One of the most frustrating aspects of searching for articles in a database is not knowing which keywords to use to find information. This can especially be hard when researching a type of business or an industry. The business type you are researching can seem so specific that it gets frustrating weeding through irrelevant articles, or it can be so obscure that you find little or no articles. Well, here's a tip that will help you find journal articles about businesses and industries, no matter how specific or obscure: find out how the government classifies your business or industry.
How do you do that? The government uses a system called NAICS (pronounced "nakes"), which stands for North American Industry Classification System. It was developed along with the governments of Canada and Mexico as a way to classify businesses in order to collect statistical data about the business economies of those nations. Industries are given a code, usually 6 digits long, which identifies their primary type of business.
In library article databases provided by EBSCO, including Academic Search Premier and Business Source Premier, you have the ability to search for articles using a NAICS code, because articles in these databases are indexed with the NAICS codes that are relevant to that article. So if you find the NAICS code for the industry you are researching, you can enter that code in those databases and get of set of articles that are indexed with that code.
Finding the correct NAICS code can be a little tricky. There is a NAICS website which includes a code search (http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html). The search is very strict, so it is best to search using a single keyword here; for instance, rather than searching "floral arrangements" search "floral," "flower," or "florist." What may work a little better is to go to Google and search "NAICS" along with the industry you are looking for. For instance, if you go to the NAICS site and search "event planning" you won't get results, but if you Google "NAICS event planning," the first result you get is an announcement from the Census bureau explaining that NAICS code 561920 covers the activities done on a daily basis by event planners.
With that code in hand, you can now go to Academic Search Premier or Business Source Premier and find articles indexed with this code. In one of the keyword boxes type IC along with your NAICS code in quotes (for example: IC "561920"). Click the Search button, and you will get a list of articles indexed with that code. Since NAICS codes often cover a number of different industries, you may want to narrow the results down by entering in keywords in the additional keyword boxes.