Business Source Complete (from the Spring 2014 Newsletter)

Odd as it may sound, Business Source Complete can yield a bounty of useful information for student research. This is surprising, of course, since very few assignments focus on business specifically. But under the umbrella “business” we find management and administration, labor and personnel matters, crime and security, even intellectual property. 

If a student is researching police suicide, for example, Business Source Complete yields hundreds of hits for the search terms “police” and “suicide” or “stress.” A search for “intellectual property” likewise brings up more articles than any undergraduate could use. We might expect both of those topics to be covered by this database, but what about a more sociological question? The favelas of urban Brazil offer a fertile field for research from a sociological or urban studies perspective, so it might seem a misstep to try Business Source Complete. But even here we get over 150 hits, and it would be worth investigating whether that set of articles differs from what comes up under SocIndex, for example (actually, Business Source has a few more hits than SocIndex).

When students embark on such a research quest, they must be encouraged to go where the sources take them, rather than mining the results for a specific answer. Toward that end, we should encourage them to venture beyond Academic Search Complete and jstor. After all, who knows what they may find in Business Source Complete, or even the Military and Government Collection.

Jeffrey Kroessler