Scholarly books can contain comprehensive accounts of research or scholarship, historical data, overviews, experts' views on themes/topics. They are particularly useful when you require background information and related research on a topic, when you want to put your topic in context, identify key theories and key researchers in a subject area.
What books are not good at is in researching current topics as it can take years to write and publish books. So whilst they can give you a good overview of a research area it is important to bring the research up to date by consulting other sources such as journals and newspapers.
Listed below is a selection of shelfmarks for business related subjects:
The term journal can mean either:
Peer-reviewed: articles in these journals are assessed by a panel of experts and subject specialists before the article is allowed to be published. Most research published in peer-reviewed journals is highly referenced allowing you to judge the quality of the research yourself. They are very thorough taking a long time to research, write and review; so whilst they may not mention the most current developments they will look at a subject in very specific detail.
Professional/Trade: articles are written by experts in a particular profession or trade and will cover current topics and trends within that field. Content will be catered to other professionals so will assume inside knowledge. Articles may have a reference list.
Popular magazines: examples include the Economist and Spectator and their articles are written by reporters for a general audience. They are published on a more regular basis so the articles will not be as well researched as articles in peer-reviewed journals but they will be more current, reporting on recent events. They are rarely referenced making a judgment on quality difficult.
Use journals to find:
useful information, research and discussions
different viewpoints from different authors
relatively current information, journals are published quicker than books.
Popular magazines are a great way to develop your commercial awareness. You should be using peer-reviewed journals in your assignments to build on knowledge gathered from books