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Literature searching for “getting started” articles/books

At the enquiry desk, someone asked for advice on finding books or articles on “strategy for growth in mature markets”, and ones aimed at a professional person interested in this area, rather than an academic looking for recent research.

from Radbound University Nijmegen

Finding journal articles

There are several databases for searching electronic journal articles, but finding appropriate articles requires some detective work.

Some suggestions:

  1. Using a business journal database, scan the results, vary your search terms and use the filtering options to improve the look of the results. For example in Business Source Premier the search strategies growth “mature markets”  seemed to provide promising results.
  2. Look at authors and journal titles – if you find an author interesting then search for their other articles – try to identify journals targetting professionals, e.g. Harvard Business Review.
  3. Using a bibliographic database (e.g. Scopus or Web of Science) you can order searches by the number of times they are cited – in general more readable articles are cited more often. You can also look back – what articles/books did an article (or articles) cite, and forward – which articles cited this article (or one of these articles).
  4. Once you have identified a small number of potential articles, scan their references to see if the same articles/books/authors keep occurring, and look at keywords/indexing for ideas on refining your search criteria.

Finding books

Books, either those aimed at professional managers or textbooks, can also be good places to start as they are less academic than most journal articles and suggest further readings. The problem is that books do not have abstracts, keywords so you can only search on title, author and classification.

Corporate strategy textbook – click to expand

Using the Library Catalogue you can do a general search (e.g. business strategy), and sort the results by date (newest first).

You may find a title that mentions your specific area (mature markets) or an author you recognise. If you see a book that is a 3rd or later edition, it will most likely be a successful textbook and could be well worth a look.

Having found an interesting looking book you can use the subject fields or shelfmark classification (e.g. 658.401 ) to search for other books in the same area. (Example search by classification – http://screencast.com/t/FFUA9qtYeiVI )

Further tips

The How to Research Guides page provides links to several relevant guides from the MBS library service: “How to research: Management Literature“, “Introduction to Finding and Searching Electronic Journals“, and database guides for ABI Inform and for Business Source Premier.

Please leave a comment if you have additional suggestions.

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