Library Databases

Published: Jun 23, 2016
Last Updated: Aug 13, 2019
Print Full Guide

The Expensive World Of Business Information

Believe it or not, you cannot find everything in Google! Have you ever done an online search and found the perfect industry report only to find that it costs over 5K? Did you know that libraries pay for many expensive databases that could be helpful in your secondary market research? Search engines like Google can only provide direct access to freely available information. Most of the web, including business information, lives in databases behind expensive paywalls. This paywall protected section of the internet is known as the deep web. Fortunately, some libraries pay to subscribe to databases so they can provide free access to their patrons - and many business databases can contain useful information such as articles, market research, and company reports.

There are several strategies you can use to access relevant business information on the deep web. First, we urge you to look up what business resources your local public or academic library can provide access to. Each database has its own arrangement, with unique interfaces and search features. It helps to know the structure and search terms of the specific database you are working with in order to retrieve effective results. Also, it is important to know that library databases are restricted by specific usage agreements. It can help to consult with a librarian if you have trouble navigating a specific database. They may also be able to help you find comparable information elsewhere. Libraries with robust business collections might also have useful e-books, directories and trade journals. As you conduct your secondary market research you will likely need to consult both free and deep web resources.

For more information about how and why to use business databases, check out our video tutorial, Module Four: Conducting Your Industry Research.

Business Resources at Academic Libraries 

Colleges and Universities with business programs will have useful business collections you may be able to get access to through their academic library. Often these academic libraries can provide the general public with access to their collections, which include electronic resources like databases and e-books. For example, they could have alumni or community cards, and can provide temporary "guest" passes in certain situations. Contact your local college or university library to see what they can provide. Please note: you probably will not get access to their electronic resources with remote access.

Databases For Industry Research

Business Source Complete / Business Source Premier
Created by Ebsco, this database contains quarterly reports on major industries in 175 countries, including Canada. Includes Datamoniter company profiles, market research reports, 5-year forecasts and SWOT analyses, as well as information on industry trends, forecasts, outlooks, competitors, how to run a specific business, and much more. Contact your local public or academic to determine if you can get access. UBC affiliates and in-person library visitors can learn more about this resource and how to access it here.

  • Helmy, F., & Runnalls, J. (2013). The More Sustainable Model for Conducting Business?. Corporate Knights Magazine, 12(2), 38-40.

"The article focuses on the natural advantage of cooperatives in environmental, social and economic business leadership. According to International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) president Dame Pauline Green, cooperatives around the globe adopted principles including Principle 7 focusing on concern for the community. It also notes a ranking of the Group of 7 (G7) Cooperatives that include the Co-operators Group in Canada, first, British consumer The Co-operative, second and Desjardins Group, third."

  • Leroux, M. F. (2012). The Future Is Co-operative. Benefits & Pensions Monitor, 22(8), 39.

"The article discusses the success of co-operatives in Canada. The author explains that co-operatives include small co-op daycares and agricultural collectives, as well as huge financial co-operative organizations. Particular focus is given to the difference between co-operatives and other businesses. According to the author, co-operatives have a role in a balanced, pluralistic economy that includes a private sector and an affordable private sector."

ABI/INFORM Collection

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource.

Created by ProQuest this database contains full-text articles from over 1,000 business magazines and journals that track business conditions, trends, management techniques, corporate strategies, and industry-specific topics.

  • Hatak, I., Lang, R., & Roessl, D. (2016). Trust, social capital, and the coordination of relationships between the members of cooperatives: A comparison between member-focused cooperatives and third-party-focused cooperatives. Voluntas, 27(3), 1218-1241.

"In recent years, nonprofit scholars have increasingly studied the phenomenon of social enterprises which has become a generic term describing a wider reorientation among third sector organizations. The emergence of social enterprises has also led to a dynamic of hybridization and broadening in the cooperative sector, similar to an earlier dynamic of "economization", but this time on the other end of the organizational spectrum."

  • Calderwood, E., & Davies, K. (2012). The trading profiles of community retail enterprises. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 40(8), 592-606.

This paper is to investigate the key features of the community retail enterprises sector in the UK.

Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA)

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource. Otherwise, contact your local library to see if they provide access.

Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA)

Provides access to general and specialized business information, current events, and reference materials, including popular and academic journals. Excellent for tracking trends for your specific product or industry.

  • Prepayment flexibility for co-operative and non-profit housing providers. (2016). Marketwired.

"Eligible co-operative and non-profit housing providers with long-term, non-renewable CMHC mortgages will now be able to pre-pay their mortgages without penalty. Upon prepayment, housing providers will be able to access financing from the private market at current interest rates, which will lower mortgage expenses and help to keep rents affordable."

  • Stechyson, N. (2012, Jun 18). Co-ops boast `resilience` in turbulent economy, says MP. Postmedia News.

"Canadians should take more notice of co-operatives and look to emulate the resilient business model, says the MP behind a newly-formed House of Commons committee."

UBC Library Business Databases

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you may have access to business databases through the David Lam Management Research Library and Canaccord Learning Commons through the links below.

Full Listing By Title or Full Listing By Subject

There are two different ways to identify databases, use 'by title' if you already know the name. Otherwise, you can use the list 'by subject' to find starting places for doing market research, finding articles or researching companies. To learn more about how you can access library resources if you are a community user or temporary visitor check out the UBC Library Community Users & Visitors Guide. Community users and temporary visitors may have additional access restrictions to specific databases because of license agreements.

Provincial Library Database Partners

How to access:Check out the database list and note the License Participants to find out which institutions have access. Otherwise, contact your local post-secondary library to see what they offer.

BC Electronic Library Network (ELN) Research Databases

ELN licenses databases with partner academic libraries. These include LexisNexis, Canadian Newstand, Hoovers, CBCA Business, ABI/INFORM Complete and others that may be of interest to business researchers.

First Research Industry Profiles

How to access: If you are UBC student, staff, or faculty you can access many of these reports through ABI/INFORM.

Covers over 900 industry segments. Updated on a quarterly basis, these industry profiles contain critical analysis, statistics and forecasts to help you engage key prospects, coach key clients, and deepen customer relationships. You can search for reports by NAICS, SIC or keyword or browse by category.

IBISWorld Industry Reports

How to access: If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource.

IBISWorld research is an independent, professional publisher of high-quality market research reports. These reports analyze the underlying structure and external forces that drive an industry.