Thursday, December 30, 2004


I found a very nice outline of the NAICS classification system at the regional economic development center for Grand Rapids, Michigan. This North American Classification System Index includes both a numerical list of the codes and an alphabetical index to the industry/product categories and it is all in an easy-to-read five page PDF document.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Testing Computer Authentication

Systems is testing the authentication setup that will be used on the student computers in the reference area. At this time only one computer is running the new system -- the first computer in the row behind the reference desk and nearest the reading room. Students will need to sign in. This means non-Baruch users cannot use this computer station and all print jobs must go to the student printers.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Baker Library at Harvard Business School and Harvard Business School cases

I was surprised to learn today that the Baker Library at Harvard Business School does not collect the Harvard Business School cases. Makes me feel a little bit better when I consider that our library doesn't have them either.

New Census Reports of interest

New at this week include a Special Report: We The People: Asians in the United States, and from the 2002 Economic Census, information on Insurance Carriers, 2002.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Borrowing Value Line

Prof. Zhen Deng of the Accounting department and her graduate student, Fengyun, are compiling a database with information from old Value Line volumes from 1983 to 2002. They will be in over the inter-session to borrow the volumes from non-circulating stacks (HG4501 .V26). They should sign out the volumes at the reference desk. Some of the volumes will have barcodes so we will need to take them through security.
Also, Ester tells me that on the days that the library is closed faculty will have access to the collection.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Google Goes Galatic

Check out Google's new efforts in collaboration with University of Michigan, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and NYPL to digitize millions of books in their collections and make them searchable.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Tips for Using CUNY+

Eric and Mike demonstrated some advanced search features of CUNY+ at today's IS division meeting. I'd like to share some of them here:
--If searching for books in a foreign language, do your search for author or title and then use "Filter" by "Text in Field". Enter the language code which is usually the first three letters, eg, FRE, ITA, GER, but JPN not JAP.
--Note that supressed or deleted titles, like the books in our Reading Room, will show up in the CUNY Union catalog but not when searching Baruch. To see an example of this, search for the title "To the Hilt."
--When a Periodical record shows the note "Please Check Shelf" that does not mean we don't own the title but only that the journal issues do not have barcodes. This applys to all titles acquired previous to 1990, the year we first started using barcodes.
--The holdings record for periodicals shows the dates of the bound volume holdings. Students must scroll down to see which current issues are available.
--If a book is out in circulation, students can place a "Hold" on the book by using the Hold button at the bottom left of the record. They will be notified by e-mail when the book is ready for pick-up at the lending library. Books will be held for 10 days after notification.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

PBS's Frontline programs offered in streaming video

I discovered today that 42 Frontline reports from the PBS program are available for free viewing via streaming video. The reports include one on Enron and another on tax shelters, "Tax Me if You Can." The report "Is Wal-Mart Good for America"" is also included. The streaming video is part of a PBS initiative. To see what Frontline reports are included, and details on the initiative, go to

I discovered this when one of the accounting professors, Tony Tinker, wanted his students to view "Tax Me if You Can." So, there may be some inquiries about this.
There are some Frontline videos in the Reserve Collection, but "Tax Me if You Can," is not one of them.


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Ebsco Connection Problems temporary fix

In order to establish your Ebsco database connections, you must first go into your
Internet Explorer browser/
Tools/Internet Options
and then Delete Cookies.

This is a temporary fix until the EBSCO server problem is resolved.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Reference Desk Schedule Updated

If you checked the reference desk schedules I posted last week, please have another look as many changes have been made.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Free wireless access points in NY state

Since we don't have a system at the moment that allows non-Baruch students to connect their laptops to our wireless network, you may want to refer them to this web page that lists free hotspots for wireless internet access (also known as WiFi) in NY state.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Library Weblogs

If you want to see what other librarians and libraries are doing with blogs, check out Library Weblogs.

Gary Price's Docu Ticker

Gary Price's Resource Shelf has a very interesting sister site called

Docu Ticker...

"The latest in research reports being cranked out by all those government agencies, NGOs, think tanks, trade associations and more." It is at


Thursday, December 02, 2004

Reference Desk Schedule

The Reference Desk schedules for December and January have been posted. Please send any changes or corrections to me. Thanks. Louise

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Stat-USA still down

According to Doug's message on BBLIB today, "the STAT-USA problems have still not been resolved. I have been in contact with them daily."

Searching for the FARS Disk

Just a reminder - students looking for the FARS disk in the reserve collection should search for the Kieso text, Intermediate Accounting, 11th edition. The call number is HF 5635 .K5 2004.

