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Stanley Lyle's blog

Q&A: What is an academic journal?

Professors may require that all or at least some sources for assignments come from "academic" or "scholarly" journals. Both terms are used to describe such journals. So what is an academic journal? A "journal" is a publication that is published on a regular basis such as four or twelve times a year. Academic journal articles are aimed at faculty, students, and other researchers in a field. Published academic journal articles typically have been evaluated and "graded" by two or more experts in the field before being published.

Research Consultations now available

Having trouble finding appropriate sources for your assignments? Or just want to speed up the research process for an upcoming paper? Individual students and groups can request extensive assistance with a research project by scheduling a consultation with a librarian. A research consultation usually lasts 45 - 60 minutes. The librarian will suggest search terms, research tools, and strategies oriented toward a specific topic being studied by an individual or group.

AICPA Economic Crisis Resource Center

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants launched an Economic Crisis Resource Center on March 1. "Whether you are job hunting, seeking articles on job skills in a recession or looking for financial reporting or strategic planning guidance for your business, the Economic Crisis Resource Center is designed to help all CPAs to get through this together." This site focuses on accounting, but it also covers topics likely to be of interest to students in finance, economics, hr, and other disciplines.

Mergent Online Adds International Companies

Mergent Online contains up to 15 years of quarterly and annual financial data and other information for the publicly-held companies it covers. This has been limited to 10,000 U.S. companies until recently, when the publisher added coverage for more than 20,000 publicly-held firms in more than 100 different countries. Mergent Online can be accessed from the Rod Library home page under Databases A-Z and also from the Rod Library Business Portal.

Q&A: Where do you find international market reports?

International market reports may be available in Rod Library databases and from professional association and federal government web sites. International markets for specific products may be discussed in articles as well. About half of the reports in the Mintel database, which can be accessed from the Rod Library home page under Databases A-Z and also from the Business Portal, cover non-U.S. markets. Most of the non-U.S. reports cover specific European countries.

My Reading History (UNISTAR library catalog feature)

Library staff members are often asked if we can give someone a list of the books they have checked out in the past. Our answer has always been, "No." The library takes seriously the privacy of your library records so we do not maintain a list of what you borrow after you return it. "My Reading History" is a new feature which allows you to track items you borrow. Some patrons have asked for this service as a means of recalling a book or author they liked or for keeping a list of what they have already read. Participation in the feature is entirely voluntary.

Q&A: How do I find federal court cases? And Iowa cases, federal or state court?

There are different ways to do this. One approach is to use LexisNexisAcademic or WestLaw Campus. Both are available from the Rod Library Databases A-Z page or from one of the Business Portal pages. In LexisNexis Academic, for example, click the Legal link at the top of the page. After reaching the Legal section, click the Federal & State Cases link on the left side of the screen.

Q&A: Where do you find industry overviews for marketing reports?

One source that may work for some marketing reports is IBISWorld. (It's also available from Rod Library Business Portal and home page.) IBISWorld contains about 700 industry market research reports. The one on caterers, for example, covers topics like market characteristics, industry conditions, key sensitivities and success factors, competitors, and outlook for the industry. Most reports are updated at least once a year.

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