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The iMBA's Guide to Digital Business Research

Welcome to the iMBA's Guide to Digital Business Research

This Libguide is designed specifically for you, the iMBA student. It will help you quickly get started with both research and career plans. Google is great but not all information is free or openly available.  Here, you can find introductions to various kinds of library databases with instructions on how to search, tips on search strategies, and recommended resources for job hunting. We also distinguish what you can find on the open Net. 

Bookmark this page, and you will find it a good friend whenever you need help or inspiration. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact STEM Entrepreneurship & Business Information Services at

STEM Entrepreneurship & Business Librarian:


Becky Smith 
Associate Professor



Do's and Don'ts


When possible, check more than one source to validate your strategy and your recommendations that contain facts.

Split up research on the team, it's easier to draw upon each team member's strengths.

Use the databases at home.

Use your library/information specialists for help if your company permits, especially if your team's project is directly related to your job.

E-mail BIS ( for help if you get stuck.  If your question is very specialized, it will take some time to help formulate a strategy and get back to you; don't expect a response right away, and give the librarians time to e-mail back if they need clarification about your query.

Keyword searching in the main search box of each resource is a good place to start. If there are subject links in the results that look relevant, follow those links and use the other database fields in order to narrow down your search results.

Think of synonyms and technical terms in addition to jargon or buzz words.

Use Google when you can't find anything at all



The databases here are not for job projects or sales prospects. The databases your company subscribes to are to be used for work purposes; the ones presented here are for academic/education (not-for-profit) purposes only and their use would be considered a conflict of interest.  It will be tempting, but please don't do it.

Even if your company is paying for you to attend the program, they are paying for the instruction and facility, not for using databases for your job or company projects because your company should be paying commercial rates (rightfully so) for the resources. (If they can't afford these databases, then locate an information broker to do the searches who knows how to extract the data needed for cost efficiency.)

Vendors know very quickly when there are too many downloads on a particular area or from their database in general.  We are alerted to such exploitations and illegal uses. 

Any passwords obtained are not for your company colleagues, assistants, friends, etc., especially for market research report resources. If someone else uses them and they are caught using them illegally, UIUC can be sued, loses access, and loses its reputation with the database vendor for unlawful use.  Take the Vegas approach: what happens here stays here. 

To reiterate, vendors know pretty quickly when there are too many downloads on a particular area or from their database in general.

Need More Help?

Grainger Engineering Library Information Center's STEM Entrepreneurship & Business Services can assist you in getting started with these and other resources.  If you have any questions, please e-mail