Search feature now working

I was able to get the search box working again. To search the blog, please use the search box on the right side of the main page, not the one at the top. The one at the top is built into our blog template (courtesy of Blogger) and I can't get it to work at the moment.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Search feature in our blog not working

I'm trying to figure out why the search box at the top of the blog (in the blue section) and the search box on the right side of blog don't work at all. I'll post a new message once I figure out the problem.

Re Martindale Hubbell volume

The Martindale Hubbell International Law Summary volume will be kept at the reference desk today to meet students' needs.


Finance 3610 assignment regarding foreign taxes

A number of students in Finance 3610 are coming to the reference desk looking for help in finding out whether a particular country of their choosing has a capital gains tax for individuals, and, if so, when it was adopted. Another question in their assignment is the tax year of the country (calendar year or another time.) For example, in New Zealand, the commencement of the financial year for taxes is April 1.

This I learned from the New Zealand taxation summary in the Martindale-Hubbell International Law Digest. This volume is in Ref KF 190 .M33 2004.

It provides a summary of the laws, including taxation laws, of a number of countries. It is not all countries. The summaries are prepared by law firms located in the various countries. Another possible source is the Doing Business in .... series published by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which we have in print.

Last night I received a call about this assignment. The student wanted information about Iran's personal income taxation. I couldn't find anything in print that we had, and much of what is available on the Internet I unfortunately could not read. The only suggestion I had for the student was the Iranian Consulate at the United Nations. Probably many countries have websites via their Chamber of Commerces that might have this information, if the student can't find it in the Martindale Hubbell volume. (You might encourage them to select a country included in the Martindale Hubbell volume. For example, Canada has a nice one paragraph summary of capital gains under Income Taxation.")

On RIA and CCH we have access to foreign tax treaties, which are agreements that the U.S. has with other countries. (Basically to avoid, when possible double taxation.)

If you know of another source, please let us know.

Posed by Rita (With help from Peggy and Alan.)

More on WSJ "Trends" report

To follow up on Anne's post about "The Top 10 Trends in 10 Industries" published in the November 22, 2004 issue of The Wall Street Journal, this is only the second Trends report in a series that first appeared on February 9th. That issue reported on aviation, pharmaceuticals, travel, commercial real estate, oil, telecom, banking and television. The current issue reported on automobiles, beverages, publishing, restaurants, hospitals, fashion, movies, insurance, lodging and toys. To find articles in this series using Factiva, search on the headline: Trends and Special Report.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Dismal Scientist database offers RSS feeds

The Dismal Scientist database (which our library subscribes to) now offers RSS feeds on this page.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Historical New York Times on Factiva

The complete full-text of the New York Times back to June 1980 will be available to all Factiva customers beginning 1 January 2005.

Browser Toolbar for Stanford's Business School Library

How cool: Stanford Graduate School of Business: Jackson Library: Jackson IE Toolbar!

Innovative use of Google Scholar

A student at Michigan State University wrote an interesting blog posting with his take on Google Scholar. With the assumption that students are going to use Google Scholar in addition to or even before using their own library's online resources, he designed a page to show how a college library (his own) could take advantage of Google Scholar.

Stat-USA down

According to a message on BBLIB posted by Doug, Stat-USA is temporarily down (as of 9:35 this morning). He's working on getting it back up.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Blog about Google Scholar

If you really want to keep up with Google Scholar, there's a new blog called On Google Scholar that offers news and insight into this new Google feature.

Cost of Hospital Stays in New York

Peggy and I had an interesting question from a student this morning who was looking for statistics for New York state on the average number, length and cost of hospital stays. We found some data in AHA Hospital Statistics (Ref RA981 .A2A6234) which includes state profiles and city data for MSAs. We also found that the Kaiser Family Foundation makes this AHA data and more available online in a Website of Statehealthfacts. You can browse the Website by state or category and the data can be downloaded into Excel.


The latest edition (2004-2005) of the RMA Annual Statement Studies that gives financial ratio benchmarks is using NAICS for the first time. At the front of the volume is a list of all NAICS codes covered in the Statement Studies as well as a table cross-referencing SIC codes to the NAICS pages in the book.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Authentication Required for Wireless Access

The CUNY IT Steering Committee recently adopted a policy "that security, authentication and access control be required on all wireless networks across the university." Baruch initiated user authentication on its wireless network a few weeks ago in the School of Public Affairs and today in the Vertical Campus. As early as Tuesday, November 22 authentication will be extended to the Library and Technology Building. Users will be required to enter a username and password once a browser is opened on their laptop computer. For students the username is the same Baruch username for Blackboard, Pharos and WebMail. The password is their PIN. For faculty and staff, the username and password are the same as those required for login at the desktop computer in their office. Access to the wireless network is restricted to currently-enrolled Baruch College students and Baruch College faculty and staff. The policy is posted on the college's web site. Members of the Baruch community who experience login difficulties should be referred to the help desk at 646-312-1010.

