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What you need to find and use

Different types of information

As part of your program you will be asked to prepare assignments that will require you to find and use a range of different types of information. This might include: 

  • Scholarly books & ebooks - good starting point
  • Peer reviewed academic journal articles (e.g. Academy of Management journals) 
  • Good quality trade magazine articles (e.g. Harvard Business Review, The Economist)
  • Industry data, statistics & reports, government reports
  • News/media articles (if your assignments specify that you can use this type of resource)

Grey Literature is research that has not been commercially published and is therefore not always searchable in academic databases or even some general search engines. 

Common types of grey literature are "reports, conference proceedings, preprints, working papers, theses, dissertations, personal communications, technical notes" and other ephemeral scientific sources, often published by government, business or academic organizations*. This kind of literature can be key for emerging research and alternative perspectives. 

Government Publications are a subset of grey literature, and can be important sources for state, federal, and international perspectives on official government proceedings of all kinds. Find these by using an Advanced Google Scholar Search or the Australian Government Web Archive

‚ÄčTrade Literature refers to magazines, websites, newsletters and other sources aimed at professionals in a particular field. These sources will often report news and trends in the field, reviews of products related to the industry at hand, interviews with leaders in the field, as well as job listings and advertisements. Use QUT Library QuickFind or a library database & limit results to trade magazines.  Examples are HRMagazine, Workforce, Strategic HR Review

Refer to the Types of Publication page in Study Smart to find out more about the range of information you might be using in your assignments. Remember, the type of information you will be using will differ depending on your assignment. 

Peer-reviewed journal articles

"Peer reviewed" means that a resource, commonly a journal article, is:

  • Written by experts 
  • An editor and one or more subject specialists review the article before it is published
  • Accurate information
  • Well-researched
  • Contributes to knowledge in a field
  • Mainly journal articles
  • Published in legitimate journals
  • Trust the information given is accurate and reputable

Using peer-reviewed articles means you already know that the research is credible and reliable and you should only need to determine if the content is relevant to your assignment.

While peer-reviewed journal articles are always scholarly, scholarly journal articles are not always peer-reviewed. You may be directed by your unit coordinator to only use peer-reviewed journal articles (in amongst other types of material) in an assignment. If not, you might choose to use scholarly journal articles that have not been peer-reviewed, but you must ensure you evaluate them. 

Look for the peer-reviewed icon in Library Search to identify peer-reviewed articles: peer reviewed icon

Search Tips

  • Use the keywords not the entire question
  • Link your keywords together into an effective search
    • AND: combine concepts. Smartphone AND Australia
    • OR: connect synonyms. Smartphone OR mobile 
    • (nesting): keeps terms together, e.g., (smartphone OR mobile) AND Australia
    • “phrase search”: “integrated marketing communication”
    • Truncat*: Search on the stem of the word. E.g., searching for govern* would return government, governing, governance...

Refresh your searching and information evaluation skills

The interactive book below provides an introduction to the different types and sources of information you might use during your MBA. 

Use the menu on the left side of screen to explore the sections of interest to you. 

Subjects: Business / General business, Business / Management and human resources
Tags: business, emba, leadership, management, mba, performance