Finding Business Articles

This short tutorial will assist you in formulating a search strategy for business article, and searching the Proquest ABI-Inform database. The data gathered in the practice portion of this tutorial will assist you in completing the Introduction to Marketing case study (Taming the Mighty Migraine).

Please complete and submit your findings for this tutorial to Jeanette McVeigh for review and comment by the end of the week.

Three Types of Business Articles

When you are looking for the type of business information found in articles you have several choices. First, there are articles about business topics, say interest rates, in newspapers and magazines. Time magazine, for instance, has a department devoted to current business information. Newspapers, such as the New York Times and the PhiladelphiaInquirer have whole sections dedicated to articles about business.

If you want a source that is entirely about business, you would look to a newspaper, such as the Wall Street Journal or magazines, such as Forbes or Fortune. The writing in the newspapers, general magazines and the more specific business magazines is intentionally easy to understand, usually with lots of photos.

Examples: Journal of Business Forecasting & Systems, and the International Journal of Human Resource Management.

At the other end of the spectrum is the business information found in journals. These articles are frequently written by researchers and scholars. The articles tend to be very detailed, with many charts and graphs presented to document the results. They also refer to other research in the field in their references. These articles can be theoretical. They can examine a process, say the GDP, over time. They also may be comparative studies, such as the rate of drug approvals in the US and UK from 1990 to 2000. Unlike the articles in magazines, these articles are written for a very special audience and use terms and language that audience would know. Journal articles are invaluable for the depth of their information, for looking at specific issues over longer periods of time, or for comparing different approaches to a problem.

Examples:Pharmaceutical Executive, Drug Topics and MedAd News.

One last source of business articles belongs to business alone. It is called a trade publication or journal. It looks very much like a magazines, with color photos and illustrations. It is also written in the magazine’s approachable style. However, it also shares the specific focus of a journal and is aimed at a targeted audience, the people in the business or those who sell to the business. Similar to magazines, the articles in these publications are focused mainly on the present and occasionally on the future. They discuss pending legislation in an industry, feature new products or processes, or attack issues affecting the industry. They may interview key movers and shakers in the industry, such as CEOs, CFOs or government officials.

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Finding the Articles

Now that you know the kinds of business information you can find in newspapers, magazines and journals, how can you find them?

The answer is a database that indexes the business magazine and journal articles.

At USP, one database to use is Proquest’s ABI-Inform.ABI-Inform allows you to use your keywords or ABI-Inform’s pre-assigned Topics to search business magazines and journals for articles. Many, but not all, of the journals and magazines indexed in this database provide the full text of the article.

While doing your research for case studies and the MSM, you need background information. If you are researching the pharmaceutical environment in another country, some information that might be helpful would be how drugs are approved, how they are regulated and what are issues affecting price. Searching ABI-Inform for articles can be a start.

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Practice Exercise

Click on a message’s subject to follow (read) the discussions in that thread.First, review the ABI-Inform tutorial (5 page pdf document) to gain an understanding of the database.

Next, working in your group, use the ABI-Inform database to find articles addressing the pricing policies of drugs in Germany. The following four (4) step process will assist you in completing this task.

Things to remember:

  • Combining terms with AND and OR are important in using a database
  • ABI-Inform’s Advanced search helps you focus your search
  • Your search will include articles that are reviews of books. These are NOT true articles and you can either find the book that is reviewed or AND NOT the reviews out of your search
  • Articles that are not full text can be ordered online through interlibrary loan.

Step 1 – Developing a Search Strategy

Decide on the search terms you will use and list them. List how you will combine them. List any limitations.

Next, log-on to ProQuest and examine the search form screen for ways to expand the options to limit by year, publication type, etc.

  1. Log onto the Internet and open a browser window
  2. Navigate to
  3. Enter your User Name and Password, and then click the [Submit Query] button.
  4. Select the ABI/Inform databaseabi-Inform expanded search options
  5. Click on the “More Search Options” tab to expand the form options.

Step 2 – Refining the Search Strategy

proquest basic search screen

Online searching is a process of refinement. You will not always get good results on the first try.

If you would like assistance with refining your search terms click on the “Search Tips” link.

Look at the articles you found.

  • Are there terms that might be better?
  • Are there terms your group is using that seem unsatisfactory when you look at your list of articles?

Redesign your search strategy and discuss any changes in your search strategy your group made to get better results. You want articles with good information to add to your project folder for your next course -- Introduction to Marketing.

proquest results screen

Below the list of articles, at the bottom of the page, is the search that you just completed.

proquest search strategy box

If you are not satisfied with your results, don’t despair! Email just the search strategy to Jeanette. She will examine your strategy and make suggestions to improve it. There might be different terms that more exactly describe your topic. Base upon her suggestions, you can change your strategy, rerun your search.

  1. Above the search box(es), after the “Tools” header is the “Recent Search” (or Searches, if there is more than one).
  2. Click on the link. A search strategy box will be displayed.
  3. If you have found a good article on the assigned topic, copy and paste this strategy into a Word document.

Type the names of the team members at the top of the document and write the author, title of the article, title of magazine or journal, issue and year for one article you found in ABI-Inform. Save the document as abi<your name> and email it as an attachment to Jeanette McVeigh by Sunday midnight. She will review the submission and either approve the article or suggest alternate strategies. Once your article is approved it can be added to the research folder for the Introduction to Marketing case study.

Step 3 – Lessons Learned

The final activity for this tutorial is to describe in one paragraph how and why you selected the terms that you used. If you changed your search, why did you change it and why do you think this was an improvement. If you did not change it, describe what made your strategy successful. Save the document as abi_lessons<your name> and email it as an attachment to Jeanette McVeigh

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