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A Master Course Guide for IUB

Helpful boxes to include in many IUB LibGuides.

Business/SPEA Library

1315 E. Tenth Street, Room 150
Bloomington, IN 47405
Business/SPEA Library

Business/SPEA Library

1315 E. Tenth Street, Room 150
Bloomington, IN 47405
Business/SPEA Library

General Library Resources

  IUB Libraries Website

Use the "Research" tab to find databases by subject/discipline. The Business subject page has a curated list of business databases, or consult the A-Z Database link for a list of all the Indiana University Bloomington subscription databases. These resources must be accessed through the Libraries website or portals like this guide.

   Business/SPEA Citation Guide

Examples of how to cite business information in both MLA and APA citation formats.

Citation and Style Guides

Citation involves properly crediting the authors of information sources used in a paper or presentation. You will need to cite if sources are directly quoted and/or paraphrased or if reading a source contributed to the ideas presented. 

Always cite your sources.

Different disciplines use certain citation styles. Use these Quick Style Guides, the full citation manuals, or ask library staff for citation assistance.


Quick Style Guides


Full Style Manuals

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Business information experts give you the research needed to have a competitive edge for your interview. Walk in the door with knowledge of your company, market, and/or consumer to set yourself apart from the start.

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Company Research Basics


Company information is generated by a company itself (e.g., company website, SEC filings, press releases, etc.) as well as outside parties (e.g., newspaper and trade articles, analyst reports, etc.). Some company information, like analysis, cannot be obtained freely online. A lot of company information is proprietary (e.g., product level sales, manufacturing processes, etc.) and can not be found at all.

Public Companies:

A public company has sold a portion of the business to the public via an IPO (initial public offering) and offers securities (e.g., stocks, shares, bonds, loans, etc.) for sale to the general public, typically through a stock exchange or over-the-counter market.

Domestic, public companies must file financial statements with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and issue annual reports. A current annual reports can typically be found on a company's website. In addition, public companies tend to be written about more in the business and popular press. These factors lead to large amounts of company financial and business information being made available to the public and outside parties.

A ticker symbol (example: Apple Inc. = AAPL) is an abbreviation used to uniquely identify publicly traded shares of a particular stock on a stock exchange. A good way to find a ticker symbol is to use Google (search: Apple ticker). Many library databases and information tools can be searched by ticker symbol, which can lead to a more precise set of search results.

Private Companies:

Ownership of a private company is held by a handful of people, often the founder and a few others. Private companies typically do not file financial statements with the SEC or disclose a lot of information to avoid leaking secrets to competitors. For these reasons, researching a private company is more challenging. You usually will not find extensive financial information for private companies. A current, annual sales or sales volume figure is the statistic most often reported. You may need to accept a revenue range or estimate or even inferred revenue based on information known or presumed. Depending on size, there is usually less published about private companies. For smaller, private companies much of the information that can be found is produced by the company itself.

Research a private company by:

  • Company website
  • Primary research: Research that is conducted by you through surveys or interviews or observation.
  • Company profile: Library databases house some sales and employment data for private companies.
  • Proxy companies: Research larger, more established companies in the same industry or market.


A subsidiary is a company that is completely or partly owned and wholly controlled by another company. A parent company is a company that owns enough voting stock in another firm to control management and operations. Often financial data and other information for a subsidiary is limited and/or wrapped up with parent company information. You will want to look at both parent and subsidiary to obtain a complete picture. The Corporate Affiliations database linked below provides information on company hierarchies and some subsidiary data:

Company Information Sources

Company research requires the use of a variety of information sources packaged in different formats, including:

  • Analyst reports and company analysis
  • Articles (scholarly, trade, and news)
  • Business case studies
  • Company and competitor profiles/reports
  • Data and statistics
  • Financial statements and annual reports
  • Industry and market reports
  • Websites

You will need to synthesize information found across many of these sources in order to address your research questions--there will not be one perfect report or article that has all the answers.

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What Info Where?

You can't buy tires at Taco Bell
and you can't get a SWOT analysis from Mintel. Different kinds of business-related information are created, tracked and published by different organizations, which means they show up in different databases. Knowing what you're looking for helps you search in the right places.


Market Research

Market Information



What is it? Data on …

age, race, ethnicity, education, income and religion of a population. behaviors, opinions and preferences of consumers performance and outlook of industries with regard to financial performance, competitors, and operating conditions financial performance, structure, initiatives, strengths and weaknesses of specific companies



Type of question answered by this information

  • How many people live in Indiana?
  • What is the racial makeup of Atlanta?
  • How many people in Bloomington are over 50 & have at least a bachelor’s degree?
  • What kind of branding works best for green products?
  • Who is most likely to buy healthier snacks?
  • What features are most important to car shoppers?
  • How much revenue do American breweries bring in?
  • How much money is spent on bottled water?
  • Will the market for electric cars grow or decline in the next 5 years?
  • How much revenue does Nike bring in annually?
  • What brands are owned by Unilever?
  • What are 3M’s most recent products?


Who creates/tracks/publishes this information?

US Census Bureau Researchers; some employed by market research firms, others working in academia in Business, Psychology or Economics departments. Industry analysts, Economists, Various US Government agencies, like the Bureau of Labor Statistics Business analysts, The Securities and Exchange Commission, The company itself, News sources



Which databases or websites have this kind of information?