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Business Research Toolkit

Modeled on the University of Alabama at Birgmingham, Sterne Library's award winning Business Research Toolkit Program, GMU's version is offered each Fall and Spring semester. The hands-on program introduces participants to business resources and research


Thanks for your interest in the GMU Libraries' Business Research Toolkit! The Spring 2021 offering of the toolkit will run from March 15 - April 26, 2020. Registration for Spring 2021 is closed. Email Kelly Bennett at with any questions.

Original Guide from University of Alabama Birmingham:

George Mason University Business Subject Guide:

About the Business Research Toolkit

This is a 6 week program consists of 7 modules (5 required and 2 elective), each of which take approximately 1.5 hours to complete.

Each module is offered online in an asynchronous format within Blackboard. It takes 6 weeks to complete the toolkit at the pace of 1 required module per week, and 2 electives completed on the final week.

              Required Modules 

              Company Research

              Industry Research

              News Searching

              Demographics & Marketing

              International Business Research

              Elective Modules (Choose 2)         

              Investment Research

              Career Research

              Academic Integrity

The Business Research Toolkit (originally the Business Research Certificate) originated at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Libraries. Created in 2010 by Jeff Graveline, the program was developed to meet the business research needs of students, faculty, and staff across campus. Since it was started, hundreds of students from all backgrounds have received a certificate of completion. The program was originally designed to cover specific areas of business research including: the research process, company research, industry research, advanced news searching, demographics & business statistics, and international research. The program also includes a module designed to cover all aspects of academic dishonesty.    

Kara Van Abel took over the program in the Spring of 2017 adding new modules and re-designing the format to make the Business Research Toolkit accessible to anyone regardless of their location or schedule. The George Mason University Libraries' Business Research Toolkit program is modeled off of this version and was adapted by Business Librarian Jo Ann Henson and Research & Instruction Specialist Kelly Bennett. Much of the content was taken directly from UAB's Business Research Toolkit with permission. You can access UAB's Toolkit here: 


Business Research Toolkit FAQs

Q. Who can take the Business Research Toolkit?

A. The toolkit is open to all GMU students, staff, and faculty.

Q. How much does the Business Research Toolkit cost?

A. There is no cost to participate.

Q. Is the Business Research Toolkit asynchronous?

A. Yes, however each required module is open for 1 week at a time. All requirements for those modules must be met during the assigned week.

Q. Will I receive course credit for completing the toolkit?

A. No, however you can add it to your resume and professional portfolio. You will receive a certificate upon completion of the toolkit.