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ENGL 302: Business Communication

Course guide for English 302: Business Communication

Finding Indexes

The library provides a list of Articles & Databases that you have access to as an ISU student. You can access these from the library homepage.

Link to articles and databases page
Link to the Articles and Databases page

General Purpose Indexes

General purpose article indexes cover many different subject areas and often include articles from magazines and newspapers as well as from scholarly journals. One good example of a general-purpose index is Academic Search Ultimate. Because it covers many different subject areas, a general-purpose index like this can be a good place to start.

In Academic Search Ultimate, options for filtering your search results are located on the left side of your screen in the Refine Results section. You can use these to focus your search results in various ways.

Refine Results feature in Academic Search Ultimate
Figure 2.18 Academic Search Ultimate, Refine Results feature

Academic Search Ultimate has some interesting and unique features, including text to speech technology that can read articles to you. Other features include saving your search results, filtering articles to peer-reviewed journals only, and generating citations for your bibliography.

Indexes like Academic Search Ultimate are great for finding information when you’re not sure which subject area your topic falls under. However, if you want to find in-depth research articles in a specific subject area, subject-focused indexes are a better choice.

Subject-focused databases

When you are doing in-depth research and need to find a comprehensive set of scholarly articles in a particular subject area, the best finding tool will almost always be an index focused on that subject. Here are a few examples of subject-focused indexes to give you a better idea of what they can cover:

  • CAB Abstracts is one of the largest agricultural databases covering international research and development literature in the fields of agronomy, animal health, forestry, human health, nutrition, and management & conservation of natural resources.
  • Design & Applied Arts Index (DAAI) is an international index that provides resources on topics related to design and applied arts such as advertising, product design, and architecture. It contains citations and abstracts of articles, news items, and reviews created from 1973 to the present.
  • Compendex – Engineering Village is a highly comprehensive engineering database with over 14 million records from journals, conference proceedings and technical papers in all engineering disciplines. Coverage dates from 1884 to the present.
  • Food Science and Technology Abstracts is produced by the International Food Information Service (IFIS), and is the world’s leading database of information on food science, food technology and nutrition.
  • Sociological Abstracts provides full-text access to resources on topics related to sociology such as family and marriage, social change, and culture. This index covers thousands of journals dating back to 1952 and includes articles, book chapters, and conference papers.
  • ABI/INFORM Global searches worldwide business periodicals for in-depth coverage of business and economic conditions, management techniques, theory, and practice of business, advertising, marketing, economics, human resources, finance, taxation, computers, and more.
  • ERIC (Education Resource Information Center, EBSCOhost Access) is a comprehensive index of education literature and curriculum materials, containing more than 1.3 million records and links to more than 323,000 full-text documents dating back to 1966.
  • Communication & Mass Media Complete is a robust communication studies database. It provides full-text, indexing and abstracts for many top communication journals covering all related disciplines, including media studies, linguistics, rhetoric and discourse.

Subject-focused indexes like these offer discipline-specific tools to help you search, sort, and focus your results. For example, history databases let you search by the date an event occurred, whereas chemistry databases let you search by chemical compound. You will want to familiarize yourself with the indexes that relate to your classes so you can efficiently find the best sources for your projects.