Friday, April 23, 2010

Recurring Reference Questions: How Do I Get Harvard Business Review Articles?

The details of the question vary slightly. It might be "My teacher wants me to read this particular do I find it?" or "My professor says my paper must include at least one article on the topic from Harvard Business Review (HBR), how do I do that?" but we definitely get a lot of reference questions about how to locate articles in this very well known scholarly business journal.

Occasionally, misguided students (or faculty) who are used to Googling for everything--always a dangerous proposition!--end up at the website for the HBR and think they need to buy access to articles. If you are a current student or faculty member at Suffolk, there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO DO THIS! We at Sawyer Library subscribe to the definitive Business Source Complete (BSC) database, which includes HBR back to 1922, and pay an extra hefty fee besides, to ensure that our community has full research and classroom use of this essential journal.

So, let's review how to access the HBR and find things in it. As with most things, more than one approach will work. First, checking for the title (of the journal, not the article) in the online catalog, is always a valid starting point. The catalog record will tell you ALL your access options, including paper and microform.

Still, most people want online! So here are a couple of easy ways to go for electronic access. Since I have already told you that HBR is in BSC, you could go directly to Business Source Complete, and when you get to the opening search screen, you can enter author, article title or topic keywords (using your boolean operator and in between) and put the term harvard business review in the publication box below and slightly to the right. Here is an illustration:

But often the easiest approach to identifying, searching, and retrieving materials in an electronic journal, starts with our library homepage. Look for the eJournals search tab in the "Search Library Resources" box. Put in your title. (And, remember, hbr is an abbreviation, so you must spell out harvard business review, although there is no need to capitalize letters.)

When you hit enter or click the arrow, our Serials Solutions service will check for the journal and tell you that although HBR is available in several databases, only BSC has both the older issues and the current ones. Click the link for Business Source Complete and you will go to a database page detailing that journal. If you have a citation (year, volume, issue, pagination), you can, if you like, simply click the year, then issue, then article that you want. (This will get you there, but often takes a bit of clicking and browsing.) I prefer--whether I am looking for a topic or a specific article--to click the link for Search within this publication above the "All Issues" list of years. This sets up a base search for Harvard Business Review as a journal. You would then add keywords to search for a specific article or topic.

For example, let's say your professor says that you must read the article "Transforming Giants" by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. After we click the "Search within this publication" link we can add and transforming giants and kanter to the search box to perform a boolean operation to add these additional concepts. The database then identifies the one article in HBR that also contains the phrase transforming giants and the word kanter. See:

This is a relatively quick and easy way to find an article. And a similar technique could be used to search for keywords of your choosing that appear in the journal. And, of course, you can use this method with just about any journal that you verify through the eJournal Locator. Although the screen will vary from database to database, almost all links in the eJournal Locator will take you to a screen that provides an option for searching within that particular journal for additional keyword concepts.

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