Keys for Writers

The new 2005 edition of Keys for Writers is now available at the Reference desk. New in this edition is a section on plagiarism and updated guidelines for using the APA, MLA and Chicago Manual of Style.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Re: Not-for-Profit Hospital Class Action Litigation Site

Last night, an executive MBA student in health care administration came to the desk looking for information, including lawsuits that have gone to court recently, regarding allegations that hospitals charge uninsured patients full price while accepting tax exemptions as a nonprofit organization. Thus, patient care, health care costs, and the tax-exempt status of the hospital is at issue. And, since many hospitals have outstanding bonds, that have tax-exempt status, it is a really big issue. The student said that there are a number of class action suits being brought in different states.

Nanette found a Pennsylvania state case for the student, which I don't have the citation for. There is web site,, which has information about the pending lawsuits. (I think this is oriented toward plaintiffs.) The American Hospital Association,, and might be other sources of information. According to a Health Care Finance news release, 49 lawsuits have been filed involving 370 hospitals as of Oct. 8.

This is probably an issue that we'll be getting more questions about in the future. One of the main plaintiffs' lawyers is named Scruggs. He was a leading plaintiffs' lawyer in the tobacco cases of a few years ago.

(With information from Nanette and Stewart.)

SEC revises a filing deadline

From today:
The Securities and Exchange Commission has told Corporate America it can take its foot off the accelerator.

On Thursday, the regulator postponed by one year what would have been a new, earlier deadline for most companies to file their annual and quarterly reports. Bowing to widespread calls for a delay, the SEC said it pushed back the deadline to give companies and corporate auditors more time to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires companies to identify and document their internal controls over financial reporting.

Originally, Nov. 15 was the deadline for companies to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Apparently many companies couldn't meet the deadline so the SEC has issued this extension.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Consumer WebWatch: How Consumers and Experts Rate Credibility on the Web

Here's an interesting study of how people actually evaluate web sites:

Consumer WebWatch: How Consumers and Experts Rate Credibility on the Web.

Schedule for Research Consultation Clinics

Here's a link to the schedule for the Research Consultation Clinics. The schedule shows the student's name, the librarian who he/she will be meeting with, and the date and time of the meeting. Please note that this link only works on staff PCs in the library.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Update on library website redesign

Here's an update (recently e-mailed to BBLIB) from the Web Oversight Committee about the redesign of the library website:

The Web Oversight Committee has been drafting an “Invitation to Bid” that will be sent out to a list of qualified vendors we have identified. The “Invitation to Bid” is a document that describes the scope of the redesign project to potential vendors and outlines how the work will proceed. We have been working with the College’s Office of Purchasing and Auxiliary Services to get the boilerplate language that explains the bidding and selection process.

Once the committee has the language in place, we will distribute a draft document to faculty and staff. We would like then to hold an open meeting where faculty and staff can comment and provide feedback on the “Invitation to Bid”. Once suggestions have been reviewed and incorporated, the document will be ready to be sent to vendors. We hope to hold this meeting in the next week or so. An e-mail notice will be sent as soon as we have a complete-enough version of the Invitation to Bid to warrant a meaningful discussion.

We are also creating a list of vendors that will receive the Invitation to Bid. We are limiting our list to experienced web design companies in the New York metropolitan area so that it shouldn't be a problem for the company that is selected to be able to meet with us regularly once the contract is awarded. We are using sources such as the New York State Office of General Services list of firms previously awarded state contracts and design directories to compile the list. If you have a suggestion for our consideration, please let us know.

If you have any questions about the redesign process, please do not hesitate to ask any member of the committee:

- Saad Abulhab
- Stanton Biddle
- Stephen Francoeur
- Rita Ormsby
- Michael Waldman

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Books for Prof. Rothberg

I left three books at the reference desk that Prof. Burton Rothberg of the accountancy department will come by to look at and probably checkout.
I put a note on top of the books.


Article from Prism

While on Chat this morning a student asked for help finding an article, "Corporate management of a major crisis", in Prism, 2nd quarter, 1990. It turned out that it was not on reserve and that there are several journals with the title Prism. After testing several that were listed in Ulrich's, we found the journal on the Web. Prism is published by the consulting firm, AD Little, and all back issues are freely available at their Website

Monday, November 15, 2004

About the FARS disk

As I have two demonstrations of the FARS Disk for Accounting 3100 this afternoon, after 2 p.m. I will have the disk that has been at the reference desk. There are two copies available on reserve under the Kieso financial accounting book, edition 11. I will also have the disk in Room 135 tonight until about 7 p.m. for any students that need help.


