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Effective Library Research for Business Dissertations: 6. Find: Using Research databases

Online support to assist with planning and conducting your library dissertation research

Databases provide access to scholarly research, including journal articles, conference proceedings and books. They can also offer access to high-quality non-academic information such as market research reports, company profiles and financial data.

wide range of databases are  available to you at the University. The page below highlights key resources that can help you find academic, company and market research information, as well as sharing additional guidance and support that is available to help you make the most of these databases. 

Depending on your topic, you may need to explore databases from other subject areas, or particular types of databases such as news sources or official publications.  Use the full A--Z database list to browse all databases

What are academic databases?

Company Information Databases

Exeter's digital resources provide access to three main types of company information: company documentsdata and analysis

Sources of company documents provide access to key information generated or filed by the company. Examples could include annual reports, press releases, interim results, transaction announcements and SEC filings. 

Resources that offer access to company data often focus on providing detailed financial figures and statistics. Information may also include ratios, stock price data 

and shareholder information.

A number of resources also provide external analysis of companies; examining their performance, strategy and competitive positioning. 

To view short demonstrations of these resources, visit our selection of Database Support Videos.

To view short demonstrations of these resources, visit our selection of Database Support Videos.

To view short demonstrations of these resources, visit our selection of Database Support Videos.










Try our Finding Company Information tutorial for guidance and tips on how to successfully locate in-depth company and financial information.

Divided into three main sections, the tutorial looks at how to make the most of Exeter's digital resources to find company documents, data and analysis.

Whether you are looking for annual reports, detailed financial ratios or objective analysis of a company's performance, the Finding Company Information tutorial will help to point you in the right direction. 

Other Information Sources

As well as academic research databases and resources for company and industry information, the university has access to many more resources offering alternative types of information. Use the tabs on the right for information on how to access our significant collections of news sources, official publications, accounting and tax databases, case studies and information on research methods.

You can find even more resources by heading to the A-Z Databases list and filtering by Accountancy, Business, Economics, Finance, Management or Tourism Management

You may like to see how issues are portrayed in the press. Explore the news LibGuide for information on the range of news sources available via the Library.

Key resources include:

  • Financial Times subscription
  • The Economist
  • Nexis UK - A large full text database providing current newspaper coverage from local, national and international titles.
  • Newspaper archives -  Extensive archives for a range of UK and international newspapers.

Visit the Official Publications LibGuide for guidance and recommendation on accessing:

  • UK Parliamentary papers; including debates and legislation
  • Official European Union publications
  • Information from key international bodies; including the OECD, World Trade Organization and the World Bank

Case Studies can be found across a range of resources including in books, journals, professional magazines, databases, company websites and online.

View the Finding Case Studies page for additional information and recommended resources.


Looking for guidance on developing your research methodology? Sage Research Methods Online (SRMO) is a great resource to use when you are planning and conducting your research.  It is a vast online research methods library

It is targeted at social science researchers, and covers key research methodology topics that are applicable across the research spectrum.

Sage have produced this LibGuide to help you get the best from the resource.

Key academic research databases

Activity: Database Searching

Click here to complete this short interactive tutorial, giving you the opportunity to try searching ProQuest Business Premium Collection.


Market Research Databases

Exeter's digital resources provide two main types of market research information: industry research and information on the broader business and economic environment. 

Resources specialising in industry research will usually provide profiles with data and analysis on on individual sectors. Profiles will often focus on industries within the context of a specific country. 

Resources that include information on the wider business and economic environment will also present their information in the form of 'economic profiles', usually focusing on international regions, countries or cities. Most resources will provide a mix of statistics, analysis and demographic information.

To view short demonstrations of these resources, visit our selection of Database Support Videos.

To view short demonstrations of these resources, visit our selection of Database Support Videos.










The university has a number of resources that provide access to market research information, both in the UK and globally. 

Databases like Mintel, Marketline and Passport offer insight into consumer behaviour, market trends, forecasts and more. Information is presented in various formats, including reports, statistics, Swot and Pestel analyses.

Use our Finding Market Research tutorial to learn more about these resources, and for hints and tips on effective searching.

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