How to do research in Business

Library resources for researchers working on business-related topics such as industry, company, or financial markets research.


Topic-specific keywords will help improve your results in a general multidisciplinary database like ABI/ProQuest, Google Scholar, HOLLIS, or Business Source Complete.  

Add keywords like these to your search:

  • Industry keywords – automotive, food, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods
  • Company names – Apple, Inc.,, Inc., Procter & Gamble Co. 
  • Financial terms – stock prices, mergers and acquisitions, equities, fixed income, distressed debt 


The best tool for your project may be a specialized search engine, also known as a database. These databases are subject-specific or format-specific search tools:

Industry and market data

Statista (via HarvardKey) -- A statistics-focused database that integrates thousands of data points across diverse topics  from a wide range of sources onto a single platform.

IBISWorld (via HarvardKey) – A database of  research reports on a variety of industries. Geographic coverage includes  the United States,  United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, China and a limited number of global reports.

Company research

Capital IQ (individual accounts)  – A database  with in-depth financials, filings and transaction data  for public and some private companies; includes a powerful entity screening tool for creating target lists.  

Dig Deeper

Baker Library Research Guides provide research resources by industry. Our "Fast Answers" FAQs provide targeted guidance on research topics.

Databases for Business and Management- explore the full list of Harvard Library databases in this subject category.


Business research librarians are available to meet with and answer questions from all Harvard affiliates. The best way to reach us is through the “Ask Us” page at Harvard Business School’s Baker Library.

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Talk to a librarian for advice on defining your topic, developing your research strategy, and locating and using sources. Make an appointment now.

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