Friday, November 12, 2004

Research Consultation Clinics

As we approach the third week of the Research Consultation Clinics, I wanted to highlight a few key points to bear in mind:
  • Be sure to encourage students who attend clinics to complete the survey form. They can deposit this form in a silver box located at the reference desk near the self-check out machine.
  • Consider referring students with involved research projects who you may encounter to sign-up for the Research Consultation Clinics. The sign-up form can be found at the "Instruction" page of the library's web site.
  • If the scheduled dates and times are not amenable to some students, you can suggest that they e-mail me directly at with suggested dates and times. I need at least 4 days notice to arrange a requested session.
  • If you encounter any problems during the course of the clinic sessions, especially if you are running overtime with another student or have walk-ins, feel free to call me at ext. 1616. I can work with the student or at least, find someone who can.

Thanks for your commitment to the clinics!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Accounting 2101 Take Home Quiz help

Two students, at least, from Accounting 2101, have asked for assistance today on a take home assignment relating to bond amortization tables and journal entries for the bonds.

I realized that one is an example of a bond sold at a discount, and the other is of a bond sold at a premium.

I found some examples in older textbooks that provide good explanations of what is needed. The students will also need a present value table and a future value table. The excerpt from Introduction to Financial Accounting, 7th Edition, has an extract of these tables. (There are other sources but this is the first accounting class for these students.) These tables might be in the textbook, but the student I tried to help didn't have her book with her.

I put the photocopied pages in a purple folder labeled Accounting 2101 Assignment help and it is in the Assignment folder in the top draw of the files at the Reference desk.

If there are other students, you can refer them to me. I can show them the sources.


Testing library ID #s for remote access problems

Saad says that if a student is having trouble with remote access, we can test their library ID number by going to this web page:

This page is the remote access login screen, which, normally, can only be accessed when you are off campus. If you go to the page and type in the user's library ID #, you can see whether or not remote access is available for that student.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Info about Investext publication

At a workshop Saturday, a student searching Investext received an error message when she tried to open a biotechnology report from DataMonitor Pharmaceutical Intelligence. The message was that we were not entitled to view the document or the document was not available. I sent a help request on Saturday to inquire to Thomson/Gale and the reply I have received is: "The product manager for Investex has informed me that this particular journal should not be in that product and they are working to remove it. However, I am seeing that you do have Business & Company Resource Center and she reports that you may find similar reports in the Industry Overview area of the product."
Posted by Rita

About the FARS disk

I have the FARS disk that is being kept at the reference desk to do some demonstrations in the vertical campus this afternoon. Two additional copies of the FARS disk are available on reserve. Students need to have the call number for the Kieso Intermediate Accounting book. The CD with that book is the FARS disk.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

It Pro 24x7 has Peachtree books

There have been several requests recently for books about Peachtree, an accounting software.
You might suggest that students check out our new database IT Pro Books 24X7, which has several possibilities. The print books seem to be checked out. Posted by Rita

Envelope left at reference desk

An envelope for Boris Munisch, a KPMG librarian and their web person, has been left at the reference desk. He will come before 3 p.m. today. I have alerted Security that he will be coming to Baruch to access the library.

He called me this morning.
Posted by Rita

Laptop availabity

Moyee just explained to me the best way to find out whether any of the Dell laptops, Apple Powerbooks, or Apple iBOOKs are free. In CUNY+, do a title browse (use the lower box on the search screen to browse rather than the keyword search box above) for BARUCH LAPTOPS. You'll see that there are separate catalog entries for the Dell laptops (Latitude D600) and for the Apple Powerbooks and Apple iBOOKS. Checking the holdings info for an entry will show you a list of all the machines, identify the loan period (3-day or 3-hour), and indicate availability.

Sustainability Reporting

Sustainability reporting is getting lots of press this week as the UK consulting firm SustainAbility included Starbucks in its list of the top 50 CSR reports (see their Risk and Opportunity report) and Al Gore partners with a former Goldman Sachs executive to start an investment management firm that will invest in industries that have long term and sustainable values. See "Blood and Gore hit funds" in Monday's Financial Times (November 8, 2004).

For more on this topic, the latest issue of the Special Libraries Association Business and Finance Division Bulletin (Fall, 2004) has an article written by Rita Ormsby that outlines the origins of sustainablility reporting and explains how the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) works. More information about GRI can be found in a presentation made at this year's SLA conference.

"Please Check Shelves"

Spencer sent a note to BBLIBS yesterday after a CUNY student traveled to Baruch to borrow a book that was listed in CUNY+ with the unfortunate instructions to "Please Check Shelves." I spoke to Mike to clarify why these records show up and what they mean. Apparently some books that were discarded and deleted in NOTIS still show records in CUNY+; some journal titles are in the collection but are missing tags and they will also have a bad record in CUNY+. The only way that these records will be removed from the catalog is if we, the librarians, are conscientious about reporting the records when we see them. Please send a copy of the record by e-mail or print to Michael Waldman who will make immediate corrections.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Class Assignment Using NAICS

Professor Gloria Thomas’ Marketing 3780 class is working on an assignment to develop marketing plans for what they call “imaginary products” but what really turn out to be a selection of recently patented products not yet in production. What a great project! An assignment that asks students to do research that any entrepreneur or venture capital firm would have to do to launch a new product.

