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Library Tutorial for Sustainable Business Management

Where to search

Find information available through Seneca Libraries by searching in Library Search (the search box on the Library homepage), or searching in a specific database.

Library Search looks like a Google search but instead of websites it searches academic resources. The library search includes only information from published resources such as books, articles from scholarly journals, newspapers, popular magazines, statistics, literature reviews, biographies and encyclopedic articles. Information from many (but not all) library databases can be found in Library Search.

Databases available via the Library are essentially electronic collections of published works. Many library databases include articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers, and some focus on specific disciplines while others are multidisciplinary (and therefore cover many different topics). Find relevant databases from one of the Library Subject Guides, such as Business or more specifically, Business - Green.

Choosing keywords

In starting to research for a project, it's a good idea to think about your keywords ahead of time. To do that: 

  1. Brainstorm synonyms.
    • What terminology would an expert use?
    • Are there other ways of saying the same thing? 
  2. Look for relevant materials for your topic. You can do this just by searching the library website.
    • Do you see any useful keywords in abstracts or introductions?
    • Are there related subject terms in the library record?
  3. Use a keyword concept sheet. A quick internet search will find a number of different worksheets to use.

It's best to be flexible with your keywords to get the most out of your searching. Be prepared to try your terms in different combinations.

Get the most out of your keywords using advanced search techniques. These can help you fine-tune your search, and can get you more relevant results faster. For example, use the AND and OR search operators:

  • AND: all terms entered must be present in the record. AND is always implied regardless of whether you include it in your search or not. (Example: Sustainability AND Leadership)
  • OR: any one term entered must be present in the record (Example: "Corporate Social Responsibility" OR CSR)

And, to search for an exact phrase, use quotation marks. Use these around the words that you would like to keep together. (Example: "Corporate Social Responsibility")

Types of Articles

Various types of resources are available through Seneca Libraries - a few examples include articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers.

Magazines (such as the Stanford Social Innovation Review), and newspapers (such as The Globe and Mail and the National Post) publish articles on current topics - these may provide a good introduction on current events, but would not be considered scholarly sources.

Scholarly sources are books, articles, websites, or individual papers that are published by academics, or research or governmental organizations. They are sometimes (but not always) peer reviewed.

Peer reviewed articles are an example of scholarly sources. Peer reviewed articles are published in scholarly, peer reviewed journals and usually follow a consistent format (with sections such as Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, etc.).The articles have gone through a "peer review process," which involves other experts in the field critically reviewing the article for accuracy, methodology, etc. Examples of peer-reviewed journals include Sustainability Science and Social Responsibility Journal.

Give it a try!
Search in Library Search, or in the article databases linked on the Business -> Green Subject Guide to find articles on topics related to sustainable business management.

Search for keywords, and look for options to filter your search results by date range, article type, and other criteria.

Review the chart below to learn more about the types of articles available via Seneca Libraries.