Library Research Tools
Freshman Seminar - Marsha Jeppeson

Presented by Anne Bradley, Business Reference Librarian ~ ~
October 2014

Use books to find information on your country!

OneSearch -
Use the online catalog OneSearch to find books on your country. Books can provide a broad overview of the many different aspects of culture and business practices for a particular country.

The search screen allows you to do a Keyword search. Or you can do an Advanced Search and select other fields in the record to search (subject headings, title, author, etc.). Useful Subject terms to consider for this assignment:

Country Business Etiquette (e.g. China Business Etiquette)
Business Etiquette
Intercultural Communication
Country Social Life and Customs (e.g. Japan Social Life and Customs)

Reference Books available in the Library

These books will provide a nice, succinct overview of culture, religion, marriage, food, etc. for a particular country.

CultureGrams - Ref. GT 150 .C85 2003
Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life  -
Ref. GN 333 .W67  1998 

Use Library Databases to find magazine and journal articles about your country!

Use the periodicals indexes (databases) to search for articles on your topic.  Databases can be access in the Library, any computer lab on campus, or from home from the Database and Article Searching page -

Search strategies:

  1. Select a database that may cover your topic.  For best results, search several databases (don’t limit yourself to just one!).
  2. Come up with a clear statement of your topic.
  3. Break your topic down into key concepts. Hint: Some databases include thesauri or indexes that help you choose subject headings for your search.
  4. Combine terms with AND to narrow the search; use OR to broad the search.

General or Multidisciplinary databases – These databases cover a broad range of topics.
1. Academic Search Premier
3. LexisNexis Academic
3. Sacramento Bee

Examples of specialized databases
1. Business – Business Source Premier
2. Education – ERIC
3. Psychology - PsycINFO
4. History – America History and Life

Locating full-text periodicals in the library or databases

Not all databases provide the full-text of articles.  To locate an article in the library or online database, search for the journal or magazine title using the Journal Titles A-Z link on the Library home page.  Articles not available at CSUS Library can be ordered through Interlibrary Loan (submit a form electronically from the library Web site).

Other databases recommended for this assignment

Country Reports from Business Source Premier
Profiles and reports political, economic, corporate and environmental news and trends for each country in the world.

Sociological Abstracts
Covers all facets of sociology and related disciplines including anthropology, criminology, demography, education, law and penology, race relations, social psychology, and urban studies.

How to find further books, databases and websites

We have Research Guides covering a huge variety of topics.

Business Research Guides -

International Business Guide -
Tons of sources for finding more country information.


Using the Internet for research

The world wide web contains a wealth of information; however, you must be very careful when using the web for research purposes.  There are no quality standards for putting information on the web, and as a result many web pages contain unreliable, even false, information.  For this reason, your instructors may limit use of web pages for your research projects.  The web can be a good resource for certain purposes; it may not, however, be the best place to go for academic research.

Internet sites may be useful for locating background information on your topic.  Carefully evaluate the information that you may find on the web using the criteria listed below.


Objectivity/Author Bias




Take a look at the following web site for more information and examples:
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: or, Why It’s a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources 




Library Homepage || Database and Article Searching || Library Guides by Subject

updated: 10/1/2014