Library Databases

Published: May 24, 2016
Last Updated: Mar 17, 2019
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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

Tips: Try searching for "commercial photography" or "portrait photography" and terms like "trends" or "research" or "statistics" to narrow your search.

ABI Inform
Created by ProQuest this database contains full-text articles from over 1000 business magazines and journals that track business conditions, trends, management techniques, corporate strategies, and industry-specific topics. Affiliates of UBC can learn more and access this database via the Internet.

  • Talley, K., & Gara, T. (2013, Apr 06). Lasting memories? the sears portrait studio shuts down. Wall Street Journal, B.1.

"While many believe digital photography and phone cameras have doomed the industry, CPI's troubles were also connected to the details of its own product, said John Johnson, chief executive of Picture People, a competing photo studio with 150 outlets in malls and stores across the country."

  • Media and communication-related occupations. (2011). Occupational Outlook Handbook. Washington: U.S. Superintendent of Documents

Overview of various media-related occupations in the united states, including photographic services.

Business Source Complete/Business Source Premier
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. UBC Affiliates and in-person library visitors can learn more and access this database. Otherwise, contact your local library to see if they provide access.

  • BARNES Reports: U.S. Photography Studios Industry (NAICS 541921). (2014). United States Photography Studios Industry Report, 1-244.

"Several tables related to the photography studios industry in the U.S. are presented including the establishments, sales, and employment trends in the industry from 2011-2015, the industry financial ratios in the U.S. from 2011-2015, and the estimated sub-industries of the U.S. in 2013."

  • Slade, H. (2014). Don't Say Cheese: How This Small Wedding Photography Company Grew Into A $20M Business. Forbes.Com, 7.

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.

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.

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.

Newspapers and News Sources - UBC Library Research Guide

How to access: The guide can be viewed through the link below. Individual resources and databases will have different access requirements.

UBC Library has an excellent collection of current and historical newspapers from B.C., Canada, and around the world. UBC affiliates will have access to these resources.