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Case Studies: Home

This guide lists websites and databases containing case studies including where to purchase Harvard Business Review Case Studies. Also provided are search tips for locating case studies.

Definition and citing

Case Study: an intensive analysis of an individual unit (such as a business, person or community) stressing developmental factors in relation to environment.

This guide offers tips on how to research case studies. For information on citing case studies and other references please follow this link to our citing page:

LibGuide Quicklinks

Searching for Harvard Business Review Case Studies

Case Studies from Harvard Business School and other publishers are sometimes made part of class assignments. The content of these case studies is severely restricted and is explicitly unavailable under traditional fair-use exceptions to copyright for use in educational settings without individual purchase of each case study used. The Harvard Business School, specifically, has instituted a policy by which any faculty member or student who needs to use an HBS Case Study, can only do so in the following ways:

*These rules were established by HBSP, not the library

  • The Professor can purchase a license to use the Case Study in class. This can be done through this link: Harvard Business Publishing for Educators (
  • The student can purchase the article/case study from HBSP for a one-time use. This can be done through the same link (after registering): Harvard Business Publishing (

Case studies may not be:

  • copied from library databases for use in class
  • borrowed or purchased by the Library Interlibrary Loan Department
  • posted on "e-reserve" course pages for student access
  • posted in "electronic coursepacks" that link to the digitized case study content
  • included in course management systems (like Moodle). Such unauthorized postings are equivalent to distributing copyrighted content to students without permission, which infringes the publisher’s copyright. This is so even if the content is being used for the first time and is password-protected, accessible only to students in the course, and taken down at the end of the course.

Search tips when using article databases or book catalog

When searching for case studies...

- Try searching with various terms, case study or case studies; or you can truncate like this: case stud*

- When keyword searching, make sure you use quotation marks to search for "case studies" as a term and not individual words

- Search by case study as a document type

- The term "case study" often appears in the document title- try adding "case study" to your title search

- Check the limits section of the database- you may be able to place a limit to only search for case studies

Subject Guide

Larry Burg

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