Library Databases

Published: Mar 24, 2016
Last Updated: May 13, 2016
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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

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.

  • Parris, D. L., & McInnis-Bowers, C. (2014). Social entrepreneurship questioning the status quo: Waste as a resource. Journal of Economic Issues, 48(2), 359-365.

"Through examining the case of Clean the World, a social enterprise, we demonstrate that not all social ventures start with the intention of creating social value, but with the question: How can I make a profit?"

  • Schaefer, K., Corner, P. D., & Kearins, K. (2015). Social, environmental and sustainable entrepreneurship research: What is needed for sustainability-as-flourishing? Organization & Environment, 28(4), 394.

"What process of socioeconomic transformation might move humanity towards sustainability-as-flourishing, an ideal view of sustainability where life flourishes indefinitely on Earth? We suggest entrepreneurship as one such process and review the literature on three types of entrepreneurship said to transform society by creating value beyond profit: social, environmental and sustainable entrepreneurship."

Business Source Ultimate

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.

Includes financial data, books, videos, company profiles, SWOT analyses, industry profiles, country reports, market research reports and case studies.  Also includes information on industry trends, forecasts, outlooks, competitors, how to run a specific business and much more.

  • Souto, Jaime E., and Angel Rodriguez. 2015. "The problems of environmentally involved firms: innovation obstacles and essential issues in the achievement of environmental innovation." Journal Of Cleaner Production 101, 49-58.

"...the study of the factors that hinder the achievement of environmental innovations has been largely neglected. This paper focuses on the obstacles facing firms involved in environmental innovations and how they still manage to achieve these innovations."

  • VanWynsberghe, Robert. 2016. "Green jobs for the disadvantaged: an analysis of government policies in British Columbia." Journal Of Environmental Planning & Management 59, no. 4: 730-745.

"The research questions are related to how policy instruments can support green jobs and how green jobs can support the disadvantaged. These questions are asked in the context of the province of British Columbia in Canada, with implications for the global economy. Findings indicate that green jobs policies have direct and indirect effects on the growth of sustainable industries at a municipal level."

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.

  • Aarts, D. (2010, December). Sustainability for the stingy. Profit, 29(6), 31-32.

"Perhaps the main obstacle to the widespread adoption of green products is the upfront cost, which is often higher than for a less-green counterpart. Despite the noblest of intentions, many consumers bristle at paying more for, say, compact fluorescent light bulbs; and the more expensive the item, the greater the barrier to adoption."

  • Gerlsbeck, R. (2010, August). Getting green. Canadian Grocer, 124(6), 15,17-19, 21-22.

"Walmart Canada's susta inability program is ambitious. And company president David Cheesewright doesn't mind sharing it with competitors."

Canadian Newsstream

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 Newsstream

Provides full-text access to many Canadian national and regional newspapers. Content is updated daily, following a two-day embargo period. Some content dates back to 1985. You can easily set up an article alert service and receive email updates on your search results. All you need to do is complete your search and click on the Save search/alert link near the top of your results. Provide your email address and then set the notification frequency and you're good to go! Try searching your industry, track information on your competitors or any other topic of your choice.

  • Paddon, N. (2016, Mar 28). The ins and outs of going green in business. The Spectator.

"Speakers from KPMG, HP Canada and other organizations will touch on how companies can figure out their social and environmental return on investment, communicate better with both consumers and stakeholders and learn regulations around sustainability messaging to avoid 'greenwashing.'"

  • Krishnan, M. (2011, April 20). Creating a green future with Cool Drinks. North Shore News, 30.

"We all know there are plenty of ways to go green, but sometimes we need a little help taking action. That's where Cool North Shore comes in. The non-profit organization is dedicated to finding ways to reduce the community's carbon footprint, and that includes hosting monthly Cool Drinks discussions that focus on practical ways of becoming more eco-friendly. This month's talk is all about green entrepreneurship..."

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.