Answered By: Sarah Morehouse
Last Updated: Jul 28, 2023     Views: 89

To research an industry, one of the first things you need to do is know its SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) code or its NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code, or both. You can look them up here:

Bear in mind that many enterprises take part in more than one industry. 


Once you know the NAICS or SIC code, you will also know the NAICS or SIC official description of a particular industry. You can search that description in one of our business article databases for scholarly articles about it.

Try the Business Source Complete and ProQuest Business databases.

You can use the checkbox in the databases' search interface, or the search results list to bring up only the scholarly (peer reviewed) articles on the topic. 

Industry Profiles

Some of our databases contain a document type called an Industry Profile. 

  • Business Source Complete - In Advanced Search, use the Select A Field pull-down menu to select IC NAICS Code or description. In the search box next to it, put in the NAICS code. Then go down to Publication Type and select Industry Profile. Then click Search. 
  • ABI/INFORM - in Advanced Search, use the search box labeled NAICS code. Under Document Type, select Industry Report. Then click Search. 
  • Business Insights: Essentials - Go to the Industries tab at the top of the page. Use the search box in the left column to search for a NAICS code. 
  • ProQuest Business - you can access Business Monitor International (BMI) Industry Trends and Forecasts by going to Browse, selecting Industry and Market Research, and clicking Business Monitor International (BMI) Industry Reports. Then search through the alphabetical list of industries.

Reports, Data, and Statistics

These are mostly government and NGO sources of data and reports on industries in the US and worldwide. 

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