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-MBA/Graduate Student Research Guide

How many sources?

As a rule of thumb, do not limit your search to just one source. While in some instances, checking a single source might be enough, provided the information is up to date – for example looking up the name of the CEO of a public company, when you are researching a more complex topic it is advisable to check several sources to make sure you get recent, bias free, trustworthy, factually correct information. When you are researching complex topics, it is helpful to look at sources that present different perspectives – this will allow you to get a better understanding of the topic.

In addition to understanding how to find sources, it is crucial that you understand how to evaluate those sources. To do that, there are a few tools you can use: ABCD, CRAAP, SIFT. This guide produced by our librarians shares tools to evaluate different information sources like academic journal articles, websites, magazines, and popular news sources.

ABCD – Author, Bias, Content, Date

CRAAP – Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose

SIFT – Stop, Investigate the source, Find better coverage, Trace claims, quotes and media to the original context

Databases versus SharkSearch

SharkSearch is the default search engine you find on our homepage. You might ask yourself whether or when to use SharkSearch versus library databases. The answer is … it depends. They each have pros and cons, but as a rule of thumb try to at least start your search in our specialized business databases. If you are not happy with the results, then you can give SharkSearch a try, but make sure you are aware of its limitations.

  • SharkSearch has wider coverage, while databases are more targeted.
  • Possibly higher number of results in SharkSearch – this can be good or bad, depending on what you want.
  • SharkSearch has no Peer reviewed filter, many databases do
  • SharkSearch does not retrieve results from certain databases, thus giving you the false impression that item does not exist and causing you to miss out on relevant results that are located in other databases not compatible with SharkSearch.
  • Filters used for refining results are generally speaking more specific in specialized databases.

 Read more about SharkSearch in this guide.

Find journals with Full Text Finder

The Full Text Finder link on our homepage (located just below the main search box) is what you will use to either check if we have coverage for a particular journal (and what databases you can use to access it) or when you want to see what journals are available in certain disciplines.

  1. I know what journal I am looking for, how can I access it?

Simply type the title in the search box, for example “Journal of Accounting Research”. If we have coverage, then you will get a list of databases where content from that journal is included. Those results also include the dates we have coverage for. In the example below, if you are looking for an article from 1999, you will not use Wiley Online Library because it only includes items published from 2001 on.

On the other hand, when you see “full text delay” displayed near present, that is an indication there is some lag time in indexing recent content. In our case this means that if you are looking for an article from 2021, using JSTOR Business I Archive Collection would not be a good option because there is a delay of 6 years between the date of publication and inclusion in this database.

Always check those dates to select the best database.

2. I want to see what journals are available in my area of interest.

There are 2 ways you can go about this.

In the Browse by discipline section click on the topic that is the closest to what you want. Then use filters on the left to refine your results – pay particular attention to subject.

The other option is to simply do a keyword search in the box and then use the filters on the left.  

Google Scholar

Google Scholar

Once you have done a comprehensive search in our library resources, you might want to try Google as a last resort, especially if you are not happy with the results. Please use the Google Scholar link on our homepage – look for it just below the main search box. This will allow you to search for academic literature and avoid pages of useless results for one, and also link you to NSU Libraries if items coming up in results are also included in our databases.