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Accounting : Create a Plan

Whether you are looking for articles on an accounting topic, conducting tax research, or seeking official accounting pronouncements & standards, this guide will direct you to appropriate sources.

Select Keywords

  • Some accounting topics are technical and don't lend themselves to keyword experimentation.  For example, when searching for articles related to an accounting standard, it is probably best to use words from the standard itself.
  • Another example is for topics related to taxation.  Tax terminology is structured from legal sources, such as the Internal Revenue Code.  Therefore words have legal meanings and searching should be limited to words that reflect the legal aspect.

Choose Thesaurus Terms

A subject thesaurus contains controlled vocabulary which can guide you to appropriate subject words or phrases, as well as refer you to broader or narrower words or phrases that will either encompass your word or phrase or be more specific than your word or phrase.


For Example:  Using Business Source Complete's Thesaurus :

The concept "Accounting Periods" refers you to "Fiscal Year" which includes the following:

Scope Note

Here are entered works on the time period a corporation designates for reporting of financial information. A fiscal year may start on a different date than a calendar year.

Broader term: ACCOUNTING 

Terms not used:

Accounting periods
Fiscal period
Year, Fiscal

Refine and Improve

Getting Too Many Irrelevant Results?

  • Add more search terms. For example, in the database Business Source Complete, if you type "health care" in the first search box, you may get thousands of articles. By adding another concept in the 2nd search box, such as "costs," your results will be more focused. 
  • Don't spend a lot of time going through a huge number of articles.  It is better to refine your search. For example, you can specify that you want the words in the search boxes to be found in a specific "field" such as the title field or the subject field. This usually reduces the number and improves the quality of your results.

      Getting Too Few Relevant Results?

  • Change or remove some search terms.
  • Increase the "places" or fields searched to the default or to "full text."

Concept Map

A concept map is a graphical tool used to organize and structure knowledge.


How to Use a Concept Map

Created by Katherine Miller and Tom Childs for Douglas College Library. Creative Commons license Share Alike.

Boolean Searching

Created by Douglas College Library staff. Creative Commons license Share Alike.