Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Introducing the Reference Intern

Roberta Bertrand is this year's reference intern. She is a student at LIU's Palmer School of Library and Information Science and will be graduating this June. Roberta has a background in law, environmental education and grantsmanship. She graduated from Vassar College. Roberta will be here Thursdays from 10 AM to 6 PM and additional hours as the semester progresses. Please welcome her to Newman Library.

Monday, January 30, 2006

BCTC technology workshops

For those of you who aren't on the BBFACSTAFF mailing list, I am reposting a message from it that is worth knowing about:

Baruch Computing & Technology Center offers free workshops to all students, faculty and staff at Baruch College. Workshops from Introduction to Technology at Baruch; beginner to Intermediate Microsoft Office Products (Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access); Computer Security to Desktop Publishing.

Please visit the site below for a detailed listing of the FREE workshops offered this semester with time and location. You can also register on-line at this site for the workshops.


For more information regarding the workshops, please contact the Baruch Help Desk by phone at 646-312-1010; email at HelpDesk@Baruch.Cuny.Edu or stop in on the 6th floor of the Library Building.

How to get the digest version of the ILI-L list

If you, like me, have been overwhelmed by the individual messages on this listserv, I suggest changing over to the "digest version". The digest version allows you to receive one email that includes all listserv submissions for the day. Follow these steps noted by the listserv administrator:

1. Once you login, you can click on "Your subscriptions" in the top right of the screen. You can then click on the name of the list in order to reach a screen that gives you several choices, including "Unsubscribe", "Subscriber Options", "Archive", and "Post".

2. If you choose "Subscriber Options", you can then change "Reception mode" from "normal" to "digest" (then click "Update").

As the listserv administrator noted this weekend, "this should work for most people, although some individuals report problems in opening the individual message attachments. This may also fail if the number of attachments is very high. We are working on ways to solve these problems."

Testing library ID #s for remote access

I just updated the wiki page on "Remote Access" to highlight a tool that allows us to type in a user's library ID number to see if it is in our remote access system. When users come to the desk reporting problems with remote access, you can begin to narrow down the possible reasons for the trouble if you can first verify whether the number is or isn't in our systems. If it is in our system, then it is possible that the user's PC off campus is running a firewall that is interfering with the remote access authentication system we use.

This is the same tool that was mentioned in this reference blog post from November 2004.

Graphing calculators still available (today only)

Although yesterday was the last scheduled distribution of the graphing calculators, as of 1:45 PM today (Monday, January 30), there are still a little more than two dozen calculators available on a first-come, first-served basis. It is expected that by the end of the day, all calculators will be gone.

Professional Reading

We have started a collection of articles/documents that you might find useful in "keeping up" with the changes in the landscape of reference. So far there are files covering the Wikipedia, Factiva's new Search 2.0 interface, and rethinking the catalog at the University of California Libraries, all topics discussed on this blog in the past month. I'd like to add a file on "roving" so if you know of a good article(s), please let me know. You will find the files on shelves behind the reference desk. I will try to add files as topics are brought up on the blog, but please feel free to share with everyone topics of your choice.

FARS information--also known as the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) assignment

As I have been asked to give a demonstration today on locating the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) information, I thought I would also post a summary of the information. I have updated the handout about FARS and I have put some copies in the reference desk drawer.

Many accounting students have a "FARS" assignment which means they will need to search the FASB information. The FASB information makes up the generally accepted accounting principles: "GAAP." "FARS" stands for Financial Accounting Research System, which is the way that the FASB and Wiley publishing has packaged the information for students.

Means of access for this information include:

I. FARS Online: Some students will have access to the FARS online through a password given in their textbook, which is the most recent edition of the Kieso Intermediate Accounting text.
This comes with a 22 page How to Search FARS Online. Students should review this.

A tutorial that I developed on searching FARS Online is available through Blackboard. Students should click on Community and select Accounting Information. The tutorial is listed under Course Documents. There is a printout of this tutorial, which I developed, and the 22 page explanation from Wiley, in the file drawer at the reference desk.

