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Business Communications: The Process

Step by Step: The Process

Step 1. Identify the topic of your project.

Once you identify the topic, do some brainstorming.  Think of synonyms for the terms you are using.  This will come in handy when you are searching for information.

Example, if searching for marketing, remember to keep terms like promotions, publicity, public relations, and image management in mind when you search.

 

Step 2. Search for articles and books in OneSearch, using the terms you've identified.

OneSearch is not something I recommend to most business students.  But if you are looking for articles and books on a topic, this can be a wonderful tool to start your research.  You can find articles from magazines, trade publications, and academic journals; you can also find books and news articles.  Remember to look to the left to find ways to limit your results--including by date or peer review. 

Example, I searched for social media marketing.  I found over 24,000 results!  I can limit the results to the last 5 years and limit my results to all formats available in the library collection; now I'm down to a little more than 11,000.  From here, I can decide whether I want to limit by source type or try a more specific database.

OneSearch can be reach from our library homepage: http://library.uno.edu.

 

Step 3a. Search for articles in Business Source Complete, using the terms you've identified.

Business Source Complete is the best place to get started.  You can find articles from magazines, trade publications, and academic journals; you can also find SWOT analyses and industry profiles here.  This is a database you'll be using a lot.  Remember to look to the left to find ways to limit your results--including by date or peer review.

Example, I searched for marketing and social media.  I found over 13,000 results!  I can limit the results to the last 5 years and limit my results to peer reviewed articles; now I'm down to a little less than 2,000.  From here, I can try to find an article that really appeals to me and see what subject terms are used in it.

Step 3b. Search for articles in Human Resources Abstracts, using the terms you've identified (depending on your topic).

Human Resources Abstracts is a lot like Business Source Complete, but focused on topics essential to the field of human resources.  You can find articles from magazines, trade publications, and academic journals; you can also find SWOT analyses and industry profiles here.  This is a database you'll be using a lot.  Remember to look to the left to find ways to limit your results--including by date or peer review.

Example, I searched for marketing and social media.  I found almost 150 results!  I can limit the results to the last 5 years and limit my results to scholarly (peer reviewed) articles; now I'm down to less than 5.  From here, I can try to find an article that really appeals to me and see what subject terms are used in it.

Step 4. Search for articles in JSTOR, using the terms you've identified.

Search for the terms that you've identified.  You can then limit your results by searching within the results or by clicking the tabs at the top.  You can use the advanced search feature to narrow your results by item type or date range.

Example, I searched for social media marketing.  I found over 34,000 results!  I clicked on the Journals tab, which brought me down to over 1,300 results.  From here, I can try to find an article that really appeals to me and fits my project.

Step 5. Search for articles in Social Science Citation Index, using the terms you've identified.

Social Science Citation Index is a bit of a heavy hitter, but it's still good to know about. Here, you can find many academic articles on a topic, but you'll probably have to ILL them.  We'll get into ILL a little later.  Remember to look to the left to find ways to limit your results--including by date or peer review.

Example, I searched for social media marketing.  I found over 1,000 results!  I can limit the results to the last 5 years and limit my results by research area.  Remember to click more options/values to see the full list of options when you refine your search.

Step 6. Search for articles in Google Scholar, using the terms you've identified.

Google Scholar is like Google's smarter, older sibling.  You can find a lot of articles here, but only some will be full-text.  Again, you'll need to ILL other results.  Remember to look to the left to limit your results by date.

Example, I searched for social media marketing.  I found over 2 million results!  I can limit the results to the last 5 years, bringing be down to over 400,000 results!  Links to the right will let you know if you can access the full text of the articles.

Step 7. InterLibrary Loan (ILL) any articles or books that fit the topic but are not owned by the library.

Interlibrary loan is a great program where you request books or articles that the library does not own, and we (the Library) borrow those items from other libraries across the country.  As a student, you get free access to this service.  Just go to this site: http://library.uno.edu/libservices/interlibrary.cfm, and click on First Time Users to sign up.  You can also access the link by going to the library homepage and hover over the Services tab and then clicking on Interlibrary Loan.