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MBA Library Guide

Business research dispositions

Use what you pay forReport cover pages

Novice business researchers often turn to Google or other internet search tools to find information. Yet, value-added business information such as industry reports are not usually freely available on the internet. 

More experienced business researchers turn to resources that provide access to fee-based information.  The CSUMB Library website gives you access (thanks to your tuition fee) to a variety of business information such as First Research Industry Reports—resources that others usually will have to pay for.  

Be skepticalQuestion mark

Many experienced business researchers are born skeptics; it's useful to use a critical eye when evaluating information. Questions to ask include:

  • What is the date of publication?
  • What are the credentials of the author?
  • What are the publisher's credentials?
  • Why is the information being published?
  • Also, seek confirmation by using multiple sources


Right from the start of your research, you should be keeping track of what information Ethics clipartyou find and where you get your information from.  Some find it useful to create one dedicated project folder to store information.  Good organization and storage practices will ease the process of creating papers and presentations.

Reasons to cite your sources include:

  • It's required
  • It is the ethical thing to do
  • Skeptics want to know where you get your information from
  • Good sources support and strengthen your paper or presentation 

For help on citing business sources, see the pdf document Citing Business Information Sources APA Style, 7th ed.

Globe and newspaper

  • Don't rely on just one source
  • Look for confirmation in other sources 
  • Business research often entails checking a range of search tools and collecting and correlating information from different sources.  

Popular business information sources

Government fillingsCover pages

  • You can access government filings...
    • through the library's Companies Research Guide
    • by searching a government agency's filings database (if publicly available)
    • sometimes via the company's/nonprofit's website
  • Popular government filings include:
    • Form 10-K (20-F for international companies)
    • Form 990
    • Form S-1 (Form F-1 for international companies)


Company reportsReport cover pages

Industry reportsReport cover pages

Trade associationsPeople

Trade association websites can provide information about best practices, ethical guidelines, legislative issues, trends, and other industry-related issues.  

  • Access varies
    • Sometimes information is free
    • Often information is available for a fee
  • You can find trade associations by...
    • noting references to associations in articles and reports
    • searching the internet using the words association and your industry

Trade magazinesTrade magazine covers

Sometimes called trade journals, these publications cover trends, news, and other information focused on one industry.

  • You can access trade journals...
    • through the journals website 
      • can sometimes find free information
      • access often limited to subscribers
    • via the library's business databases