Finance: BANK 5035: Applied Research in Finance - SP2 2018

Assessment details

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In this course, you will define and complete an applied research project in Finance. Three related individual assessments are designed to assist you to complete your research project. 

Throughout your research project you have been asked to identify academic journal articles, press reports and data.

Assessment 1: Continuous Assessment- one pager/Presentations and active Participation

One page in which you explain your research topic and explain your research question(s) informed by relevant literature and issues in industry.

Assessment 2: Industry Pitch (business case)

In this assessment, you write an industry pitch (business case) for your research project in which you propose at least one research problem/question in Finance.

Assessment 3: part one: Final report and part two: Executive summary

The objective of this assessment is to write a final report of your research project of no more than 3000 words. In section one, you are required to write an introduction. In section two, you are required to write a "background section" related to your research question, and in section three, you discuss your data and explain the research methods you have employed in your project. In section four, you present and discuss your results and findings by referring to tables and graphs. You are required to write a conclusion in section 5.

The executive summary is an overview of your final report, highlighting the main points of your research in a condensed form.

** This is a summary of your assessment please refer to the course outline for complete assessment requirements **


Background Section: Literature Review

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For your Background section of your report you have been asked to write a literature review. So What is a literature review?

Jesson, Matheson and Lacey (2011, p. 165 - Doing your literature review: traditional and systematic techniques) provide the following definitions:

Traditional narrative literature review - 'A research method which involves reviewing published and unpublished material. It usually begins with a rationale for the review and is written in a narrative style'

A few of the key initial steps in conducting a literature review include:

  • developing your research statement or question
  • defining any parameters or criteria
  • choosing appropriate search tools
  • searching with appropriate keywords and subject headings (descriptors)
  • selecting relevant material

See below for some useful links on Literature Reviews. The Student Engagement Unit guide provides a quick introduction on how to produce a traditional review. This is a useful resource and includes how to begin, write and structure a literature review.

Plan your search

Once you decide on your finance research question or issue you will need to deconstruct it for keywords, concepts and ideas. You will need these keywords to effectively search in the Library catalogue and databases.

TIPS: Combining keywords:

You can combine your keywords using OR, AND and NOT.

OR will search for either or both of the words. i.e liquidity OR liquidity risk
AND will search for both of the words. i.e liquidity AND Australia
NOT will search for first of your keywords and not the second. i.e  Finance NOT Management
Phrases use double quotes. i.e "literature review". This will search for both of the words together.

Truncation, wildcards and phrases:

* will commonly search for endings of a word. i.e financ* will find finance, finances, financial, financing etc
? will commonly find words spelled in a different way. i.e organi?e will find organise and organize.

IMPORTANT: Please note that all databases are slightly different. Refer to the How to guides below for more detail.

Study Help: Plan your search

What is a Scholary Resource

A scholarly source, or academic source, is written by a qualified author who is an expert in their field. They are usually published in books or journals, rather than on websites. A scholarly source will likely have a reference list or bibliography at the end of it.

Consult the guide listed below for more information on how to tell if a journal is peer reviewed and watch the video above.

How to find... articles for your literature review

The Library Catalogue is a search tool that enables you to find relevant information on any topic from the Library’s collection of print and electronic books,  journals and theses, together with journal and newspaper articles from numerous academic databases. You can access the Catalogue from the Library homepage

Catalogue search example:

"liquidity risk" AND "stock prices" AND Australia
This search has been limited using the following:

  • Limit to Format: Articles
  • Show only Peer Reviewed
  • Date: 2013 to 2018

Tip: Limiting your search will help you to retrieve more relevant results 


By limiting by peer review you may exclude industry data so you will need to review your results.

You can search databases to find quality journal articles on your topic.  To find which databases are best suited to your subject area, go to the Database subject list, and select the + next to the Business and Management heading. For this course choose the Finance databases.

Most databases have a limiting feature which will allow you to retrieve items published within a particular year or year range e.g. 2013-2018.

Business Source Complete is a large international database which includes many premium peer-reviewed, business related journals and indexing and abstracts for the most important scholarly business journals, dating back as far as 1886.

Content covers the areas of finance, accounting, economics, international business, management, marketing and tourism. It's also a good source of company information.