I was working with a team Friday that was researching an infant room alarm and trying to determine the industry sector by finding a NAICS code. We used the online version of the NAICS manual found at (the link is right in the center of the page). I had a difficult time getting the students to brainstorm about possible industries after “child safety” did not produce any NAICS code. I asked if they could guess what type of manufacturer would produce the product and we looked at “electrical products,” an industry defined in NAICS very broadly as “electrical equipment manufacturing.” I suggested thinking about the product as a medical device and then tried another tactic and asked about companies that produce similar products. My thoughts were that companies like Johnson & Johnson or a home security firm like Honeywell would fit. In the end we did find NAICS for both medical equipment and alarm systems.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Guide to Ratio Analysis

We have a new Subject Guide posted on our Web site. It is for students doing research in ratio analysis. Although many sources are listed in the guide, I find that students frequently use either the RMA Annual Statement Studies because their professor recommends it or Mergent Online because they can download several years of data into a spreadsheet. You might point out these two sources as good places to start.

Euromonitor Market Research

At today's Mitsui Lunch-Time Forum on "Winning Business Strategies in China", Prof. Martell reminded students in the audience to read the Harvard Business Review and use the wonderful set of research resources available through the Newman Library. Then the speaker, Robert Aquilina, EVP at Estee Lauder International, in his presentation showed a chart of the market share of Estee and its key competitors with the data attributed to Euromonitor. I hope some of the students made the connection. Or is it something only a librarian would note?

Monday, November 01, 2004

Student Computers at the Reference Desk

Many students are doing assignments this semester using databases that are only available on the two reference computers- - SDC, FARS, and the Sleep Multimedia CD. Let's try to minimize confusion about service by not sitting students inside the desk area. The preferred policy should be to sit the students outside the desk and rotate the screen and position the keyboard/mouse so students can work from outside the desk.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Google cheat sheets

Don't know why I've never run across this before: a cheat sheet from Google of the search commands.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Historical Cash Flow Statements

A student was looking for the historical cash flow statements for a company. The best way to pull these turns out to be through Mergent. Mergent allows you to choose to download the cash flow statements (or income statement or balance sheet) for a company over a user-specified date range. First choose your company and then use the tab marked "Create Reports". Date options range from the past year/quarter to the last 15years/quarters.

Archive for BBLIB and BBLIBS

Searchable BBLIB archive can be found here and BBLIBS archive here.

Financial Footnotes in 10-K Reports

I spent a few minutes last week examining the options for searching and viewing the footnotes of 10-K reports in various databases including Thomson, Mergent, the SEC's EDGAR, Factiva, and the free SEC Info. Factiva which uses the SEC Info platform gives the most flexibility and is the easiest to use. Once you choose the company document, for example, the 10-K, you can search for any words in the text of that filing by using the "Find" box at the top of the page. Results are returned in KWIC format with links that open to the page.
Access to some features through Factiva requires registration, so users might want to go directly to SEC Info. An added feature of SEC Info is that it includes internal document links to related filings. For example, a mention of a union contract is hyperlinked to the exhibits in a previous filing that describe the contract.

Daylight lamps for students with disabilities

Special daylight lamps donated by the Office for Students with Disabilities have been installed in the reference area. Two lamps have been placed at the workstations marked for students with diabilities behind the reference desk, near the photocopy room. Two other lamps have been placed at carrels behind the staircase. Signs indicating that students with disabilities have priority for those carrels will be posted shortly.

Good intro to blogs and RSS

Want to learn more about what blogs really can do and how they are changing the way the web works? Check out this article.

Five days of free WSJ Online access

Starting Nov. 8, will offer five days of free, full access to the online Wall Street Journal. Read more about it here.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Command searching in CUNY+

Thanks to Mike for reminding me of the value of command line searching in CUNY+. Here's some useful tips:

  • Foreign language searches. Example: to find materials in Italian, type WLN = ita. Use the 3-letter MARC abbreviations for the language you want. Warning: this will also find books that have been translated from a particular foreign language as well.
  • Call number range searches: Example: to find books that are in the HQs, type WCK = HQ* (the asterisk will work as the wildcard).
  • Publisher search: Example, to find books published by Basic Books, type WPU = basic.
  • Reference books: Type WCL = ref
  • Books in stacks: Type WCL = stacks
  • Boolean operators: AND and OR work. Example, to find reference books that have Shakespeare as a word in the title (WTI=), type WCL = ref and WTI = shakespeare.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Accounting Resources added to my Blackboard site

Today I added some PowerPoints on the library's accounting resources to my Blackboard site. The segments are based on the Accounting Resources workshop.
I broke them down into segments such as searching RIA Checkpoint and CCH Business & Finance, searching Factiva for accounting/consulting information, searching databases for academic journal articles relating to accounting and auditing, and databases that provide SEC filings, and analysts' reports.

