General Business File ASAP

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The General BusinessFile database contains articles from business, economic, management, trade, and industry publications. The database includes

  • profiles on public and private companies
  • standard codes and industry descriptions
  • investment reports and forecasts for US and international companies and industries prepared by Wall Street and international brokerage firms


This database may be accessed from the Electronic Resources Section of the Alvin Sherman Library website.


When you open any database in InfoTrac Web the screen defaults to the Advanced Search mode. To choose one of the other types of search modes, click on Subject Guide, Keyword Search or Advanced Search on the left side of the screen.

To construct an Advanced Search

type your search term(s) in the entry box

click on Search to obtain a list of records

Consult the Search Tips for additional information on modifying your searches.)

The Keyword Search lets you retrieve subjects, combinations of terms, or company profiles that contain the keywords you enter. Use the keyword approach when combining terms with Boolean operators.

To access and search using the Keyword Search

  • click on Keyword Search–on the left side of the search screen
  • click in the entry box
  • enter search terms
  • select where terms should appear: in article title, citation, abstract, or in the entire article content
  • click on the Search button

Here are examples of some words you might use in a Keyword Search

former Soviet Union (topic not in Subject Guide)
Diet Coke (product name)
TV violence and children  (topic combination)
megatrends (book title)
Paris Match (non-U.S. company)
wheat and Kansas (topic combination)





Keyword searches often provide less precise results than using various combinations of field searching in the Advanced Search.

Search Results

Search results will vary. If you get:

  • No records matched your search, then check your spelling or the fields you searched in.
  • Too many, then go back and limit your search. Sometimes a search needs to be modified with: additional search words, searching only a specific field, adding date limitations, or type of materials.
  • Too few, then go back and expand your search. Consider synonyms for your search words or concepts. Try to use professional language or terminology.
  • Irrelevant results, then try new search terms. Consider synonyms or related concepts. Identify and search using descriptors. Try a different database.
Results lists

To view your results:

-- look above the Advanced Search Box
-- click on View–below the search terms

Number of matching citations in General BusinessFile ASAP.

Sample search results in General BusinessFile ASAP.


To view a record (article):

  • Click on the icon to the left of the citation. This will show the full citation, and the next level of choices
  • select Acrobat Reader or PostScript, located at the bottom of the citation page. NOTE: The information in the record, especially the title of the item and the abstract (if available) will help you determine if you need the item.

Managing Search Results

Databases typically allow you to manage your search results by utilizing the option below:

  • printing your search results list and/or specific records
  • saving your search results list and/or specific records–some databases may allow you to save your file for export into commercial bibliographic citation manager software, such as EndNote or ProCite

Not all search management features are available in all databases.


The “mark” feature allows you to select records from within your search results. By marking items, you can print or email records at one time.

To mark a record

  • in the list of citations, click in the check box to the left of a citation
  • in a record, click in the check box labeled Mark, to the left of the journal/source name

To view your list of marked records

  • click on View mark list on the left side of the screen

To print a record, including full-text if available

  • scroll to bottom of the page
  • from the options below, select (Adobe Reader) or (PostScript). The document will be automatically reformatted for printing.
  • click your Internet browser’s back arrow to return to your search results


To email a record, including full-text–no graphics or images–if available

  • click on the Email link–on the left side of the screen
  • enter an email address
  • click Submit Email Request

Use your complete email address and include a note about what you are sending in the comment box.


To save a record

  • click on the print button–on the left side of the screen
  • the item will be automatically reformatted and the Print dialog box will appear
  • click Cancel
  • click File on your browser’s tool bar
  • click Save As
  • type your file name in the File name dialog box
  • in the save as type dialog box, click on the down arrow and change to Plain text
  • click on the Save button
  • click your Internet browser’s back arrow to return to your search results

Use a word processing or text editor program to open your file.

Saving Page Locations

An InfoMark at the top of any page indicates that the URL of the page persists even when the session is over. Persistent URLs can be bookmarked for future reference or copied into an electronic mail message or onto a Web page.

To create an InfoMark:

-- make sure that the InfoMark symbol is at the top of the page
-- use your Internet browser to add the page as a bookmark or favorite
-- for InfoMarks to work, your Internet browser must be set to accept cookies.

Search Tips

Use advanced search features to modify a search to obtain more successful search results. You can combine advanced search features to modify and improve your search. Advanced search features often include:

  • date
  • document and/or publication type and
  • Boolean operators

  • Modify searches in the General Business File database by using one or more of the following

    • enter multiple search terms or concepts
    • combine terms using Boolean operators
    • limit search terms using field searching
    • refine searches with limiters, such as date, full text, publication type, language, etc.

    Modifying a search in General Business File.

    Phrase or proximity searching

    In InfoTrac Web, there are two ways to search for a phrase

    • put the phrase in double quotes, such as
      higher education
      curriculum development
    • use the letter w1 to search for two words as a phrase
      higher w1 education
      curriculum w1 development

    Field searching

    To limit your search to a specific field (index) in the record:

    • click on the pull-down arrow–to the right of the box that says “Key Word (ke)”
    • scroll to the field to limit your search to
    • click on the field’s name


    To limit a search to specific years do one of the following:

    • go to the Limit the current search section below the entry boxes and then click in the appropriate check box(es)
    • use a field (index ) search for date and then type a date (like 2001, May 2001 or 5/15/2001) or a range of dates (like 1990-1999 or January 2000-June 2000) or from a specific year until the current year ( like 1995- )

    Document type

    This database allows you to limit your searches by specific document types

    • go to the Limit the current search section
    • check the full-text articles box to limit your search
    • or
    • check the refereed publications box to limit your search

    Boolean operators

    Use AND to narrow a search. AND looks for both terms in the same record.
    leadership and vision; mainstreaming and science

    Use OR to broaden a search. OR looks for either term in the same record.
    mainstreaming or inclusion; elementary education or secondary education

    Use NOT to eliminate records with a certain term.
    Saturn not car; Venus not planet


    Use the following symbols in InfoTrac Web databases to locate plural forms, truncate search terms, or replace characters:


    Regular plurals.
    school! retrieves both school and schools


    Any number of characters at the end of a word.
    leader* retrieves leader, leaders, leadership


    One character.
    defen?e retrieves both defense and defence



    Subject Guide Search

    A subject guide search allows you to search the database for a list of subject headings containing your entry. The subject headings that appear when you perform a Subject Guide search may include the names of companies, people, industries, and locations.

    To access and search the Subject Guide

    • click on Subject Guide–on the left side of the search screen
    • click in the entry box
    • enter search terms
    • click on the Search button

    For the best results in a Subject Guide search, limit search expressions to one or two words. Here are examples of some words you might use in a Subject Guide search

    enzyme (company name)
    shoes (subject)
    fish farms   (industry)
    Malaysia (location)
    alan bond (person)




    Maintained by the Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center
    Nova Southeastern University :: Copyright © 2004-2005
    Last updated: 02/13/2009