Just enter your keywords into the search box to start searching.

You can limit your search to retrieve only peer-reviewed articles by ticking the scholarly/peer reviewed option. You can also limit your search by date range.

For more help with searching Business Source Complete, please see these short videos.

Try the key databases below for Finance or look at the databases for  Accounting and Economics.

You may also find suitable academic references for using Google Scholar. Google Scholar searches only within academic or scholarly sites, rather than over the whole internet like a regular Google Search.

Access Google Scholar from the Library homepage to access the full text of our subscription materials.

For more information on using Google Scholar, visit our guide:

Beyond Google for your research subject guide

To use the advanced search option select the down arrow in the search box. You can use many of the same search strategies you use to search the catalogue and databases to search the web. Google Scholar - tips

You could add the term Australia to your search if you want to limit to Australian articles.

Image Source: UniSA Library

Finding a newspaper article using the library catalogue:

Library Catalogue results automatically exclude newspaper articles, but you can add them back in to your results after searching.

Catalogue search example:

liquidity AND "stock prices" And Australia

This search has been limited using the following steps:

  • Additional Resources: Newspaper Articles (this adds newspapers articles to your results)
  • Format: Newspaper Articles (this limits your search to newspaper articles only, and excludes all other formats from your results - you add them in and then take out everything else)
  • Date: from 2013

Finding a newspaper article using a database:

Alternatively you can find relevant newspaper databases listed under the News subject heading under multidisciplinary on the right of the Databases page.

The databases listed below contain both Australian and international content:

More information on finding newspaper articles from both Australia and around the world can be found in the News Media Subject Guide.

Navigate to News Media Subject Guide

The Library has online access to the Australian Financial Review on Westlaw from 1988 onwards or on ProQuest Central from 2013 onwards. See below for an example search.

Australian Financial Review example

 If you are using Westlaw you will need to select the envelope symbol to save your results or convert your results to a format such as PDF. Select Download from the dropdown list.

download PDF

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Company & Industry Information

company and industry information guide

Looking for company and Industry information? Have a look at our guide. The Company and Industry information guide can help you find public and private company and industry information.

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

SSRN   SSRN is useful for finding working papers. Enter your search terms in the search box eg liquidity AND "stock prices"
You may need to create a free username and password in order to download working papers etc.

Primary data sources

Primary data is collected by the researcher themselves. Examples of primary data can include:

  • Questionnaires
  • Observations
  • Interviews

Select the links below for more help with primary data.

Secondary data and hard data sources

Secondary data tends to be readily available and not collected by the researcher themselves. See the links at the bottom of this box for help with finding statistics and other secondary data sources.

Other sources of secondary information will be available from your course site. There are some databases that you can use to download hard/raw data as per your research question, and analyse those data using statistical packages.

Hard data in the context of this course is any research question that relates to investments eg

  • Capital expenditure
  • Research and Development
  • Business Acquisitions

Usually this information is located in the Balance Sheet of the particular resource.

Hard data may be found in sources such as DatAnalysis Premium, Eikon / Datastream Professional, BankFocus and Zephyr. For more help with Eikon use the help available here

Refer to the document on your course site for a complete list of these and other hard data sources.

Evaluating your resources

Once you have found information for your assignments it is important to think about whether or not the information is of a good quality and useful. To do this you will need to evaluate it before you use it in your academic work.

Watch this short video (approx 3 mins) to learn how to evaluate websites and other resources to decide if they are appropriate for your needs.

Key References



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Navigate to the Roadmap

Need help referencing? Follow the roadmap!

The Referencing Roadmap (Harvard) gives you examples of how to reference using the Harvard-UniSA style.

See below for other helpful links to help you with your referencing.

More help

If you need more help try one of these options:"Open Clip Art, 'Help Button', CC Licence: No Copyright, Image Source:"

  • Contact Ask the Library (via Chat, email or phone)
  • Access the Service points at any of our Libraries
  • If you are studying outside of Adelaide, living remotely or have difficulty in using the Library in person the Off Campus Library Service can help
  • Have a look at our Research page and online videos
  • Use the Help, Tips or Hints screens within the Library Catalogue and the databases