- About Us
- Academic Programmes
- Academic Calendars
- Online Registration
- Master's Degree
- Postgraduate Diploma
- Advanced Diploma
- Advanced Certificate (GAUTENG)
- Module M Alpha
- PM Short Course (MDL)
- Fast-track PM (MDL)
- Advanced Writing (MDL)
- Professional English (MDL)
- Fast-track English (MDL)
- Short Courses
- Master Classes
- In-house Programmes
- Resource Centre
- Campus Location
- Cranefield Alumni
- Social Responsibility
- Contact us
HOW TO SEARCH IN ABI COMPLETE
Open Web vs. Deep Web (and how it affects your research)
Academic information, suitable for research, is available on both the Open Web (Internet) and the Deep (or Invisible) Web (= this includes databases such as ABI (Proquest).
Today, scholarly information is becoming increasingly available (often free of charge) on the Internet. The information is often recent, but random (not chosen by experts), and needs to be evaluated according to certain criteria before being used for serious research. Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com) is a scholarly Web search engine which covers a wide variety of research documents – articles, reports, conference papers, theses, and more. It is quick, easy to use, free of charge, and has comprehensive international coverage. If you have access to the Internet, you can access Google.
It can be useful as a starting point for your literature review process, or to supplement it, or to double-check your literature review citations. However, it has limitations which you need to be aware of. Some of these are: incomplete coverage (you won’t know what you’re missing – literally), inconsistency in citation styles (implications for your bibliography), and it does not distinguish between peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed documents (was the article written by an expert in the field, or by a maverick merely interested in the subject?).
Don’t worry if the above is not 100% clear to you. All of it – and more – will become so when you start using this search engine. Although useful, Google Scholar cannot be used for serious research, without being supplemented by high-quality, refereed or peer reviewed research information – such as that found on the Deep Web.
The Deep Web consists of collections of information, chosen by subject experts and librarians, which can safely be used for research. These collections, e.g. Proquest, often comprise a number of databases, divided into various subject areas, for ease of use by scholars, librarians and researchers. These databases are subscription-based, costly, and therefore often shared via library consortia.
Cranefield College has chosen to subscribe to Proquest’s ABI Complete – an excellent electronic source of management, business and economics information. It comprises a set of three databases: ABI/Inform Dateline, ABI/Inform Global, and ABI/Inform Trade & Industry. Dateline has a strong American bias, and indexes over 190 sources, covering local and regional business, corporation and marketing information. Trade & Industry is international (there is material on South Africa), and covers more than 1200 business periodicals with a trade and industry focus.
Global has over 3000 indexed periodicals, most of which are “full-text”, which means that you can have instant access to the complete article, which you can either read, print out, or email to yourself for later study. Global is international in coverage, and is, as ABI itself says: the “most scholarly and comprehensive way to explore and understand business research topics”.
ABI is also an “intelligent” database – you will get out more than you put in. For example, it not only chooses the most relevant articles according to your input, but it also suggests various alternative topics and subtopics for you to consider. With a bit of practice, you will soon be extracting plenty of relevant material for your research!
2. Getting started in ABI:-There are several detailed guides to the use of ABI, on the Internet.
This handout is merely a quick orientation, so that you will recognise the screens when you practise by yourself.
Type in the ABI Web address: http://proquest.umi.com/login
Type in your id and password (for your password, contact Cranefield administration)
Decide whether you will search across all three databases, or only one.
• Tip: Global is the most comprehensive, and contains the most peer reviewed journals.
You can now choose from Basic (Search), Advanced (Search), Topics (guide), Browse (featured resources and publications), Publications (Search) and My Research (view your documents, searches and visited publications).
• Research Tip: You can take your first steps in Basic, but when you seriously start researching, go straight to Advanced. There are more options for more complex searches.
Enter a keyword (e.g. teambuilding) or a phrase (e.g. balanced scorecard). If your phrase has more than two words, use quote marks (e.g. “total quality management”). Words can be joined by Boolean operators (AND, OR, AND NOT), to focus your search.
You can now specify a date range, and restrict your results to full text and/or to scholarly/peer reviewed journals.
You can, via the drop-down menus, also restrict your search to publication title, author, citation & abstract, etc.
Research Tip: If, to start with, you get, let’s say, 2000 results (“hits”), your search is too wide. Narrow it down – by date restriction, by peer-reviewed articles, etc. Check if you are not getting book reviews or newspaper articles (which you may not want). Refine your search until you get what you can see is spot-on, and until there is a manageable (for you) number of articles. Of course, there may just be a lot published on the topic you’re researching. Checking the first ten or twenty results will soon show you if you are on track.
Use the same method as with Basic, but now you can enter more terms and more specifications than in Basic. Use the various options to narrow your search. You can vary the options for each term you enter – e.g. one term can be in the title, one term can be an author, etc. You can also create extra ‘boxes’ (you will see Add Row on the screen) and thus enter extra terms.
Search here for a topic and/or subtopics.
(a) Enter a term, select Suggest Topics, then click on Find Term. ABI will suggest terms similar to the one you entered. Scroll through to find what you want. Then click on View articles, or click on Narrow to narrow your search down.
(b) Enter a term, select Look up Topics A-Z, then click on Find Term. Follow the same process as in (a).
If (a) you want to browse through a particular journal title, or (b) you know about an article in a particular journal title in, let’s say, 2006, but you’re not sure which issue it appears in, Publications is the screen you need.
Select a title. A new screen will open with a list of the various issues available, which may or may not be full text.
• Research Tip: This can also be a useful place to do a final check on the citation details of articles you used (from ABI), for your bibliography.
• My Research:
Here you can see recent searches and marked articles that you have perused. You can edit the page by removing articles not needed, and adding your own comments.
• General Tip: On each screen (Basic, Advanced, etc.) you will see the word “about”. If you click on it, you will be taken to a clear, concise and user-friendly help section for that particular screen.
• Librarian’s Tip: Practise finding your way around ABI, using its various features, before your research gets serious. Search for an article you know or already have in your possession. Try looking for it on Google Scholar as well. That way, you will see how ABI and Google present results.