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Recommended Starting Databases: Business and Commerce

  • ABI/Inform Global ?

    Description: ABI/INFORM Global™ is one of the most comprehensive business databases on the market, offering the latest business and financial information for researchers at all levels. It includes in-depth coverage from thousands of publications, most of them in full-text. With ABI/INFORM Global, users can find out about business conditions, management techniques, business trends, management practice and theory, corporate strategy and tactics, and competitive landscape. ABI/INFORM Global includes ABI/INFORM Archive, which offers a deep backfile of many of the most important business journals of the last century.

  • ABI/Inform Trade & Industry ?

    Description: With thousands of titles, most of them in full text, ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry™ provides business professionals with critical information about companies, products, and executives as well as in-depth news and analysis of industry trends and developments. With ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry, users can study and compare specific industries such as food & drink, pharmacy, telecommunications, computing, transportation, construction, and petrochemicals.

  • Nexis Uni ?

    Description: Nexis Uni is a rich source of news, business and legal information.

  • Canadian Business & Current Affairs™ (CBCA) Complete ?

    Description: More than 4.5 million records from 1,730 titles covering current events, business, education, science, the arts, and academic information as produced in Canada. The database also includes a few Canadian legal journals that are in neither Hein Online nor Lexis-Nexis, also full-text.

  • CPA Canada Handbook

Business and Commerce: Related resources

  • Nexis Uni ?

    Description: Nexis Uni is a rich source of news, business and legal information.

  • EconLit ?

    Description: Indexes full-text articles in all fields of economics including capital markets, country studies, econometrics, economic forecasting, environmental economics, government regulations, labor economics, monetary theory, and urban economics. Produced by the American Economics Association since 1969.

  • JSTOR ?

    Description: JSTOR includes the archives of over one thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work. The entire corpus is full-text searchable, offers search term highlighting, includes high-quality images, and is interlinked by millions of citations and references. Note: Normally the journals in JSTOR are five years from current; further, all JSTOR journals are available through the "Get it @ Laurentian" link from other databases. JSTOR should NOT be used as at the first resort.

  • Academic OneFile ?

    Description: More than 14,000 titles, including more than 9,000 peer-reviewed journals and more than 6,000 in full text. Extensive coverage of the physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects since 1980.

Business web sites

Corporate Information Sources

SEDAR (the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval): This database allows users to access public company and investment fund information in the public domain for Canadian publicly traded companies.

EDGAR (the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval System): This database provides access to corporate information of American publicly traded companies. By law, these companies are required to submit financial information

Government of Canada Business Resources

Industry Canada: This Government of Canada-run website is a useful tool for basic rules and regulations of conducting business in Canada. It offers concise information on how to start your own business, do business overseas, protect intellectual property, find financing and research/development opportunities, and many other relevant topics.

Industry Canada Benchmarking Tool: Using this tool allows you to evaluate the potential profitability of an small to medium size industry or market in Canada. The benchmarking tool uses statistical data to estimate the operating costs for your new business and view financial performance averages in your industry. It also allows you to generate reports on various industries, with a thorough instruction manual.

Choosing and Defining Your Research Interests

o Select a topic that interests you and get a brief overview starting with general reference resources (encyclopedias, bibliographies, and dictionaries)

o Get a general understanding of special terminology, major concepts, prominent figures, and experts associated with your topic

o Select key words, concepts, and themes that frequently appear in your area of study

o From these selections, begin to form a thesis statement or research question

o For each of your keywords and concepts, try to think of synonyms that you could use to start searching the catalogue and databases

o Remember that online searching is often trial and error and may take some time to refine

Encyclopedias for Business Administration

Encyclopedia of Career Development: This resource compiles short articles on aspects of psychological, sociological, educational, counseling, organizational behavior, and human resource management perspectives in relation to career development. It Incorporates global, cultural, and international dimensions of careers and examines the social context of careers such as the contemporary work environment, emerging values in society, gender and ethnicity, social class, and work-family interface. It also explores the evolution of careers, including career stages, patterns, and transitions, as well as variations in the meaning of career success

The Encyclopedia of Management: Includes essays on 350 topics in management theories and applications, written by academics and business professionals who have first hand knowledge of the particular topic or essay they are contributing, and reviewed and edited by Dr. Marilyn M. Helms. Topics include aggregate planning, benchmarking, logistics, diversification strategy, non-traditional work arrangements, performance measurement, productivity measures, and supply chain management, among many others.

The Blackwell Encyclopedic Dictionary of Accounting: This resource acts as a collection of both definitions and explanations of the key concepts in accounting. It offers shorter definition entries and more complex writings on the most important issues in modern accounting.

