Entrepreneurship: Tips on Searching Databases

This is a course guide for students.

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Suggestions to consider

Here are some suggestions about how to begin searching, and some key words to consider using.  Many other terms and concepts may need to be selected depending on what you want to find. 

In order to find relevant articles, try doing an advanced search (more below about that) combining a variety of key words that you think best capture your topic.

Be creative!  Consider these examples:

  • Small businesses
  • Customer services
  • Business plans
  • Marketing plans
  • Consumer demographics

A variety of search techniques can be used to expand or refine individual searches.

For example, users can combine or truncate words, limit searches, and use advanced search features in most databases.

Combining words

You can also combine terms (and use truncation) to expand the return on materials.

Truncating words

Please note you can truncate terms (to shorten by or as if by cutting off) by adding an asterisk ( * ) in most databases.  This convention will recall all articles with a particular root term: 

  • For example, search for baker*

Using Advanced Search in databases

Using the advanced search feature, combine subject terms

Limiting results

Try limiting results to full-text articles or peer-reviewed ones, for example.  Some databases have other limits that can be applied as well. 

Finally, you can search specific publications in these databases.  


A trade journal may be define as a specialized publication for a particular occupation or industry. They tend to have a focus on industry, product or business information.

To find trade journals for this research, do a search for you topic, find the relevant subjects, and then limit results to trade journals.

For example, if we search for "coffee shops" in the database Business Source Complete, and then limit those article we retrieve to only those published in trade journals, we can see representative titles covering this particular business and industry.

Subject Guide

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Carmen Orth-Alfie
University of Kansas Libraries
Watson Library
(785) 864-8929