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Research behavior patterns of business students

Eleonora Dubicki (Monmouth University Library, West Long Branch, New Jersey, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 17 August 2010




The purpose of this paper is to look at the research needs of undergraduate and graduate business students at Monmouth University.


Students were surveyed regarding the types of business course assignments that require research and the number of sources which must be cited for these research projects. The information‐seeking behaviors of business students used in gathering these sources were examined, looking at where these students began their research, which tools they used, and the challenges they faced in conducting research. The paper also investigated the students' preferred methods of seeking assistance in completing their research, as well as how they evaluated the credibility of sources they uncovered.


Student research requirements for homework assignments were fairly evenly distributed between very often/often and sometimes/never. Overall, students noted that presentations required research very often or often. Only 2.35 percent reported no research for short papers, with graduate students representing the largest group who indicated no research required for short papers. By contrast, 81 percent of seniors responded that they conducted research for short papers either very often or often. When preparing long papers (over six pages), students most frequently reported that research requirements were required sometimes. During the qualitative phase of the project, students revealed their frustration with doing research on very specific topics assigned by professors.


The results of this research can assist librarians in two important areas: collection management and instruction.



Dubicki, E. (2010), "Research behavior patterns of business students", Reference Services Review, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 360-384.



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