Skip to main content

GB320: OTC - Spring 2018 - Sections EB1, EB2, EB3, 010, 011 & 012 (Elwell, Clever, Sambare, Bravo, Chinca & Morin)

Information resources to help you with Assignment 1 of the GB320 Integrated Business Project course.

Trade Journals and the Business Press

Below are suggested databases for finding trend data and they allow you to limit your search to the previous year or less to help keep your search results manageable. Information you find in these articles can help you update the information you have already discovered by reading the reports and surveys listed on the "Market & Industry Analysis: Read Me First!" tab. 

Remember to start with the recommended reports and surveys as these are the best resources for finding the trend data.

Here are some specific publications that you will want to consult:

Keyword and Smarter Searching Strategies

Searching Smart: Keywords

When you search in the databases listed on this guide or on the Internet, don't limit yourself to one search!

Think about the information you are searching for and brainstorm a list of the various keywords that describe your topic. Ask yourself, "Which words or combination of words will retrieve the specific information you need?" As you retrieve information, take note of any new/different keywords or subject terms. Then, expand or refine your search as needed.

Some keywords or phrases include:

  • "Drug Stores"
  • Pharmac*
  • Chemists
  • OTC
  • "over the counter"
  • nonprescription
  • vitamins
  • supplements
  • Waltham (02452)
  • Needham (02494 or 02492)
  • "Word of Mouth"
  • Viral Marketing
  • specific "Brand name"
  • specific "Company name"
  • "chain drug stores"
  • "independent pharmacies"
  • NAICS = 446110 (Pharmacies and Drug Stores)

(Wondering what these asterisks and quotation marks mean? Read the "How to Phrase Your Searches" box below.)

How to Phrase Your Searches

The library's databases may have different interfaces, but they do share basic search principles. Some of these principles are listed below. It is important to look for the "Advanced Search" option of the database as it offers you greater control over the construction of your search.

Boolean Searching

Boolean Searching is the cornerstone to an effective search strategy.  Boolean searching refers to searching using a combination of words and the three Boolean Operators: AND, OR, NOT.

AND will make your search smaller.  If you are retrieving too many records on your topic, try adding another search term with the operator AND.
For example: "drug stores" AND services

OR will make your search bigger. If you are retrieving too few records on your topic, try adding another search term with the operator OR.     
For example: "over the counter" OR nonprescription

NOT will exclude a word from your search results.  If you are retrieving too many records on an unrelated topic, try eliminating a word with the operator NOT.  
For example: "drug stores" NOT chain

(I couldn't come up with a useful example just yet.)

Phrase Searching

To search for two or more words in the exact order in which they are entered, enclose the phrase in quotation marks "".
For example: "drug store"


Truncation allows you to search the "root" form of a word with all its different endings by adding a symbol to the end of a word.  Truncation symbols vary by database (check the help screens or ask a librarian), but are usually one of the below: 
                           * (asterisk)                         ! (exclamation point)                  ? (question mark)

For example: advertis* will search for advertising, advertise, advertisement, etc.