Searching for journal articles can seem a little daunting at the beginning. Here are some of our top tips to get you started when searching for articles in any of our key business journal collections, e.g. EBSCO Business Source Complete, ABI/Inform or Emerald

  • Use quotation marks around words to search for them as phrases, e.g. “social media”.
  • Use the wildcard symbol (?) to search for multiple spellings of a word, e.g. organi?ation will find both the US and English spellings of word.
  • Use the truncation symbol (*) to search for different word endings, e.g. strateg* will find strategies, strategy, strategic etc.
  • Use the drop-down field selector options (adjacent to the search box) to search for your keywords in the ‘abstract’ of articles. This will narrow down the results found.
  • Where you have a group of alternative terms for the same concept, enter them all in the same search box, using the OR operator between them to indicate that they are interchangeable, e.g. CSR OR “corporate social responsibility” OR “corporate responsibility” OR …
  • Refine your results using the limiters available in databases, e.g. by ‘date published’ or limit your search to ‘scholarly (peer reviewed) journals’ only.  Here’s where you’ll find most of the limiters on EBSCO:
Image showing location of limiters on the EBSCO search results screen
Search Limiters in EBSCO Business Source Complete
  • No full text available? Click on one of the ‘Full Text Finder’ options to check if the full text is available in one of our other subscription databases.
  • Don’t forget to evaluate your results and, if necessary, refine your search.
  • Need help or have any questions about journal searching? Please come and ask us.

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list, so please leave a comment if you have any more tips you would like to share!

If you have any questions on searching for academic literature in business and management, please contact MIRC.

Feature image from Pixabay. Available at:

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