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COM362 - Business and Sustainability

Search tools overview

The search tools researchers typically use are Google, Google Scholar, Summon, and a variety of specialized research databases (e.g. Business Source Complete):

search tool triangle, showing Google, Google Scholar, Summon, and specialized database options


To choose a search tool, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Who is producing or publishing the information I need (individual researchers, government, research institutions)?
  2. How are they distributing their information (via websites, formal publications like books or journals)?

If you are looking for commercially published information such as journals, books, magazines and newspapers, you’ll find them via the Library's collection using tools like Google Scholar, Summon and our specialized research databases.  If you are looking for government information, publications from organizations or associations, as well as non-commercially published information (grey literature), search the open Internet using Google or any other search engine.

The library collection

Top databases for business and sustainability research topics:

See selected search words below. Try combining these with specific company or industry keywords or other business topics.

Sustainable development, Environmental management, Environmental responsibility, Renewable energy sources, Sustainable engineering, Sustainable tourism, Social responsibility of business, Environmental auditing, Green marketing, Sustainability management, Sustainable reporting, Environmental ethics, Environmental accounting, Green products, Social investing, Green business, Sustainable design, Clean energy industries, Corporate environmentalism etc.


Watch the following video (6:30min) from SFU Library outlining the four steps to searching business databases. This video covers advanced search techniques and how to filter and refine your search in Business Source Complete.


Depending on your topic, your research may benefit from searching broadly across our collections. Try an interdisciplinary database or search the whole library using Summon. Searching Summon will allow you to discover e-books which can help to provide a broad examination of a topic, more historical context and cumulative coverage than a journal article.


Interdisciplinary databases:

Watch the following video (2:56min) to learn how databases can help with your research assignments.

The video above is an introduction to Library Search.


Find more resources by browsing a list of all our databases (view frequently used databases or browse databases by subject) or subject guides created by librarians.

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This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.