II. FARS disc Other students will depend upon the 2005 FARS disc. There are two at the Reference Desk and one on Reserve. These discs can only be used at the Reference Desk. Please take the student I.D. card. The computers on the sides of the Reference Desk have been programmed to access this CD. This disc is current as of June 1, 2005. See the handout for some quick search tips. Phrases must be searched within quotation marks. Shaded information means it is not current. (Students should look for current information.) A Powerpoint presentation prepared last year has been printed and is available in the reference desk drawer.

Other online means of access:

III. FASB's free web site: www.fasb.org. This has the most current information. However, the FASB statements can not be searched except by going to the individual statement. Changes to statements have not been incorporated into the text so that is a disadvantage here. This site also lacks the "Current Text", which is not officially "GAAP." The current text compiles the information from the FASB statements and other documents into subjects. There are General Standards, which apply to all business entities, and Industry Standards, which have been developed for specific, but not industries." This site is free but not that easy to search. It is updated most frequently.

Perhaps the most easy to use:
IV. RIA Checkpoint offers the FASB documents. This database can be used off campus. You need to change the Search Practice Area to WG&L Rptg & Management. (See handout for details on drilling down to the FASB documents and how to search.)
Advantages of this database include: Internal Hyperlinks referring to FASB documents reduce the number of searches one will need to conduct.
Keyword searches may be done.
If a student knows the document that needs to be search, that can also be done by searching FIND BY CITATION.
This database also contains AICPA Publications which can be searched. RIA Checkpoint offers the same information from FASB as the FARS disc and has the advantages of hyperlinks and being more current.
Results may also be printed, downloaded or e-mailed.

The second most easy to use:
V. CCH Business & Finance: Advantages: available off campus. Is more current than the FARS disc.
Results may be printed, emailed or saved.
Lacks the hyperlinks that RIA offers.
After logging on (use Baruch e-mail), select Securities tab, and scroll down to SEC Accountants' Module and click on Financial Accounting Standards (FASB).
The Original Pronouncements are where the FASB Statements are to be found. Find by Citation can be used to locate a specific statement.

A GAAP Guide may also be searched in the CCH Business & Finance. This can provide helpful background information, such as identifying statements that apply to leases, etc.

Both RIA and CCH offer thesauri and means to do "near" searches and other more complex search strategies. (This isn't so easily done on the FARS disc.)
Grey shaded information indicates it is not current information in each database.

Mainly for graduate students:
The www.SEC.gov offers Information for Accountants that leads to SEC Accounting Staff Bulletins (see handout for example.) The SEC Accounting Staff Bulletins are also available in the SEC Accountant's Module on CCH Business & Finance.

Other helpful sources:

In case of power or Internet failure: the FASB publications are all available in print. They are either at the reference desk or in Reference.

CCH Accounting Research Manager. Although this database indicates that the FASB material is available, our academic access does not permit it. (FASB imposed limitation.)
The Interpretation materials offered may be helpful. Interpretative materials have a beige background.

The 2005 Miller GAAP Guide is available in print. Check CUNY+ for the call number in Reference for this handout. (The version on Lexis-Nexis Academic is not being updated and is not current. Avoid this version.) This GAAP Guide offers summaries that might be helpful for students.

Some professors want their students to search only the FARS disc; others do not care which version of the information is searched. I have not received the assignments for this semester yet. Some short workshops will be scheduled later in the semester, when they have the assignment.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Although I try to be helpful, I appreciate it if the students have at least looked at the tutorials and tried to search on their own prior to asking for help from me. If students don't understand the assignment, they should ask their professor for additional help.

Encyclopedia of Religion

Last week when I was at the desk with Barbara she recommended The Encyclopedia of Relgion to a student. It is a great tool for anyone wanting an anthropological perspective on religion and it covers some hard to find topics such as voodoo and santeria.
We have both the definitive first edition, edited by Mircea Eliade, in REF BL31 .E46 1987) and the new edition of 2005 at REF BL31 .E46 2005. The new edition is also available online in the Gale Virtual Library. It's worth checking both editions.

