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, http://www.nfplitigation.com/, which has information about the pending lawsuits. (I think this is oriented toward plaintiffs.) The American Hospital Association, www.aha.org, and HealthCareFinance.com 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 CFO.com 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 www.adl.com/insights/prism/.

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 Lisa_ellis@baruch.cuny.edu 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: http://remote.baruch.cuny.edu:2048/login

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 http://www.census.gov/ (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.