Lesson S-5

ABI/Inform: To Find Scholarly 
Literature on Business and Management

ABI/Inform is the best index and database of scholarly and professional literature on business and management topics.  It covers about 3,300 journals, trade periodicals, general business magazines, and newspapers.  The coverage for many dates back to 1971.  An unusual feature of ABI/Inform is that it provides not only an abstract for many articles, but also the full text.  ABI/Inform is available by subscription and GWU subscribes to it. 

Advantages

  • ABI/Inform has broad and deep coverage of the scholarly, professional, and popular literature in business and management.
  • It permits complex searches.
  • It provides the full text for many sources in two formats.  The "Full Text" format loads quickly; the "Page Image" loads more slowly but provides all the graphics.
Pitfalls
  • ABI/Inform is the main database in what is now called ProQuest.  When you start ABI/Inform from the Gelman Web site, you see ABI/Inform only as a database to select for searching.  After that the header only says ProQuest.
  • ABI/Inform does not index doctoral dissertations.
Trail Guide

The following suggestions and resources will help you get started using ABI/Inform in a powerful and efficient manner. 

  1. GWU students can access ABI/Inform from on-campus computers by going to Gelman Library's home page at www.gwu.edu/gelman.  Click on " Databases" and select "ALADIN 'Article and Other Databases'".  Then click on "Business/Management" and then on "ABI/Inform".
  1. Click on "Help" (at the right), and then "Help Contents" (on the left) to see a list of links to various guides on how to use ABI/Inform.  At the top of this page there is an "Examples" link that provides great examples of the syntax required for various complex searches. 
First Aid

If you encounter trouble when doing ABI/Inform searches, review the Trail Guides again.  For complex searches it may be easier to use the "Advanced" search option (click on the tab above the search statement dialog box) than the "Basic" search.  If you still need help, ask for assistance from a reference librarian.  Search assistance from the vendor (Bell and Howell) is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time at 1-800-889-3358. 

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Last Update: October 5, 2000 Link to the George Washington UniversitySend feedbackLink to Education Policy Page