Friday, January 27, 2006

More postings now visible on the blog home page

Lately, we've been seeing an increase in the number of blog postings. When viewing the home page of the blog, you may have noticed that there is a limited number of new blog postings that appear; older postings get pushed to the "archives" pages on the blog. I just increased the number of new blog postings on the home page from 10 to 20; now, recent postings won't get pushed off into archive pages so quickly.

If there is interest in increasing the number further, let me know.

Remote Access, and updating IDs

Eric Neubacher has provided this summary of Remote Access identification issues.

If someone off campus goes to the library's homepage and selects a database from Information Resources that is available remotely they will get a prompt to enter the last 9 digits of their library ID, which is on the lower right hand portion of their CUNYCARD.. The signon can be seen at: http://remote.baruch.cuny.edu/login?url=
This goes through Baruch's proxy server which gets its authorized users from the ID center and is updated on the first Monday of each month (maybe more during the beginning of the semester). Circulation has nothing to do with this process.
There is a good description of Baruch's remote access at: http://newman.baruch.cuny.edu/info_resources/remote/info.htm
There is a section on 'What if there are problems? which we refer patrons to.

Circulation can provide access to users who update (validate) their library id to the CUNY databases that are available remotely.
These are the databases with green 'houses' found on the CUNY web page at: http://libraries.cuny.edu/resource.htm (Among these are Ebsco databases i.e., Business Source Premier, PsycInfo, Acad. Search; Lexis/Nexis and Sage publication databases).
All of these resources should be available via Baruch's information resources page. But patrons who have new or replacement ids whose information has not been updated in Baruch's proxy server would be able to access the CUNY databases via the CUNY page once circulation staff has entered their new library id into the circulation system.

Wondering how to handle situation where WSJ article is only on its subscription WSJ.online

I was wondering if others have run into this situation: An accounting professor requested help locating an article that was published in 2002 only on the Wall Street Journal Online (wsj.com). It was written by a freelancer, which likely explains why it was not available on Factiva or any other online source that we have for the Wall Street Journal. (The article was referenced at the end of a WSJ article that was available full-text on Factiva as a WSJ Journal Link for readers to go to.) You can retrieve the freelancer's article for $2.95 online in the WSJ archive. There is no way to e-mail or save it. Reprints can be ordered. You can get a two week free trial to the WSJ.com online, which is how I located the article. The microfilm of the WSJ includes only the reference to see the WSJ Journal Link.

I imagine that this might be more of a concern in the future as more publications have either separate online editions or refer to stories exclusive in their online editions in their print editions.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


The following library classes have had their room assignments changed from room 130 to room 135:

Lib 1016 Lewis Liu T TH 2:30-3:45pm
Lib 1016 Diane DiMartino M W 6-7:15pm
Lib 3020 Lisa Ellis T Th 4:10-5:25pm
Lib 3040 Jerry Bornstein MW 3:20-4:35pm

In addition, the following classes are being taught in 130:

Lib 1015 Bobbie Pollard T TH 9:30-10:45am
Lib 1015 Sandra Roff M W 12:50-2:05pm
Lib 3010 Sandra Roff T Th 11:10am-12:25pm
Lib 4900 Ann Li Fri 9:30am-12:25pm (capstone)

Instruction mailing list

The Instruction Section of ACRL hosts a moderately busy mailing list, ILI-L, devoted to "information literacy instruction." This list is the successor to the earlier BI-L list that is now defunct. From the ILI-L home page on the ACRL site, here are the instructions for subscribing:

To subscribe send the text:

subscribe ILI-L your firstname yourlastname
in the body of the message to:
Teachers In NYC's Institutions Of Higher Learning

In this Gotham Gazette article, Andrew Beveridge, from Queens College, looks at the number and salaries of his fellow academics, breaking it down by individual institutions of higher learning, and reaches an unsurprising conclusion -- it doesn't pay to be a college teacher.

Copy machines

Please remember that copy machines are set on a timer, and turn off once idle for two hours.
If a patron needs to use a machine, they will need to turn the machine on. (Sometimes patrons assume the machines are not operational, or are afraid to turn them on.)

