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BUSA/MSUS 434 Managing for Impact

What Information Already Exists?

Before you start searching for information, consider these questions first.

  • What is already known about your research topic?
  • Are there any problems or gaps in this research?
  • Are there any experts or notable researchers to consider?
  • What aspects of the topic are up for debate?
  • What methods are researchers using to study this topic?
  • What are the current trends for research on this topic?

Brainstorm potential answers and keywords for each of these questions.

Finding Articles by Topic

When looking for articles and journals that fit your topic the best place to look is in the business journal databases linked below. These are collections of all the top business journals. 

Follow these steps:

  1. Identify your topic
  2. Narrow it down and give it scope
  3. Decide your thesis statement

Flesh out your search strategy by brainstorming potential stakeholders for your topic and giving yourself a list of questions you want answered from the research you collect.

Next you will need to break apart your keywords by concept. This will help you organize your thoughts and effectively search in journal databases. For example if our research is on "Apathy to Climate Change by Canadians" we would break down our terms like this:

Concepts: Apathy Climate Change Canadians
Related terms: uncaring

global warming

  lack of response environmental concerns  

When you've finished brainstorming you can put all of your keywords together to create an effective search strategy.

(apathy OR "lack of response") AND ("climate change" OR "global warming") AND (Canad*)

By grouping your terms together like this you will better control your search results and limit the amount of non-essential articles that show up in your results. This will save you time and help improve your research by getting you to the articles that matter most more quickly.

Evaluating Your Sources

Don't forget to asses the articles you find before including them in your research proposal. Ask yourself:

  1. How current is the source? Is the information up to date?
  2. How reliable is the source? Is it a publication that is trusted?
  3. How accurate is the source? Can you verify the claims, are they citing their sources?
  4. How authoritative is the source? Is the author an expert in their field?
  5. What is the purpose of the source? Is there an underlying message and does that message have bias?

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