To get to them: Log onto Blackboard (Preview will work too.)
Click on the Courses tab.
Search either by my last name ormsby or Library Resources-Accounting.
They are listed under Course Documents in Library Resources--Accounting.
The Powerpoints on searching tips in searching the Financial Accounting Research System (FARS) are also here.

I am finishing the subject guide. Some students are giving me comments on it, so it will soon be available.


Monday, October 25, 2004

Additional FARS sources or sources for the same information that is on the FARS disk

In addition to the FARS CD-rom disk at the reference desk, accounting students who have the assignment that requires them to look up literature in the FARS disk may also use the following:

On Reserve, with 11th edition of the Kieso’s Immediate Accounting book, there is the CD disk.
Call number HF 5635.K5 2004 CD-ROM (2 copies of the disk are available)
This could be used by students on their own laptops, or they could be set up at the Reference Desk.
(Reserve copies of the CD say one day loan.)

For many students, this is their first exposure to the official accounting literature. It isn’t easy as they have to determine the issues in their problem, and find the appropriate literature to resolve the issues.
In the second part of the assignment, the students will be presented with the literature and asked how it applies to the situation. Some students may not understand the difference between the words “may” and “shall” in the literature, for example. (I certainly don’t understand the accounting.)

A purpose of this assignment is to have the students become acquainted with searching the literature using FOLIO software, used for the FASB’s FARS disk as well as the CPA exam. The FARS disk was packaged as part of the 11th edition of the Kieso Intermediate Accounting book.
However, not all students seem to have this edition of the book.

Some professors really wanted the students to use the FARS disk. Others have said that how the students access the information is not as important as searching the information.

The advantages of the online resources include that they may be searched off campus.

The following are online sources that have the same materials contained in the FARS disk:

RIA Checkpoint
Change practice area from Federal (tax) to WG&L Fin Mgt & Reporting
FASB is an option in the Primary Source Materials
Searches are by keyword (or citation if known)
The thesaurus/query tool can be helpful
(Drilling down in the Table of Contents shows which FASB statements (original pronouncements, current text, and other publications) that may be searched. One may search individually or combine the documents in a search.
Advantage to this database: Links easily to referenced materials, thus eliminating separate searches for referenced materials.
Grey shading indicates superceded language.

CCH Business & Finance
Click on Securities tab
Scroll down to SEC Accountants’ Module
Click on link to Financial Accounting Standards (FASB), which lists the original pronouncements (grey shading represents language that has been superceded), current text, EITF (emerging issues task force issues) and the Topical Index. (The students will most likely need to search those areas.)
Advantage to this database: Easier keyword and phrase searching than the FARS disk. Can easily click to select data sets to search.
Disadvantage to searching this compared to RIA: Lack of internal links

FASB website
The EITF abstracts, FASB statements are searchable here. Since the FARS disk, RIA Checkpoint and CCH Business & Finance only have information as of June 2004, it is possible that some information on this web site may be more current.
Disadvantage to searching on No easy keyword or phrase search.
You must select the individual statement that you want to search, and view the statement either as originally announced, its summary and status. The status lists changes but does not incorporate them, so one needs to do a lot of searching to assemble one’s own current text. This would be very, very time consuming and I can’t recommend searching this way.

Advantage of this site: Best site for the most current information as recent changes are announced here. If you are experienced and know what you are looking for, this might be a good place to go.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Donating course bulletins and catalogs

If anyone has some recent course bulletins or catalogs gathering dust in their office, you might want to consider adding them to the ready reference collection at the desk. Yesterday, Sandy and I realized we are missing a copy of the current undergraduate bulletin. Yes, I know, the current bulletins and catalog are online, too.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Animal Sleep Behavior

Prof. Engle-Friedman's students are doing an assigment for their PSYCH 3054 The Psychology of Sleep class that involves observation of an animal of their choice at the Bronx Zoo and examination of scholarly research articles on that animal's sleep behavior. The databases, PsycARTICLES or PsycINFO, work for some species, but I have found that Science Direct and Wiley Interscience provide a better choice of articles as well as more current research. Aisha's Web Guide to Biology is a good place to find a list of other science databases.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

New Home Page at Reference

After the discussion of the blog at the IS division meeting yesterday, I have changed the home page of the reference desk computers to default to the "Reference at Newman Library" blog.