Refunds for copy machines:
If amount lost is $1 or less: Fill out a refund slip (in drawers at the front of the reference desk) and send the patron to the Circulation Window for the refund. The Social Security number of the patron does NOT need to be added to the slip.

Amount lost is more than $1: Patron should contact Annette Ruiz first (X1655, room 420). If Annette is not able to help patron, she will have patron contact Copico at 800-726-COPY to request a refund.

Sometimes, Brian Barry can make refunds, too, or help with Copy Cards that don't work.

Reference desk supplies

Pens and pencils are in short supply. Please do not "give them out" to students.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

SAGE Full-text collections -- Full-text problem solved

The problem with viewing full-text as pdfs from the SAGE full-text collection databases (Psychology, Education, Sociology) has been fixed. As mentioned in the Jan. 19th posting, connecting to the full-text document resulted in a blank screen. Why? The workstations need either Version 7.0 of Adobe Reader (Reader is the freely downloadable version), or a full version of Adobe Acrobat (the fully functional commercial version). The workstations in Reference have been updated, as of Jan 25th.

If you are having problems with viewing the full-text on your office computer, you will need to contact the Helpdesk to install 7.0. If remote users are having problems with viewing full-text, advise them to install Adobe Reader 7.0, or a full version of Adobe Acrobat (earlier versions of Acrobat display the full-text).

Factiva changes, recap

To recap what Louise and others have pointed out, Factiva recently made following

A Whole New Way to Look at Search – Preview Coming Soon
On January 17, Factiva subscribers will get a preview of the future of business research.
Factiva’s newest generation of capabilities deliver search results that take you far beyond a list of headlines. Factiva Search 2.0, based on innovative discovery technologies, offers significantly more powerful filtering, impressive results visualization, and enhanced navigational tools that help eliminate the paralyzing problem of information overload.
A preview version of Search 2.0 with Factiva Discovery Technology will be available to all Factiva.com subscribers on or about January 17, 2006, and will be available until March 25. It’s accessed by clicking on a link within Factiva.com that launches a new browser window. If you decide not to try the preview, your familiar Factiva.com experience will not be affected.
After the Search 2.0 preview concludes, and we’ve had a chance to evaluate customer feedback, some or all of Search 2.0 will be integrated into various Factiva products. We’ll also introduce preview versions of other new capabilities throughout 2006.
Early customer feedback indicates that Factiva Search 2.0 dramatically improves the way users find and understand business information. Your results are still based on Factiva’s superior collection of business sources, but the way you see them is far more useful.
What’s new is the way the technology automates an extremely labor-intensive function. It widens your vision by relating your search results to the bigger picture; at the same time, it sharpens your focus by finding hidden connections, relationships, and ideas deep within your search results.
Highlights of the new Search 2.0 experience:
The smarter search uses normal language but returns relevancy results based on a Web relevancy algorithm. The new search bar also accepts complex Boolean search strings with equally relevant results. No new learning or retraining necessary!
Your search results are organized into logical clusters by subjects, companies, industries, sources and news concepts using Factiva’s unique intelligent filters—making your results easier to digest and understand.
Highly intuitive and visual interactive navigation gives you a new perspective on your search by easily linking to articles groups
Contextual "snippets" help you quickly determine the relevancy of an article.

Please contact your ProQuest representative if you have any questions or concerns.

Based upon a recent customer usage study, Facttiva has reviewed their company information products in order to ensure that they continue to offer the right content and functionality in support of our customers’ information needs. This review has resulted in a planned realignment of Companies/Markets offering an improved public company information experience for Factiva.com subscribers with a streamlined interface.
Available on or about December 10th, these changes strengthen Factiva’s company information offering by expanding coverage of public companies to more than 31,000 companies, while also improving the user experience with a more intuitive design.
Streamlined Company Quick Search
Company Quick Search within the Companies/Markets area of Factiva.com will now feature:
The addition of Reuters Fundamentals as the provider of global public company information, replacing CoreData
More robust company snapshots that will allow linking to additional company snapshots from peer comparison lists, a functionality originally developed for Factiva Companies & Executives
Removal of Hoover’s Content
Hoover’s content will be removed from Factiva in December. This content consists of public and very limited private company data found in Companies/Markets and Company Quick Search.
With the removal of Hoover’s content, Factiva will be expanding their coverage within Companies/Markets with:
Additional 5,000+ public companies provided by Reuters Fundamentals, including detailed business descriptions, bringing total company coverage to more than 31,000 global public companies
Beginning in December, private company data will no longer be available within Companies/Markets, however, news for private companies will still be available through existing search functionality.

