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BA 364: International Business and Society (Section 003 Harrisburg)

Library resources for students in BA 364 at Harrisburg Campus.

Getting Started with a Topic

Starting your research can be a daunting task. As you complete readings and other activities for your course, remember those topics that interested you most or left you asking the most questions. These topics and questions can be the foundation for your research projects.

This guide will provide information about finding resources, evaluating them, and using them appropriately for your course assignments. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need research assistance as you progress through the semester using the information in my profile box.


Developing Keywords

Keywords are the terms you use to search in the Libraries' databases. They distill your complex topic down into its most basic elements. You keywords should not be a sentence. 

Keep in mind that you can try many different keywords and can always look for new ones -- when you find articles, books, or other resources, see what keywords the database uses to describe the article. If you're stuck, these new keywords can help you find more information. 

If you are finding you get too many results (thousands) you may want to try adding a few more keywords to make your search more specific to a country, organization, or time period. If you are not getting any results or only getting a handful of results, try using a fewer keywords, or try some broader terms.

Types of Publications

The results you will find in both ABI/Inform and Business Source Premier will fall primarily into three categories:

ScholarlyArticles are written by experts in the field and typically undergo a peer-review process, where the article is evaluated by other experts for accuracy and reliability in its claims or findings. Scholarly journals are narrow in scope and focus on a specific field of study or expertise. They typically publish research articles and are written by and for experts. The articles use formal language and jargon; there are no ads or glossy pictures, and articles will have formal reference lists. 

Trade: Articles are written by experts in the field or journalists who specialize in reporting on that particular industry. Trade publications focus on providing news and updates for professionals in a specific field or industry. They often look more like a traditional magazine than a popular journal, but are tailored to a professional audience in a defined market segment. The articles will use professional jargon, but may be written in a less formal tone.

Popular: Articles are typically written by journalists for a general audience, seeking to inform a wide array of people about many different issues. Popular periodicals may have a specific focus on a topic or a certain group of people, but they do not use formal language and will typically avoid jargon -- unless they are specifically defining what such terms mean for their readers. Publications are supported by advertising and contain many ads.

How do I use these resources?

If you are writing a formal research paper, you will primarily want to use articles from scholarly journals to support your thesis. Journals, however, can take a while to publish articles on current or trending topics, due to the in-depth nature of research and the peer-review process. 

When writing an less formal paper on a new or emerging topic, you may need to rely on articles from trade or popular periodicals, which have a shorter publication timeline and a less-rigorous review process, allowing for more timely coverage of current events. 

NOTE: You can apply filters in both databases to include or exclude all three types of publications under "Source Type" in ABI/Inform and "Publication Type" in Business Source Premier.