Business Resources


Penn State subject librarians have set up Research Guides to help students navigate the library resources in particular subject areas. You will find a number of guides dealing with Business and Economics. You can also access a host of resources from the Schreyer Business Library.


Search Gale Virtual Reference Library for background information on hundreds of business topics.


The North American Classification System (NAICS) replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) in 1997. NAICS is used to classify businesses in order to collect and analyze statistical data. You may find it helpful to know the NAICS code for your business since some databases are searchable using NAICS.

You can find NAICS codes on the U.S. Census Bureau website.


In addition to local and regional business publications, this database includes company profiles, journals, trade publications, and industry periodicals. The Wall Street Journal, full text, is included in this database. Look at the indexing for the article “Do Your Own Taxes – Or Not” (found after the full text) to see the Subjects listed. Searching using relevant subject terms will improve your results.

Searchable fields in the ABI/Inform database

You can search this database using your selected firm as a keyword, or, to find more relevant results, by company name (select Company/org-ORG).

You can also search this database by NAICS code. For example, to find useful information for analyzing H & R Block, I could search by the NAICS code for tax preparation services (541213).

This database contains First ReSearch Industry Profiles, which provide industry overviews and general background information, including information about the competitive landscape, sales & marketing, and business challenges.

Try searching using the term accounting services in the document title field combined with the publication title First Research to see the December 2011 quarterly update “Accounting Services.”

Business Source Premier
An essential article database for business research providing the full text for more than 2,000 periodicals. You can also search this database by company name or NAICS code. Try combining your company name with the term SWOT to find a SWOT analysis.



Excellent for company information, including business news, SEC filings, and competitors.

Mergent Online
Another excellent source of company information.

Plunkett Research Online
This database is divided into Industry Research Centers. Choose “Search all industries” if you’re not sure where to begin. Once you get to the appropriate center, you’ll find tools such as Market Research and Trends, Statistics, a Glossary, and Associations.

Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage
You may find some useful information in the Industry Surveys.



Factiva (Dow Jones)

BNA Law Resources

CCH Business and Finance Internet Research NetWork

Lexis/Nexis Academic

IBISWorld is one of the best business databases and includes:

  • information you need to do a SWOT analysis
  • over 700 full-text industry reports
  • information organized by NAICS
  • over 8,000 publicly traded companies
  • hundreds of economic and demographic profiles

Value Line
To access a Value Line report for a particular company, you may find it helpful to refer to my suggestions for searching.


You can find books, DVDs, CDs, and links to electronic resources in Penn State’s online library catalog The CAT.

  • I recommend using the Advanced Search option
  • If the item you want is not at the York campus, request it by clicking “I Want It.” You will be asked for your Access ID and password. Select York as the pickup location and then click Place Hold. Books usually arrive at our campus within 2-3 days.

Searching by subject heading will produce more relevant results.