(Source: Proquest announcements)

Third floor cleaning project

Jerry reports that the third floor is closed to the public (carpet is drying) UNLESS they need to go there to retrieve books.

Graphing Calculators

Graphing calculators will be available on a first come, first served basis at the third floor service counter at the following times:

Thursday January 26th at 10:30 am and 6:30 pm
Friday January 27th at 10:30 am and 3:30 pm
Saturday January 28th at 10:30 am and 3:30 pm
Sunday January 29th at 10:30 am and 3:30 pm

Students must update their library record for Spring 2006 (at the circulation desk) before they can borrow calculators.


As much as possible, I will be scheduling three librarians at the reference desk this semester. I encourage everyone to become "roving librarians" again. Please take the opportunity to walk the floors, make yourself visible, and ask users if they need help.

Context and Comparisons Digital Resource-remote access

Context and Comparisons, the digital resource used by Eng 2800 or 2850, is accessible off campus by inputting the 14 digit (21716...) library number. (i.e., restricted access).

Value Line

Value Line is back up.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Basics for Accessing the New MRI Plus and upcoming workshop on 1/30

MRI Plus, the new web-based version of Mediamark Reporter or MRI is now available from the Information Resources page at the Newman Library web site. As a web-based product, the Baruch community can gain remote access to the database and create reports in a new dynamic step-by-step interface.

Those interested in creating reports that show the correlation between consumer groups and products, services or media, can now take advantage of 2004 data. You will be happy to know that they have expanded the type of reports available beyond the general report to now give you access to specialized reports in the areas of teen marketing, B2B, upperdeck, and 10 local US markets.

To access, please note that all users will have to register individually with their unique login for access which consists of their Baruch email address and a password.

Once you sign in, look for a button that is titled, "Mediamark Reporter" to click on. This will then present you with the various report volumes to select from. You will then be lead through a process of making successive choices in constructing a full report.

I am working to post the tutorial for this product on Electronic Reserves under course code MKT 0000 where it will be titled, "MRI Plus Tutorial". It will be available in the next 24 hours.

All library faculty are welcome to attend a workshop on using Simmons Choices III and MRI Plus this upcoming Monday, January 30 from 6-8pm in Rm 135. Please RSVP to myself or Louise Klusek.

Monday, January 23, 2006

What should we say to Baruch faculty about the Wikipedia?

This entry is offered as a discussion starter. Over the last couple weeks I have chatted with several colleagues about what position we should take on student use of the Wikipedia online encyclopedia. Recent articles in the mass media, including a cover story in the Village Voice, have focused attention on problems related to this product. Many faculty have not heard of the Wikipedia, or if they have, they are not clear on what it really is or how articles are authored, posted, and edited. Last semester two students in my course listed Wikipedia articles in their term paper bibliographies.

The premise of the Wikipedia is that a community of interested people over time can work seriously to edit, fine tune and develop a consensus on the content of encyclopedia articles. However, there are many questions about the credentials of article authors, about the possibility of pranks, hoaxes, inaccuracies, and even intellectual vandalism. The Village Voice reports that author who has contributed the greatest number of entries is 17 years old.

On the other hand, a recent study by Nature found that Wikipedia articles on scientific topics were nearly as accurate as Britannica articles.

We could alert faculty to the controversy about the Wikipedia, point out that students can consult it to get background information, while understanding the questionable authority and constantly changing content. We could point out that at the college level, even Britannica articles and subject encyclopedia articles should be used for background as a point of departure for serious research and not as a source for term papers. We could publish the alert on our web page and request that Dennis Slavin broadcast an email message to faculty.

