Skip to main content

Guide for Business Faculty: Cases/HBR

Read This First

The definition of "Case Study" varies greatly from publication to publication. The "case studies" in traditional journals and books are not necessarily the same as commercial "cases" from publishers like Harvard Business School Publishing.

The Library does NOT collect HBS cases due to licensing restrictions. To use these commercial cases, you can:

You can also search for freely available case studies in the resources mentioned below. 

Commercial Cases

These cases cannot be put on library Course Reserves or borrowed through Interlibrary Loan. Instructors work with the publishers directly to provide a way for students in a course to download and pay for the cases. 

Search for cases from multiple institutions:

Search for cases from specific institutions (some, but not all, cases are also listed on the Harvard site and Case Centre), such as:

Free Case Studies



Videos - Business Case Studies

Harvard Business Review

HBR articles in Business Source Premier (BSP) cannot be used for teaching purposes. Statement from Harvard Business Publishing (HBP):

"...Whenever one or more HBR articles are part of a course syllabus, the professor should arrange digital distribution through the online coursepack function at our Educators' website (CB.HBSP.HARVARD.EDU), where the articles would be purchased either by the students or by the university." ​

That means an instructor should NOT do the following with HBR articles in BSP: 1) uploading PDFs, or 2) providing links in syllabus or course site, or 3) verbally assigning specific HBR articles during class.

The Library cannot pay for HBR articles for teaching (class use); please ask SBA Faculty Services for assistance. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why can't instructors use HBR articles since they are available in Business Source Premier?
-- It's HBP's policy. The articles in Business Source Premier are for "research" only; articles used for "teaching purposes" are not free to the students.

Can students use Business Source Premier on their own and cite HBR articles in their papers or coursework?
-- Yes, if they are doing research and find these articles serendipitously.

Can I just tell students to find these articles without linking to them?
-- No, if the students are told to find them for a class, the articles are used for "teaching." HBP does track the usage of HBR and a sudden increase in the search and download of a specific article will be flagged as violation.

What are my options if I want "free" articles?
-- Articles from most other journals PSU Library subscribes to can be used as course materials, whether you put them on Course Reserves, link to them in your course page, or verbally assign them as required reading. The Library is already paying for these resources so your students can read them without any additional cost. 

Who can give me more information on how to set up the course site?
-- I recommend contacting HBP directly, checking with the staff at the SBA Faculty Services Office, or talking to other teaching faculty who have done this before.

What else do I need to know about HBR articles in BSP?

-- Starting 8/1/2013, Harvard Business Publishing has restricted access to HBR's 500 most popular articles (initial list -- titles change over time) to "read-only" in BSP. These articles cannot be printed or linked to from a persistent link. You can still search for them in BSP, download the PDF, or email the PDF to yourself. ** American Library Association's official statement on this issue. 

-- How do I know it's one of those articles?

  • In the BSP article record you will see this message: The publisher offers limited access to this article. The full text cannot be printed or saved. Solution: There is nothing you can do. Just read it online.
  • If you see this message in BSP through an external link (e.g., from searching the library catalog): "The publisher offers limited access to this article. The full text cannot be viewed from a persistent link." Solution: do a new search directly in BSP and you will find the full text.

When in doubt, please contact us

Other Sources for Case Studies

Case studies in journals and magazines: * these are different from "cases" in the commercial/traditional sense


Case studies in books: * these are different from "cases" in the commercial/traditional sense

You can do a keyword search in the PSU Library Catalog (the search box in the middle of the page).

Or use the Advanced Search for a more targeted search (fewer, more relevant results): for example,