Making Subject Headings work for you – targeting your search using the Thesaurus in ProQuest and Ebsco

Are you having trouble finding relevant articles in your database search results? Are you struggling to identify the right keywords to define your topic? The Thesaurus could help!

It might sound like something out of Jurassic World, but a database thesaurus is actually a searchable list of the ‘controlled’ subject headings used by that database. These standardised headings are used ‘tag’ articles to help you find what you want. Since terminology can change from country to country and over time, these standardised subject headings can pick up articles which you might miss when you think of your own keywords. The Thesaurus will also show you broader, narrower and related terms which can help to guide your search.

So, for example, if you look up ‘Strategic Management’ in the ProQuest Thesaurus, you’ll find ‘Corporate management’ as a broader term and ‘Balanced scorecard’ as a narrower term. You’ll also find related terms such as ‘Enterprise risk management’, ‘Market strategy’ and ‘Strategic planning’. You could add some or all of those terms to your search to find articles you need.

ProQuest has made a short video to help you find and use the Thesaurus. It’s well worth a look!

The Thesaurus in Ebsco’s Business Source Complete works in a similar way. There’s a guide available with more help and information.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please get in touch with us at buslib@swansea.ac.uk.

Finding information on research methods for your Masters dissertation

The Library has a large collection of books and journals on research methodology for  business and the social sciences.  Here are some tips:

Organizational Research methods

Qualitative Market Research

Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management

Qualitative Studies.

Journal of Methods and Measurement in the social sciences

Journal of Mixed Methods research

Social Science research

International Journal of Qualitative methods

Social Research Update

  • Alternatively when using one of our subscribed databases such as EBSCO Business Sources Complete, include words such research, methodology, qualitative research, quantitative research when searching in order to locate articles which include information on the research methods used:
EbscoSearch

Screenshot of a search in Ebsco’s Business Source Complete (click the image to see a larger version)

How do I find past School of Management dissertations?

Are you going to be working on your dissertation or report over the summer?

You might find it useful to look at examples of dissertations by previous Swansea University students. The library keeps print copies of all theses at doctoral level and some examples of good quality masters level dissertations. Finding them is easy. Capture

Search iFind Discover for your topic or, if you are looking for a specific dissertation you could use the author title search. Use the filters on the search results page to limit the location to LIC Theses.

You can limit your results to dissertation from the School of management by scrolling down to the filters for corporate author and selecting Swansea University School of Management.

Here are some direct links to search results for…

Management reports

MBA reports

MSc Finance reports

MSc Marketing reports

The library keeps dissertations in a closed store. You need to ask for the ones you want to use at the information desk in the Library. The dissertation will then be issued to your student card. You will then get the dissertation to look at whilst you are in the library during service desk hours.

Finding examples of Swansea University SoM dissertations and reports

If you are working on a dissertation or report over the summer you may wish to take a look at some earlier examples that we hold in the library. You can find these in the library catalogue. Here are some direct links to search results for:

Management reports

Management consultancy reports

Dissertations based on business plans (subject search for “new business enterprises”)

MBA reports

Some recent MSc Marketing titles

Some recent MSc Finance titles

As long as you keep the “Retain my current filters” box checked (which will keep the Location set to LIC Theses only) then you can also search on specific topics combined with the type of report. You can set the Sort order to be “Date Descending” to get the most recent ones first:

Screenshot of the catalogue showing the Location filter set to LIC Theses

(Click for a larger image)

All the dissertations are kept in our locked thesis store so, when you have found the title you want, you will need to bring the details to the Information Desk so we can fetch it for you. Dissertations can only be looked at in the library so need to be consulted within service desk opening hours.

 

 

Help with dissertations & research projects

We have several books in the library that provide expert help and advice with business research projects or dissertations:

Riley-Cover“Researching and Writing Dissertations in Business and Management” by Riley

 

 

 

Polonsky-Cover“Designing and Managing a Research Project: a business student’s guide” by Polonsky & Waller

 

 

 

 

Easterby-Smith-Cover“Management Research” by Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson

 

 

 

Wilson-Cover“Essentials of Business Research: a guide to doing your research project” by Wilson

 

 

 

As well as covering the entire process of starting and completing a research project, these books also mention the value of using your librarians! From Riley (2000, p.63):

Sadly, many students (and some academic staff!) rarely familiarize themselves to any extent with the facilities of their library and are thus deprived of knowledge relating to the full range of available information
and from Polonsky & Waller (2011, p.123)
We strongly encourage you to go to your university library and talk with a reference librarian regarding the data sources your university has and the training related to searching these databases and/or reference management systems provided. You will be amazed how happy librarians are to help you learn how to search for information. They will, however, be less helpful if you simply expect them to do your work. The library and librarians are a critical resource that all too many students do not avail themselves of. While you can get a lot of materials from the Internet and alternative data sources, librarians have expertise in searching for information so getting support from them is similar to getting support from the literature. It can save time reinventing the wheel!
and from Wilson (2010, p.66)
your academic library will have information specialists who are there to guide you in your net searches. Make sure you can tell them just what it is that you are seeking, and be prepared to listen to their advice 
The School of Management can be contacted via buslib@swansea.ac.uk for one to one appointments for research projects. We also teach literature searching classes on many programs and are running business information seminars this term.

Looking at examples of business reports and dissertations

The library holds business reports / dissertations from previous students in our thesis store – you can view them by asking at the Information Desk. If you can give us the titles of the ones you would like to view, we will fetch them for you. They can only be used in the library and within desk opening hours. You will be asked to sign a form to confirm that you will acknowledge / reference any material you use from each dissertation.

All our dissertations and theses are in the library catalogue. This link will take you to a search with the location “LIC Theses” pre-set so, as long as you keep the box checked to “retain my current filters”, all results will be from our theses/dissertations collection:

Screenshot of the Location: LIC Theses results filter from the library catalogue

The collection covers all subject and includes PhD theses. You may find the following links more useful:

MBA Reports 

MSc Reports / Dissertations

If you wish to search for a topic within the results, keep the search terms that are there in the box and add keywords (e.g. marketing, China). Keeping the sort order as “Date Descending” will bring up the most recent ones first.