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Finding and using library resources: Business School: 5. Academic sources




Academic literature databases provide access to scholarly research, including journal articles, conference proceedings and books.

You will want to find and use academic sources to inform your assignments and projects.

There are a wide range of different databases available to you.

Databases for your subject

Full list of business databases include:

What are academic databases?

Tips for database searching

The following tabs provide tips and guidance on running more detailed searches in our academic research databases. 

Access these resources via the main Business, Management, Accounting & Finance LibGuide.

Before you start searching, spend some time defining your research topic. Ask yourself, what is it that you want to find out? What search terms or keywords will find this information?

Use whatever technique works best for you - e.g. brainstorming, words lists or mind maps etc. can help you think around your topic and identify all possible search concepts and terms. 

Take a look at the short video to help you begin:

It is possible to use a number of different keywords in a single search, by using operators.

The three most commonly used operators are ANDORNOT.  These are known as Boolean operators. They can be used to broaden or narrow a search and to exclude unwanted concepts.

Watch the video to find out how to use these operators.

Truncation is a technique that broadens your search to include various word endings and spellings.

To use truncation, enter the root of a word and put the truncation symbol at the end.

The database will return results that include any ending of that root word.

The asterisk * symbol is most commonly used for truncation. However, check out the database's help screens as  !, ?, or # may also be used.

For example:

entrepreneur* will find entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial etc.

Global* will find global, globaliseglobalizeglobalisation, globalization etc.

Use it with care to avoid finding too many alternatives.

Phrase searching is the most limiting technique as it is used to specify that your terms must appear next to each other, and in the order you specify.

Phrase searching is commonly achieved by surrounding your phrase with quotation marks.

Always check the Database Help screens, as some databases may use different symbols.

Phrase searching examples:

"Digital marketing"

"Corporate social responsibility"


For more, see the Search tips guide.

It is important to note:

  • Some databases provide full text access to the articles themselves.
  • Some databases are primarily indexes or bibliographic databases, and although they provide information about the content of a journal article, they may not provide full-text access to the actual article itself.
  • Some databases are a mixture of full-text and indexed/bibliographic access.


So, when searching databases, be prepared for an extra step. 

After finding a relevant article or book you need to check whether you have access to that item, either in print or in full-text online.  Many of the databases will have a Check for this at Exeter button; clicking on this link will check whether we have access to the item.



Key academic literature databases

The key academic business databases shares many features. Although they may have different layouts and use different terminology, once you know how to search one, you should be able to easily search the other academic business databases.

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