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Research Guides

CSC454: The Business of Software

Quick links to databases and other tools for market research workshop

CSC454 Library Resources

Welcome to the research guide for CSC454 The Business of Software! This guide includes the resources we used in the hands-on workshop. 

Need additional help?

Try the full Entrepreneurship Research Guide, which has more databases than those linked below.

OR contact us by email or set up an in-person research consultation.

Carey Toane, Entrepreneurship Librarian,

Aisha Aminu, liaison librarian for computer science, ECSL

Industry Resources

These are the industry profile resources we looked at during the workshop.

Company resources - Private companies/startups

Company resources - Public companies

Federal securities laws require public companies to disclose information on an ongoing basis. This means the public can access financial and other information on the open web.

Annual Reports and Regulatory Filings:

EDGAR - US regulatory filings from 1994+

SEDAR - Canadian regulatory filings from 1997+

See our guide to understanding filings

Customer/user information

Evaluating sources

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?

Authority: The source of the information.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
    • examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  •  Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  •  Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Purpose: The reason the information exists.

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

The CRAAP Test - credit: Meriam Library at California State University, Chico

Citing in APA style



-Reports are generally considered “Grey Literature”
-Format references to technical and research reports and other gray literature as you would a book retrieved online. (from APA Style Guide to Electronic References)