Corporate Affiliations

The Corporate Affiliations database now has a substantial archive. One can now find out
the management, for example, of a corporation for several years back.

OCLC report on information trends

Kind a follow up to the environmental scan OCLC published earlier this year is this report on information trends. One little blurb I found interesting:

More than ever, content consumers are “format agnostic” in that they do not care
much what sort of container—such as a book, journal, blog or a Web page—the
content comes from.

How to Access Simmons Choices III

Until further notice, please be advised that there is no longer a direct link to Simmons Choices III from the alphabetical listing of databases located at the "Information Resources page". In order to access Simmons Choices III, you will need to go to:

"Information Resources page" then click on "Databases by Subject" >"Networked CD-ROMs" >"Simmons Choices III-2001".

You should also refer users to an online tutorial of the new Choices III search interface which is available at University of Tennessee Libraries at I will be completing a revised version of my "Guidelines to using Simmons" which will incorporate changes to the search interface.

Bear in mind, you may access all other marketing CD-ROMs, namely Mediamark Reporter (MRI) and CMR ADSpender, in the same manner.

Print subscriptions to Times (London) and Washington Post ends

Doug Duchin announced on BBLIB today:

We are canceling The Times (London, England : 1788), the Sunday Times (London, England : 1931) and the Washington Post in hard copy. Both the Times and the Post are available full text to date online. We will continue to purchase the microfilm copies. The paper edition of the Times is $1,175 this year and arrives about 7-10 days late. The Washington Post is $852 a year and arrives several days late. Neither have enough circulation in paper to warrant the expense.

As an addendum, let me note where full text access is for these: The Times is inLexisNexis and Custom Newspapers from 7/1/1985 on; The Washington Post is in LexisNexis from 1/1/1977 (other databases have it, but not as far back).

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Incorrect citation info for students in Prof. Rachman's class

Students in Prof. D. Rachman's BUS 1000 class (Introduction to Business) may have problems locating an article listed on their syllabus, as the professor got the article title wrong. The article is:

Grow, Brian. “Don't Discount This Discounter.” Business Week, 24 May 2004. 84+.

It can be found as a link in Prof. Rachman's course reserve page.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

CIS 1000 Exemption Exam Info

If a student asks where they can take a practice test (sometimes asked for as "SimNet") for the exemption exam for CIS 1000, refer them to the 6th floor computer lab. Work stations in the computer lab have SimNetXP learning software on them, which has the practice exam.

The library owns a book on reserve that can be used as a study guide for the test: Haag, Stephen and James T. Perry's I - Series: Microsoft Excel 2002: Introduction (reserve call number is HF5548.4.M523 H3 2002).

For more info on the exam, see this page on the CIS site:

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Fannie Mae Report

Rita reports that the faculty have been asking for the report accusing Fannie Mae of improper accounting practices. It was released by Fannie Mae's regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), and is officially called the "Report of Findings to Date Special Examination of Fannie Mae." At the OFHEO Website the report is found in the statement of the OFHEO Director Armando Falcon Jr. dated September 22, 2004. The report (more than 200 pages) is available at .
Rita has signed up for e-mail alerts and will be following this issue.

In addition to OFHEO, the Justice Department and the SEC are investigating. This week the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises (part of the House Committee on Financial Services) will hold hearings about the issue. Documents will be posted at their Website

Monday, October 04, 2004

Three ways to subscribe to this blog

One of the cool things about blogs is that to see if there is new content, you don't necessarily have to load the blog's web page on your browser. There are a number of other ways to be notified of and view newly posted entries in a blog. Imagine, for example, that there are two or three blogs that you view daily. What if you could see in one place (one screen) a list of each of those blogs and all the new postings that have been put up since you last visited?

Here are three ways you can do that:

(1) Register (for free) at Bloglines. You set up an account on this site and enter in the URLs for the feeds (a specific URL that "feeds" blog postings in a standardized layout) into a box on the Bloglines page. Or you can just click the "Subscribe with Bloglines" button on the right side of our Reference at Newman Library blog. Once you set up an account with Bloglines, you can log in to the site from any computer and check to see if there are any new postings since you last logged in.

(2) Set a My Yahoo page (free registration required). Then click the "+My Yahoo!" button on the right side of our blog.

(3) Use the Mozilla Firefox browser. To download and install this great new browser (view multiple web pages in tabs rather than separate windows; built in Google search box; built in pop-up blocker) you'll need to get Systems' permission. In Firefox, you can view blog postings in the list of Bookmarks on the browser toolbar.

I hope to make a presentation about this at the next IS Division meeting. In the meanwhile, you may want to check out these pages about what blogs are really about:

- the best intro to what blogs and feeds herald for the library world:

- My Yahoo page about what RSS (and blogs) are:

Friday, October 01, 2004

Free EDGAR databases

Prof. Josh Mills asked about EDGAR databases with text search features. I know of only two that are still free on the Web: EDGARscan and SECinfo.