Here are some links for useful background, which could be included with the alert.What do people think. I suggest putting this on the agenda of an upcoming IS division meeting. Thanks to Stephen Francoeur for his help in gathering links and brainstorming on Wikipedia.

Mondo Wikipedia, Village Voice, Jan. 17, 2006

Can Wikipedia Survive Its Own Success?

Wikipedia is Not Britiannica, but it’s close. Christian Science Monitor. Jan. 5, 2006

Beware the “anticredentialist” Wikipedia Library Journal Dec. 15, 2005

Test of new user name

This is a test of a new user name for Blogger.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Value Line is down

Value Line is currently not connecting and I am working with them to get our acccess reinstated.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Beta Testing a Factiva Search 2.0 Interface

It's hard to tell just what Factiva is up to at the moment, but yesterday a button labeled "Try Factiva Search 2.0 Beta" was added in the upper left corner of the search interface. As I learned from this article on the "InfoToday" website, Factiva is testing out an interface aimed at the less-sophisticated researcher. What's not entirely clear to me is what Factiva will do with the results of the beta testing of this new interface. The InfoToday article suggests that some features from the beta may be incorporated into a new Factiva interface:
But, assuming the company responds to users’ comments and suggestions, the preview period should result in welcome improvements. A Factiva spokesperson said the company would not give a specific timeframe for the length of the beta but expects it to last for at least several months. According to a letter sent to customers: “After a larger amount of customer feedback is evaluated, the Beta will conclude and some or all of Search 2.0 will be integrated into various Factiva products. Additionally, other new capabilities that provide our customers with competitive advantages will be introduced via other Beta environments throughout 2006.”

Anyway, give it a test run and send some feedback about it to Factiva.

Psychology: SAGE full-text collection -- Full-text not loading

After clicking on "Full-text PDF" in a record, a target window opens with a "please wait while we contact the provider" message. The window then becomes blank. I have placed a Help Desk request, and notified Mike Waldman.

Ways to improve the catalog

I posted this message on CULIBS last week, but since some of the staff here aren't on CULIBS, I thought I'd cross-post this message. Please excuse any duplication.

Lorcan Dempsey, who is a researcher at OCLC, posted a blog entry recently, "Thinking about the catalog," that may be interesting to anyone who has been thinking about ways to improve CUNY+.

In it, he refers to an interesting new report published the "Bibliographic Task Force" of the University of California Libraries system and he also mentions a new catalog that the libraries at North Carolina State University officially launched yesterday. The NCSU catalog makes effective use of browsing software from Endeca, which also appears on the Barnes and Noble web site.

The UC report is great in that it offers a compelling critique of the dated interface and limited functionality of the current crop of integrated library systems (ours included, I might add). Lorcan directs his readers' attention to the executive report of the UC committee, but I would also like to suggest Appendix E in the main report (p. 45-48). This appendix offers "examples to learn from" and links to all sorts of interesting things libraries are doing to improve access and usability of their systems.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Euromonitor GMID: no remote access for now

Apparently, we need to update the URL we use to link to the database. Saad and Mike have been notified about this.

Friday, January 13, 2006

CUNY+ and SFX down on Jan. 13-14

CUNY+ and SFX will be down from 3 PM today (Friday, Jan. 13) until 5 PM tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 14) due to planned maintenance. In lieu of CUNY+, consider using WorldCat.

Friday, January 06, 2006

New interface for Historical Abstracts and America: History & Life

This was a long time coming. Offers more functionality than old interface. Nicest new feature: if you hover your mouse pointer over something in the search screen, a contextual help box appears.

Company-to-industry comparison reports

If you want to run a report that will compare the ratios of a particular company to those of the industry it is a part of, you can still do that in Factiva. As noted in Louise's posting today about recent changes to Factiva, the content has changed, but some of the same reports can still be run.