Encyclopedia of Leadership: This award-winning encyclopedia covers all key aspects of leadership in business. Major themes include: Biographies, case studies, followers and followership, gender issues, leadership in different disciplines, leadership in different domains, leadership styles, personality characteristics, situational factors, and theories and concepts

Locating a practitioner journal

A practitioner journal primarily features content written by people who work (practice) in the field, rather than articles written by those who work in academic institutions like a university or college. To find a practitioner journal:

  1. Start at the Library home page
  2. Click Research Guides, select Business Administration from the menu
  3. Select one of the recommended databases for starting your research. In this case, try ABI/Inform Global.
  4. When you are off-campus, you will have to sign into the library proxy server using your Laurentian ID. When you sign in successfully, you will be redirected to your research destination.
  5. The ABI/Informal Global  search page has a fairly overwhelming set of options, but let's start with a simple search for "decision making". That returns over 650,000 results--way too many! And the results are at the article level, not at the journal level. But you can narrow it down easily from here.
  6. On the left-hand side, there is a column that allows you to refine your results. Under this, you can select the Source type. If Trade Journals do not appear as an option, click More 
  7. When the box listing selections appears, click Trade publications (and/or Magazines) then Apply to tell the database that you do not want results from academic journals, newspapers, books.

8. This leaves you with over 94,000 results--still a lot! But you can go further.

  • At the top of the page, under your original search term, you will see an empty text box next to AND. You can add in a new search term here, such as "management" that will restrict the results to those articles that have both "decision making" and "management" to ensure that the results are in your field of interest (and not, say, "decision making by mice in mazes"). Launching a new search for "decision making" and "management" results in over 75,000 results because you've lost the "Refine results" filter you had previously set. If that number is still too many, keep adding concepts separated by the word AND.  
  • Next, if you still have too many, limit your terms to search a specific field, title and subject being the best.

  • Add the Trade publications  filter again. Now you're down to around 65,000 results. Still a lot, but you can scan the page counts and publication titles in the first few results to see if there's a journal that might be a good match. For example "Don't be a 'naked baby on a beach.' is published in Directors & Boards, which sounds promising, but is only one page long (p25-25), so probably isn't a good fit.
  • However, you can still go further.  You will note that the articles range from 1949 to the present.  Under publicaiton date, limit yourself to the last few years and click Update.

One more thing you can do to make your life slightly easier is to  select the Limit to: Full text option to avoid having to wade through results for which we only have a citation. For real research, you want to see those citations because the library can almost always get you a copy of any article in just a few days through the RACER service, and you don't want to miss out on what might be the best article to support your research--but if this is just an assignment, you can skip that step for expedience.

Get Books

Getting Books

Our Library Catalogue is the essential tool for finding Laurentian's books or e-books. You can also use the catalogue to search for journals and government publications.

You can search the catalogue by:

  • Keyword
  • Title
  • Author/Editor
  • Series
  • Subject
  • Journal Title
  • Call number

Note: Not all e-books are catalogued in our catalogue. We encourage you to search the sources below to access more e-books in the collection 

  • Scholars Portal Ebooks (over 250,000 ebooks in multiple subject areas. Select Full Text Only to find only those ebooks with full text)
  • Ebook Central (close to 40,000 ebooks in multiple subject areas)


With nearly 200 million records representing titles held by nearly 75,000 libraries you will find almost any book ever published in the English language in WorldCat.

Why Use Books?

  • Books are extremely valuable resources when doing in-depth research on a topic! Authors have hundreds of pages to give detailed explanations and background information surrounding the various facets of your research interest.
  • Using this kind of in-depth information will make it easier to form a research question or thesis statement (or even spark your inspiration)
  • The bibliographies found in books are extensive, and will point you to other resources to add to your own resource list.
  • Remember: scholars write journal articles under the assumption that you already have a relatively thorough understanding of the topic – this means that you will likely not find the foundational information needed for your topic in the beginning stages of your research process. In this sense, books become indispensable

Style Guides

Improving Your Writing

Learning to write in academia for business is extremely important as you advance through your university career. The online resources below will assist you in developing your ideas, structuring your essay, writing critically, and improving your writing style.

Business Writing Basics

Writing at Work: A Guide to Better Writing in Administration, Business, and Management

Citation Styles

Properly citing your sources is an extremely valuable and necessary skill when completing your research. Below are a few resources to help you correctly format your bibliography in MLA style.

Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles -- MLA, APA, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions, and More

The Purdue Online Writing Lab remains a standard for students in completing bibliographies

Managing citations with Zotero

Zotero is a free, web-based citation manager that allows you to: 

  • Directly import references from article databases, the library catalogue, e-book collections, etc.
  • Manage and organize your references.
  • Create a bibliography.
  • Share your references with others
  • Add in-text citation and a bibliography directly into your assignment 

To enable Zotero's Library Lookup service to find full-text documents licensed by Laurentian University, set Edit->Preferences->Advanced->General->Resolver to

Getting started with Zotero: