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Business: Support Materials: Literature Searching

What is literature searching?

A search strategy to help find relevant resources on a particular topic. If you have a good search strategy, it will help you find more relevant, high-quality information that give statements and arguments in your assignments more credibility.

The importance of keywords...

You need to choose your keywords effectively to maximise your searches.

Think of this research question...

What are the advantages of corporate social responsibility?

If you were to put this entire question into a search engine, you would get limited results.

You need to select the most important keywords from the question...

Advantages AND Corporate Social Responsibility

We can then make our searches better by thinking of alternative keywords to use in our searches.

Advantages could also be...

Benefits OR Pros OR Gains.

Corporate Social Responsibility could be...

Socially responsible companies OR Business ethics OR Sustainable development.

Developing your search strategy...

A good search stretagy includes using alternative keywords for your searches, as academics will not use the same keywords in their research. You may miss important research if you don't use a variety of keywords!

It is also important to think about the type of information you need to find. For example, do you want to find recent academic resources published in the last five years?

When developing your search strategy think about:

  • Acronyms: e.g. Corporate Social Responsibility AND CSR.
  • Abbreviations: e.g. Director AND Dir.
  • Different spellings: e.g. Organisation AND Organization).
  • Search limits: Limit your searches with specific criteria (e.g. Limits results to peer-reviewed articles).
  • Date range: How old can a resource be for it to be valid for your topic? 

Resources for literature searching

Contact your Librarian for help or to book an appointment - Please use the tabs below to select your Librarian

Library Search

Business Journal Databases

Journal Quality & Alerting Services