If you are at the beginning of a task, and want to learn about a subject quickly and discover current trends in business, magazine articles are a good starting place. Articles in magazines often have a lower word count, presenting their information in an info-graphic style, identifying and writing about the salient ideas in an easily consumable style.
►If you take a look at the How do we fix our leadership crisis? article, published in the Talent Development magazine, you will quickly get the flavor of magazine content delivery. The first two pages are dominated by the title, leading paragraph, and a photo of a broken water pipe. In these same pages, author Howard Praeger promises to deliver on 5 ways to fix the leadership pipeline. Reading through the article, the 5 bullets are clearly sectioned off and discussed in short bursts. This description characterizes the typical magazine article. It is the perfect way to begin learning about an issue quickly!
►Getting to magazine articles may be as simple as limiting the number of pages in an article that each search must conform to. Usually located in the Advanced Search features, page limiters (2-5 pages, for example) will return most magazine articles on a given search topic.
►Exclude results that are a single page. While some articles are in fact just one page, the expended effort of sifting through these single pagers may nullify the benefits of short article searching. Single page returns may include notices of changes in corporate executives, letters to and from the editor(s), and abstracts to longer articles, among other less helpful information.
►Infographics can be a fantastic way of synthesizing information, bringing the words on a page to an instant understanding. The Advanced Search features in a database often allow you to select articles that have at least one graphical element, such as a chart, graph, diagram, photograph, map, or an illustration.
►Taking the time to combine Advanced Search elements can economize your research. For example, Business Source Complete shows over 27,000 results on a search for bottled water. Using the short article search tips of limiting the number of pages, and selecting "chart" as a "must have" brings back fewer than 200 results.