Here's the new path in Factiva to the "ratio comparison report."
  1. Click "Companies/Markets"
  2. On the "Companies/Markets" page that opens, select "Company" from the set of links in the upper left corner (Quotes | Charting | Company).
  3. On the "Get Company Snapshot" page, you can search by company name, ticker symbol, or RIC number.
  4. Run your search and select the company from your search results (if you search by company name, you are likely to see subsidiaries as well as the parent company).
  5. From the company snapshot page that opens, select "Reports" from the vertical list of links on the far left (Snapshot | News| Financial Results | Reports | Build a Report).
  6. From the "Reports" page, select "Ratio Comparison Report."
  7. You should now see a page with a table comparing the company's ratios to industry ratios.

Screening for Companies

Now that Factiva has removed company screening from their "Companies/Markets" pages, Standard and Poor's NetAdvantage probably offers the best option for screening for companies based on financial variables. Start by clicking on the "Companies" tab at the top of the page. From the pull down menu under "Advanced Search", choose either the Corporation Records or the Stock Reports. Both of these titles cover public companies listed in the U.S.
NetAdvantage offers three screening filters. The "Basic" filter includes the commonly used criteria of market cap as well as screens for S&P industry and sub-industry sectors. The "Fundamental" filter allows screening by dividend yield, dividend payout ratio and P/E. The "Financial" filter includes EPS, revenues, net profit margin,return on equity,and return on assets. You can choose variables from any one of the filters or search across all of the filters.

For a simple screening of companies based on either sales or number of employees, use the "Advanced Search" with Standard and Poor's Register of Corporations. In NetAdvantage the Register is divided into "Register-Public Companies" and "Register-Private Companies".

Changes to Companies/Markets in Factiva

In December Factiva made significant changes in the information offered in their Companies/Markets pages. They have removed all content from Hoover’s and added content from their joint venture partner, Reuters. What does this mean?

· Private company profiles will no longer be available.
· Public company coverage has been expanded. An additional 5,000 public company profiles have been added from Reuters. Factiva is now a good source for foreign company profiles.
· Datamonitor is providing the business descriptions in the company snapshots.
· Company screening is no longer available.
· Peer group lists are limited to public companies. The peer group is a list of the closest 10 global competitors based on sales.
· Links to company snapshots are available from the peer group lists.
· You can search for company snapshots by RIC code (Reuters Instrument Code) as well as company name or ticker.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Mexican Migration Project

While helping a student recently, I learned of the Mexican Migration Project. This yearly study of Mexican migrants randomly samples households in communities throughout Mexico, gathers social, demographic, economic information and also information about each person's first and last trip to the United States. A year-by-year history is compiled from heads of households regarding migration to the United States, employment, earnings, and use of social services. The student and I located this site in trying to locate information about money sent back to Mexico by Mexicans in the U.S. The Project has centers in Mexico and at Princeton University.

Consumer Expenditure Survey from Census Bureau

The CE is a useful source of data regarding household expenditures in the NY metro area for rent, entertainment and food. Comparisons are available on a regional and national basis.
From a recent press release:

How much Americans spend for health care, groceries, clothing, transportation, housing and other items. The Consumer Expenditure (CE) Survey program consists of two separate surveys:
The CE Interview Survey — 7,500 households interviewed once every three months to obtain data on relatively large expenditures and also for those that occur on a regular basis (such as rent and utilities).
The CE Diary Survey — Over the year, another 7,500 households will keep two consecutive one-week diaries of all purchases — including small, frequently purchased items that are normally difficult for respondents to recall later (such as toothpaste, bread or a hamburger from a fast-food restaurant).
Provides a snapshot of our nation’s economy and spending habits. Government economists use the survey results to update a “market basket” of goods and services for the Consumer Price Index, our nation’s single most widely used measure of inflation.
“Data from the CE enable policymakers to evaluate consumer needs, measure the impact of governmental policies on families and track changes in consumer spending trends.”

Student Printing Allocation Update

An explanation of students' printing allocations for delayed final exams and the winter session is posted on the BCTC homepage. You will also find a link to the hours for the lab and the help desk there.