can be used to create searches that are more precise than with keywords alone.  The subject term a database uses to describe an item may also be different than the keywords you are using making it difficult to find relevant results.

There are two ways to search using Subject Terms in Business Source Complete:

1. Build a new search using a subject term from an article you've already found:

2. Use the thesaurus to look up subject terms.  You may find that the term you have been using may be used or spelled differently by the database.  

For example: in Business Source Complete you should use the subject term "ENTREPRENEURSHIP" instead of "ENTREPRENEUR", and "BUSINESSPEOPLE" instead of "ENTREPRENEURS" 


What are Scholarly and Peer Reviewed Articles?

Scholarly Journals - while all peer reviewed journals are scholarly, not all scholarly journals are peer reviewed.  Scholarly journals focus on research, articles generally contain heavy citation (in the form of footnotes, in-text citations, bibliographies, etc.) and are written by experts in the field.  The difference is that published articles do not go through the peer review process, they generally only require the approval of a review board.

Peer Reviewed Journals - in addition to the qualifications above, articles found in peer reviewed journals go through a rigorous review process by other scholars and experts in the field or specialty before publication.



Using Business Source Complete to find Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journal Articles

1.  Before running your search select Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals under Limit Your Results from either the Basic or Advanced search screen

2.  After running your search, use the Refine Results tools on the left hand side of the page to limit your search to only Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals