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EXP 485 - New Venture Development: Home

Library resources for the Business Plan Practicum class.

Threshold Concept

Searching as Strategic Exploration

  • Realize that information sources vary greatly in content and format and have varying relevance and value, depending on the needs and nature of your search.
  • Recognize the value of browsing and other serendipitous methods of information gathering.

Resurces for this class (EXP 485)

Here are a few tips to for researching:

  • Google isn't always helpful. The best business information is not free, but library does subscribe to numerous resources. When you do use Google, try using some advanced search functionality to make your search more effective. For more on advanced google search operators check out Google help and this support page from
  • When using these databases, adjust your search terms if you're not getting the results you hoped for--try synonyms and scour article titles, abstracts, and subject headings in your search results for likely search terms to use.  Sometimes a thesaurus or encyclopedia come in handy when brainstorming search terms.
  • Use double quotes to search multiple words as a phrase (e.g. "new age" finds these terms in exact order).
  • Use an asterisk to substitute for letters at the end of a word (e.g. crit* finds critic, criticism, critique etc.).
  • If you can't find what you're looking for, schedule an appointment!

First, you might want to figure out if there are any companies already doing what you're thinking of, or something close to it. The following databases are listed in order of company *size* that they cover: from smallest to largest.

Next, you might want to find out more about the "space" in which your idea/business fits - i.e., do some industry research. Our two best "all purpose" industry research databases are:


The following databases are our best resources for hi-tech or medical/pharma market research:


Try the following resources if your research is more consumer or "daily life products"-oriented:

Tweezing market or industry research information out of articles

If you can't find a report specifically on your company/product/industry in our market and industry research databases, you may have to comb the article databases for articles about your company/product/industry, and scan them for data: a statistic here, a percentage there. Yeah, I know, it's a lot more work! Here are your 4 best bets for business articles, in the order in which I would try them:

Just a few of our many resources for statistical data, in order from "most local and focused" to "most wide-ranging and possibly odd."

General Information

Court Cases

Uniform State Laws


Intellectual Property, Cyberlaw, and E-Commerce

Consumer Protection


Global Business


Also of interest...


Complete Business Resources Guide

Business Librarian

Robert Berkman's picture
Robert Berkman

My Office Hours at Simon are: Tues/Thurs 11:30am-1:30pm in Career Center, Schlegel 3rd Floor

        Chat is unavailable right now, feel free to email me.      
Outreach, Learning and Research Services; Rush Rhees Library, 500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd. Rochester NY 14627