EDGARscan is a product of PriceWaterhouseCoopers and offers word, phrase and Boolean seaching on a form that also allows for filtering by company name, industry, SIC code, type of filing, and date or date range. You can also choose a particular document and search in it. Reports have hyperlinked table of contents so users can go direct to parts of the text, footnotes or financial tables. The financials can be downloaded into Excel. The real purpose of this database is to offer a way to compare company data and PWC normalizes the financials so that the data is comparable across companies. So be careful, some users might want to see the financials "as reported". EDGARscan is at

SECinfo at is free but users must register. Once you pull up the reports by company, they allow text searching of "the recent filings or all filings" and return the paragraphs with the search terms. Reports have hyperlinked table of contents and financials can be downloaded. The home page also offers direct access to recent filings by type as well as lists of today's filings, yesterday's filings, or the most recent filings. And uniquely, they parse the 8K's so you can see lists of which companies are filing 8K's to announce mergers, auditor changes, bankruptcy, delisting, new management, or other significant events.

Quest or Qwest?

Students in Prof. Merchant's auditing class (ACC5400) have to research the financial fraud that Qwest has been involved in over the last few years. The assignment mentions two articles from the Wall Street Journal (on 4/2/04 and 6/22/04) but names the company as Quest when it is actually Qwest. The case has been extensively covered in the press, in analysts' reports, and in SEC filings (many 8K's and ammended 10K's).

Thursday, September 30, 2004

SDC Mergers and Acquisitions Assignment

Professor Jay Dayha's FIN9759 class will be using the SDC M&A database in the next few weeks to work on an assignment about valuing merger deals in various industry sectors and with various deal characteristics. I gave a brief introduction to the class last night but not all the students were able to attend. You will be seeing them at the reference desk soon.

The database training committee will offer a SDC refresher for librarians on Monday October 4th from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. in Room 135. All are invited. Extra copies of the SDC Platinum Quick Reference Guide will be available at the Reference Desk.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Business Week Cover Story for October 4, 2004

Several speakers at Wednesday's conference on "Accountable Accounting:Principles or Rules?" sponsored by the Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity mentioned the cover story in this week's Business Week. Titled, "Fuzzy numbers;Despite the reforms, corporate profits can be as distorted and confusing as ever," the article examines how companies use the rules to distort earnings.
Although the issue is available on the newsstands earlier, it appears in Factiva on Fridays. Factiva loads the latest issue of Business Week 3 days before the publication date which is everyMonday.

Student Computers at Reference Desk

Two computers have been set up for student use at the Reference Desk. They are configured like the computers at the Index Tables and are for research. Thank you, Saad and Theresa.

Workshop Schedule for Fall 2004

Flyers with the Library and Subotnick Center Fall Workshop schedule (corrected) are now available at the library bulletin board. An additional 500 copies should be arriving soon. Some will be put at the reference desk and Kathia will have copies if you need them for classes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Management Forecasts of Earnings

Several professors in the Acccounting Department were looking for a reliable way to find the estimates that companies make about their earnings. This data is sometimes posted on the company Web site or announced in press releases, but a better source is the First Call database that is part of ThomsonOne Analytics (in the Subotnick Center). They call the data "company issued guidelines" and list the data for each fiscal year right after the "Detailed Broker Report" sections.
To find these forecasts in ThomsonONE, select the Company tab and then "Detail/Estimates". Enter the ticker or company name to pull up the report of EPS data. The entire report can be downloaded into Excel.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Wall Street Transcript

Diane and I have been having an e-mail conversation about access to the Wall Street Transcript. Despite the results you see after doing a "Full Text Journals" search, only Investext Plus gives access to the text of the WST. If you do a search by company or industry and add the keyword "Wall Street Transcript", you will pick up the articles in PDF format. There is an embargo of about 7 -8 weeks.
Both PROMT and the Business and Company Resource Center include only the Wall Street Transcript Digest, a format that includes only abstracts of the articles.
We no longer subscribe to the WST in paper; we have issues from Volume 1, 1963 through Volume 137, 1997 on microfilm and bound volumes for 1997 to 2003.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Diagram of a Sheep's Brain

Sandy and I were at the reference desk last week helping a student find a labeled diagram of a sheep's brain. The student thought it would be in the Biology lab manual but after checking reserve came back for another source. Sandy found a wonderful tutorial and dissection guide from the University of Scranton at

Paper for Student Printers

I have asked Nelson and Kerice, our student assistants, to check the printers throughout the day and keep the paper trays filled. This should cut down on the number of times librarians will need to service the printers.