The Library

Write and Cite

In academic assignments you are expected to show that you know how to find and use scholarly sources relevant to your topic. But how do you find these sources and how do you use them in your text?

Getting started with your assignment

Before searching for information you have to decide what you need in order to answer your research question. Increased knowledge about a subject might result in you changing or editing your research question. This again will lead to reassessing your information needs and new searches.

Strategies for finding information

There are many strategies for finding information:

  • Recommendations
  • Look at literature lists in recommended books and articles
  • Searching in databases

The website "Search and write" is made for students wanting to learn more about information gathering and academic writing. In "Search and Write" you can read more about how to get an overview of a subject.

Consider what type of information you need

  • Do you need books or articles?
  • Are you looking for newspaper articles?
  • Do you need empirical data such as statistics or company information?

You often need several types of information to answer a research question, and this means that you much search several different places.

If you use a text book, for example, you need to know that textbooks aim to communicate established knowledge. On the other hand journal articles disseminate new knowledge or new perspectives on a subject. So if you are looking for the latest research about a subject, you should search journal databases. To learn more about the various sources of information and their characteristics have a look at this section of “Search and Write”.

Define your research question

Make sure that your keywords describe the different aspects of your research question. Consider language, synonyms and combinations of search terms. Use these keywords in your searching .

Learn how to search

How to expand your search to get more results

  • Truncating your search allows you to search the root of words with multiple endings by using an asterisk (*).
    Example: Strateg* will find strategy, strategies, strategic etc.
  • Expand your search by using OR
    Example: By searching for "company OR business" will find either company or business or both.
  • Keep spelling and language variations in mind.

How to limit your search to get fewer results

  • Combine several search words with AND.
    Example: When you type "marketing AND internet AND facebook" you will get results where all three words must occur in each document.
  • Use NOT to exclude certain aspects.
    Example: "coaching NOT football" .
  • Using quotation marks to state that the words should appear in that exact order.
    Example: “corporate social responsibility“.
  • Limit your search to certain types of publications.
    Example: Search for scholarly articles or thesis.
  • Limit your search to a certain time period.
    Example: Search for documents published between 2000 and 2013.
  • Limit your search to a predefined field
    Example: Choose that your search word should appear in the title or in the abstract.


Where should you search?

The library gives you access to many databases with different types of information. You can see a list of all of the databases here.

Oria- the library in one search

  • Oria
    Oria gives you one single entrance to our resources. In Oria you can find books, articles, student papers and research reports available at the BI library. You can also choose to search in other Norwegian university libraries, and order and reserve documents. 

Find journal articles

In some instances it might be fruitful to search the specific database directly, even though Oria also searches articles in our journal databases. When searching the database directly you may do more specific searches due to to more information about the article being searchable. Business Source Complete is one of the databases containing journal articles. 

Find newpaper articles

  • Factiva
    Here you can find articles from international newspapers.


  • Orbis
    Here you can find financial information for companies worldwide.

Subject guides for selected subject areas

Take a look at our subject guides to get an overview of important resources within a specific subject area.