Stanley Lyle's blog

World Bank's Open Data Initiative

The World Bank announced on April 20 that "it will offer free access to more than 2,000 financial, business, health, economic and human development statistics that had mostly been available only to paying subscribers." Some 330 indicators are available for up to 209 countries. Some of the data go back 50 years. The statistics are available through a new web site. The World Bank has prepared this guide for working with the data. The statistics can be searched or browsed through categories such as Countries, Topics, Indicators, and the Data Catalog. Results can be downloaded in formats such as Excel.


Keep Up-to-Date with Automated Alert Services

Alerting services provide a way to automate searches in your fields of interest. This involves setting up a personal account with a database, publisher, or other organization; saving a search that is executed on some regular basis; and requesting that alerts be sent. Notices of new publications matching your saved search are sent by email or RSS feed (What is RSS). The frequency of alerts varies. In some cases, an alert is sent whenever a search match occurs; in other cases, it's on some scheduled basis such as weekly or monthly. Below are examples of alerts by type of resource. Books Rod Library UNISTAR - Within your My Library account, searches can be saved, with notification sent when something on the topic is added to the collection. Books in Print - can create a BIP My Account, then save searches Amazon - some commercial services provide email notifications of new books similar to those purchased in past Articles Many journal databases and publishers provide alert services. Below are examples of Rod Library databases providing alert services for new issues of specified journals or new articles by a certain author on on a certain subject; this page provides basic instructions. ABI/INFORM Complete (ProQuest) American Accounting Association Digital Library Business Source Elite EconLIT Ingenta PsycINFO Rod Library News Rod Library news items can be accessed every day on the Library home page and they also can be received via RSS feed. Rod Library BizBlog Rod Library BizBlog news items can be received via RSS feed. Google Alerts This can used to get notifications of new web pages on specific topics. While Google Alerts cover some social networking sites, services such as Addictomatic and TweetDeck can be used to search various social media sites. Web Page Monitors Free and fee-based programs can be used to monitor specific web sites and be notified of changes. One example is Watch That Page.


Business FAQ

The business library at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a knowledge database containing hundreds of business and economics questions asked by students and faculty there and thousands of links to sources, some free and some available only to subscribers. Called Business FAQ, it is organized into fifteen broad categories that can be browsed or searched. Penn has made the underlying software and database available to business libraries at other research universities for local adaptation. The Dartmouth Feldberg Library has created an interface through which numerous local adaptations can be searched. Called Business FAQs Search, it can be used to search for sources containing information on specific topics, such as "historical stock prices". If intersted in a source that is not free to everyone, check the Rod Library catalog to see if UNI subscribes to it.


New Interface for Mergent Online

Mergent Online is getting a new interface later in the semester. To see a preview, log on to Mergent Online and look for the link in the upper middle portion of the page that says, "Click here to view new Mergent Online." Mergent Online contains data on publicly-held companies from the U.S. and other countries. Company information includes, for example, 15+ years of financial statements, ratio analysis, history, joint ventures, lines of business, property, subsidiaries, capital stock, long term debt, and EDGAR SEC filings. Mergent Online can be accessed from the Rod Library Business Portal and from the A-Z list of databases on the Rod Library home page.


Dissertations in ABI/INFORM Complete (ProQuest)

The content of ABI/INFORM has been expanded recently to include the full text of some 23,000 business and economics-related dissertations. Searches can be limited to dissertations by clicking the More Search Options and then selecting the Publication Type of Dissertations. Another approach is to do a search by topic or author and see if any results are listed under the Dissertations tab. A search for "supply chain management" dissertations, for example, gets 197 results.


LexisNexis Academic Interface Change

The company that produces LexisNexis Academic has developed a new interface. The old as well as the new interface will be available until the end of the spring, 2010 semester. Both interfaces - LexisNexis Academic for the old and LexisNexis Academic: Beta for the new - will be available from the Databases A-Z list on the Rod Library home page until then. The new interface has six search boxes on the initial page: News, Legal, Companies, Countries, People, and Combined. There are new choices on the left side of the home page. For example, clicking the Companies choice reveals options such as Company Dossier, Create a Company List, Compare Companies, Company Profiles, and SEC filings. Give it a try before the end of the semester!


EndNote Web

Rod Library recently subscribed to a package of databases called Web of Knowledge. One feature of this package is called EndNote Web. EndNote Web is a tool that can be used to collect, organize, and format up to 10,000 references in your own passworded account. The references can be arranged by groups that correspond to your research interests. References can be directly exported from some databases into your EndNote Web account. They also can be added manually. In some cases, references can be saved from a database to your desktop computer and then imported into EndNote Web. EBSCO's Business Source Elite and EconLIT, and Web of Knowledge, are examples of databases that provide an easy way to export references directly from a search into your EndNote Web account. EndNote Web references can be formatted in any of several dozen styles such as APA, Chicago, MLA, and Turabian. Other features include creating a group of people with whom to share references, "Cite While You Write" in Microsoft Word, and transfer of references between EndNote Web and EndNote desktop. To get started, log on to Web of Knowledge. Then click the My EndNote Web link in the upper section of the screen to go to a page to register and create your personal account. This page from the Thomson Reuters includes EndNote Web quick reference cards and recorded training sessions.


Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports

Rod Library recently subscribed to ISI's Web of Knowledge. This is the overall name for a group of databases that includes Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports. This subscription is possible because of factors such as a price reduction, cancellation of the the print Social Sciences Citation Index, and purchase through a consortium. While called Web of Science, the database also covers social sciences journals in categories such as economics, finance, management, and business. One feature of Web of Science is Cited Reference Searching, which makes it possible to identify recent articles citing some particular key author or paper written in the past. Journal Citation Reports is a tool that provides rankings of the impact of journals in various subject areas. Web of Knowledge also includes EndNote Web. Through this, you can set up a personal account and develop your own library of up to 10,000 article citations, organized in the folders you create in the bibliographic format (e.g., APA) you prefer.


New Country Reports and Data in ABI/INFORM

The ABI/INFORM (ProQuest) database has been enhanced recently with several hundred country reports and data from the Economist Intelligence Unit and Oxford Analytica. They can be viewed by clicking the Browse tab after logging on to ABI/INFORM Complete. Look under the Country Reports Heading. Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Country Data, for example, "contains 370 economic variables over a 50 year period (1980-2030), actual and forecasted. Reports include comprehensive information such as GDP, import/export statistics, industry data, monetary indicators, liquidity metrics, and more." This is for the G20 countries. Data can be downloaded into a spreadsheet. ABI/INFORM Complete can be accessed from the Rod Library Business Portal and the Rod Library home page under Databases A-Z.


Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory Now Online

Ulrichsweb.com, the electronic version of the Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, is now available through UNISTAR, the Library’s online catalog. Use this resource to obtain bibliographic and publisher information about more than 300,000 journals, determine journals in subject areas of interest, and identify refereed journals. This tool can be used to identify periodicals - scholarly, trade, general - covering particular disciplines or industries. Entries for specific titles include details such as publisher, start year, whether refereed, and URL. This is an international directory, so, for example, it can be used to find periodicals published in a certain country that focus on a certain industry or field.


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