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Business: Using the Library to Support your Dissertation/Project: Where to Search


To support your literature review for your dissertation/project will need to find relevant authoritative sources. Depending on your topic, you may use a variety of sources including: company/market information; Government reports; reports by professional bodies; and peer reviewed journal articles. 

For the literature review of your dissertation/independent project you will need to focus on academic and authoritative sources such as peer review journal articles. Peer review journal articles have been evaluated by several researchers or subject specialists in the academic community prior to being accepted for publication.  Journal articles contain either primary research or secondary research in the form of literature/narrative reviews. 

This page considers the best places to search for information, focusing on finding journal articles. 

Where do you search for journal articles?

Where do you search to find journal articles?
BCU Library search: 9 votes (42.86%)
Google: 2 votes (9.52%)
Google Scholar: 10 votes (47.62%)
Subject Database: 0 votes (0%)
Other: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 21

Databases for your subject

We've created subject guides which list recommended databases for your subject.

Subject Guides

Finding Company/Market Informaiton

You may need to find information about a companies or market/industry information.  Through BCU Library you have access to several databases which provide company and market information. 

These include: Mintel, Marketline Advantage; Passport and FAME.  These can be access through the Library A-Z of Databases.  Additionally, there is a Finding Company Information subject guide.

Where should I search?

Library Search is accessible by using the search box on the library website. It searches across a variety of different sources, including some of our key databases, ebooks and physical books, and open access (free) articles.

Library website (basic search) Advanced search


The basic library search can perform surprisingly complex searches, if you're confident in using Boolean operators and other techniques to manipulate the search! Read on to find out more. 

Databases are repositories of published material, usually (but not always) based around a broad subject area. Some databases contain full-text articles, others just contain the abstract (a record or overview) of the research, which you could search and try to obtain from elsewhere.

BCU Library search or Subject Databases

Choosing where to search, either in BCU Library search or in a subject database will depend on a number of factors.  Both BCU Library search and subject databases contain academic content, and can be searched using basic and advanced search features.  The table below summaries the are advantages and disadvantages to both approach. 

  BCU Library search Subject Databases

Allows you search across the majority of subject databases available via BCU Library and Learning Resources.

You can save and email you results.

You are only searching sources which are subject specific, therefore your results will be subject specific and relevant to your topic.

Account features - you can set up search alerts, where the database will re-run your search at a specified time and email you the results. 

You can  save your searches.

You can save and email your results


You searching across many different subject databases.  This means your search may retrieve articles which, though contain your keywords, are not specific to your subject. 


Subject databases contain a smaller number of journals/journal abstracts. To ensure that you have not missed any research. You may need to search more than one subject database.  
When to search

At the beginning of your literature search.

If the number of your results are manageable and you are finding relevant literature.  

If you have searched BCU Library Search and are finding that you are retrieving a high number of search results or the search results are not relevant.

If you want to save your searches, search results and re-run your searches.  You can create an account in many subject databases which will allow you to save searches.  


Using Google and Google Scholar

Google searches internet publications including news, blogs, websites, images and media.

Google can be useful for finding company reports, and reports by Government departments and professional bodies.

Google Scholar searches dissertation theses, books/book chapters, abstracts and journals.  But can include publications which would not be considered academic.

Google Scholar can be useful for finding dissertations, looking for conference papers/presentations.  


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