Library Databases

Published: Apr 9, 2012
Last Updated: Jun 27, 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.

Library Resources

Access to the following sources may be available through your local public or academic library. For information on how to obtain a library card, and for additional information on using libraries in BC, please visit our Getting Access to Library Resources page.

Here Are Some Library Databases For Industry Research:


Try searching for specialty food or artisanal food and terms like trends or research or statistics to narrow your search.

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.

Start here: Doyle, B., Bell, A., & Smith, D. (2010). Specialty food and beverage: A case study of small business management. Journal of Business Case Studies, 6(1), 1-9.
Start here: Research and markets; 2011 report on the $20 billion US specialty food stores market. (2011). Marketing Business Weekly, 50.
Start here: Little miss chief: More than a fish story. (2011, Oct 24). Canadian Business, 84(17), 71-71.

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.

Start here: Torres, N. L. (2007). FIRST LOCAL FLAVOR. Entrepreneur, 35(11), 110-112.
Start here: Kingston, A. (2011). From ancient grains, a healthy new oil. Maclean's, 124(27), 55.
Start here: Ross, I. (2004). Meatless gourmet goes for growth. Northern Ontario Business, 24(11), 30.

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.

Start here: Specialty Food Stores Industry Profile

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.

Start here: Ahearn, V. (2011, Dec 19). Stick-to-your-ribs cuisine to continue to trend on land and wheels in 2012.
Start here: Lungen, P. (2011, May 05). Artisan kitchen produces grain-free foods. Canadian Jewish News, pp. 36-36.
Start here: Grant, T. (2011, Apr 02). New companies are cooking up more than just profits. The Globe and Mail (Index-Only), pp. M.1-M.1.


Need to find your local library? Check out our directory.

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.

Start here: Shore, R. (2011, Dec 03). Artisanal food creators find recipes for success; home-based food businesses are taking off in cottage country. The Vancouver Sun, pp. F.6.
Start here: Faulder, L. (2011, Oct 12). Hungarian baker brings European flourish; passion is the essential ingredient found in great food, says entrepreneur. Edmonton Journal, pp. E.2.