Skip to Main Content

Library FAQ: Using a Database

A hub for frequently asked questions regarding Academy of Art University Library resources.

How do I find online resources for my major?

Your major's Department Research Guide is a great place to start. Each guide has a selection of books and e-books by topic, as well as the databases that support work in your major. See the list below for all of the guides (for another view, click here).  


Keep in mind: Our collections are curated towards art and design topics. To look for credible information beyond these topics, you may want to consult your local public library’s collections and online resources. For example, students living in the Bay Area in California can access the San Francisco Public Library’s resources. You would also need to sign up for a free library card to access these resources. Ask a librarian if you have any questions.

Return to Top

How do I find information on a company?

The best place to start would be Business Market Research Collection. It contains materials on company financial information and industry SWOTs, among other useful articles.

For more information, check out the Business and Company Research Resources tutorial.

You can schedule a research appointment with a reference librarian for more assistance.

Return to Top

How do I find Hoover's Company Records?

Hoover’s Company Records are found in Business Market Research Collection.

You can always search for companies using the main search box. But to save time, you can use the “Search within this publication view” to search for results of Hoover’s Company Records only, as demonstrated in this video:

Return to Top

How do I find marketing reports?

Mintel provides reports of timely information and analyses on market trends and consumer behaviors. They actively survey people online on a broad range of topics in retail, technology, and lifestyles across various demographic segments.

You may also want to consider finding reports commissioned by industry organizations that may be published on their websites. 

For more information, check out the Business and Company Research Resources tutorial.

Return to Top

How come I cannot access a particular report on Mintel?

Our Mintel subscription is limited to a certain range of reports in US markets and demographics (we also have UK fashion reports too).

Additional notes: Mintel is not a place to expect finding specific companies, but rather trends in beliefs, behaviors, and preferences regarding a product, service, or idea. Mintel may not even be conducting research on your specific topic. Approach your question then from another angle that is related to your initial question and make reasonable assumptions. Mintel also publishes reports periodically, meaning that sometimes the most recent report on a topic might be from last year.

You can schedule a research appointment with a reference librarian for more assistance.

Return to Top

How do I find fashion trend reports?

WGSN contains fashion forecasting reports by season and market. You can explore reports by using the tabs to filter by trends ("Future Strategies"), market, season (up to two years in advance), categories, and more.  

Please see the video below for a demonstration:

Return to Top

How do I find previous issues of Vogue?

Vogue Archive contains high quality PDF versions of the American edition of Vogue from 1892 to present.

You can use the search box to find articles and ads with your keywords present. But to make this process easier, use "Browse issues" to search for issues from a specific year and month.

Please see the video below to see how to use the “Browse issues” tab in Vogue Archive.

Please note: Due to publisher embargoes, the current month’s issue of Vogue will not be available until midway through the month (or the start of the next month at the latest).

Return to Top

How do I find materials on Material ConneXion?

You can search materials by keyword or explore materials by Category, Physical Property, and more by using the filters on the left sidebar. If you are looking at a physical sample of the material in the Materials Library, you can scan the QR code on the panel and go to its product page on your device. You can search by the Material ConneXion number of the material as well. 

Please watch the video below to see a search demonstration.

You can also watch the video created by Material ConneXion. Search results can be added to a board once you make an account.

Return to Top

How do I find professional associations in my industry?

The Department Research Guide for your major is a good start. Check the Web Resources tab for a good starting list of professional association and industry information websites.

Return to Top

Don't See Your Question Here?

Don’t see your question or issue listed here? Please reach out to us, we’re always happy to help!

Ask a Librarian


Where do I even begin?

Consider some thoughts from our Reference Librarian:

How do you translate your project motivations into research questions? Why did you choose the topic or problem that you want to work on for your research? 

After beginning to answer these questions for yourself, break down these bigger research questions into chunks. Recognize that each database has a specific purpose, and that research is a process of working through your ideas in relation to what a database can offer. You may need to approach your questions from a different angle if you can't find something useful right away. 

For business and company information in particular, check out the Business and Company Research Resources tutorial and the Three Point Guide linked below.

Please ask us if you have any questions! We're always happy to help. 

What happens when I meet with a librarian?

A little preparation goes a long way. Reaching out to request a reference appointment with a librarian is a great first step in your research! 

Read more in the flyer linked below: