Frequently Asked Reference Questions

Business Research

Example Questions That Can Be Answered Using This FAQ

  • How do I do research on the web for my business class?
  • I need information on (sales, marketing, quality, management, etc.) Where can I find articles on that topic?

Business research can be tricky on the Web. Part of the problem is that many people who need to do business research are either affiliated with a school or a private company, so the people who put business information on the Web assume that people who do business research can afford to pay for it. Further, the Web does not yet have many full-text articles. There are, however, sites that do try to put together the best of business research.

ipl Business Sources

ipl offers a collection of free, online business serials, a list of business associations, and  reference sites – all reviewed by members of our staff.

We also offer a Finding Company Information FAQ and the Starting a Small Business Pathfinder, which is an in-depth guide.

Free, Online Business Information

Some freely accessible options for business information include:

  • GlobalEDGE: information and learning resources on global business activities.
  • Rutgers University Library Business Research Guide: information on a variety of business and management topics.
  • ThomasNet: a directory of industrial products, services, and suppliers in the United States and Canada.
  • Yahoo! Finance: resources and tools for choosing and managing insurance, investing, and other aspects of personal finance.

You can also use the U.S. government’s official Internet portal, USA.gov, to find free, business information. Other government sites related to business include:

Other Sources for Business Research

A good place to start business research is at your local public or college library. Libraries often have business resources that include reference books, sample plans, directories, and subscription-only databases. The databases ABI/INFORM and Business Source are good for general research. If you are looking for company or personal information, you might want to try the databases Business and Company Resource Center or Reference USA. Some libraries will also have access to LexisNexis, a large news and information database with both general and topic-specific material. Ask one of the librarians to tell you what’s available. If your library doesn’t have the specific article(s) you need, ask about whether they offer an interlibrary loan service that could help you get copies of the articles from another library that does.

Not sure how to find your library? Go to our Library Locator page where we’ve listed resources to help you find the nearest physical library to you.

This FAQ updated by Kara Larson in 2012.