Business: Research Guides to Pathfinders

Each of the sub-disciplines within business have their own approach to research. As such, the subject guides and other research materials will each be slightly different depending on the area of emphasis.

Many libraries provide services to help business information users address their questions.


Read Ross, Celia (2013). The business reference question. In C. Ross, Making Sense of Business Reference: A Guide for Librarians and Research Professionals. ALA Editions.

Approaches to Inquiry and Research

Each discipline has its own approach to inquiry and research. According to Wilson (2014, 5),

“the purpose of business research is to gather information in order to aid business-related decision-making. Business research is defined as ‘the systematic and objective process of collecting, recording, analyzing and interpreting data for aid in solving managerial problems’”.

Many books have been published on approaches to business research.

try itTry It!
Browse a few of the following book previews focusing on business research. Compare their approaches. Think about how these approaches relate to the information inquiry models you've used.
• Beech, John (2014). Doing Your Business Research Project. SAGE. Google Preview Available: https://books.google.com/books?id=7dXSAwAAQBAJ
• Gil, Esther L. & Reyes, Awilda (2012). International Business Research. Scarecrow Press. Google Preview Available: https://books.google.com/books?id=7YC0AQAAQBAJ
• Lee, Nick & Lings, Ian (2008). Doing Business Research. SAGE. Google Preview Available: https://books.google.com/books?id=xpbrxYU_MlIC
• Wilson, Johnathan (2014). Essentials of Business Research: A Guide to Doing Your Research Project. SAGE. Google Preview Available: https://books.google.com/books?id=swbKAgAAQBAJ

Business research often involves digging into information about business and industry that is freely available on the Internet. However, the tough part is finding the precise information required.

Read Siciliano, Mark (2014). Beyond the basics of executive compensation: researching what corporate executives are really worth. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 19(4), 306-318.

Designing effective business information guides involves more than just making lists of resources.

Read Constantinou, Constantia (2014). Global business and transportation: online research for graduate students in international transportation management. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 19(1), 61-71.

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

As you can see, working with business information seekers is a balancing act. Librarians must understand a user's need for independence and the opportunity for exploration. At the same time, they must also help the business explorer by facilitating access to useful information sources.

It's important that librarians do their own research to discover and understand the needs of information seekers in business. This research goes beyond counting citations and logging questions.

Subject Guides by Discipline

One of the best starting points for subject guides is the BRASS (Business Reference and Services Section of RUSA.

try itTry It!
Go to the BRASS LibGuides.
Explore a few of the libguides for business topics.

The resources below are organized by discipline. In some cases, books are recommended that include lists of information sources. Explore some of the following subject guides from LibGuides. These aren't the best or the worst. Instead, they're representative of recent guides. To do your own search, go to http://libguides.com/community.php



Read Coman, Edwin T. (2009). Business literature. Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, 3rd Edition. Taylor and Francis.

Accounting and Taxation

Business Education

Business Ethics

Business Law

Career and Job Searching

Company and Industry Information



Industrial Relations & Human Resources Management

International Trade



Risk Management and Insurance

try itTry It!
Choose one of the disciplines above and browse the suggested LibGuides. Share your three favorites including the name and URL.

Subject Guides by Library Type

Below are LibGuides from the general area of business. These aren't the best or the worst. Instead, they're representative of recent guides. To do your own search, go to http://libguides.com/community.php and select the library type of your choice.

Academic Library

School Library

Public Library

Special Library: Organizations

try itTry It!
In many cases, academic librarians are responsible for many areas within the humanities. In other cases, they focus on a particular area such as management or marketing. Examine a few of the examples above. Notice the names associated with the LibGuides.

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