Friday, March 28, 2008

Sharing slides on the web

As you can see from the above slide presentation (you may have to go to the reference blog itself if you're reading this as an email message), is a service where you can upload your slide presentations and make them publicly viewable. The presentation here is one that Mike, Lisa, Joe, Rita, and I are about to give later this afternoon at the Teachinng and Technology conference; instead of printing out a bunch of handouts of our slides, we've put them on Slideshare so not only our attendees can decide if they want to print the slides (or view them again) but also so the whole world can.

Slideshare offers a number of tools that make it easy to disseminate your presentations globally. Users can:
  • Link to your presentation
  • Download it in its original format
  • Embed it in blog posts (as I've done here)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New article published which mentions the Free Academy

My article "From the Field: A Case Study in Using Historical Periodical Databases to Revise Previous Research" has been published in American Periodicals, Vol. 18, No. 1 (2008). The link is:

Monday, March 24, 2008

ReferenceUSA Update

The account rep from ReferenceUSA visited last week and I’d just like to share some of the things he showed us.

Downloading records in custom format has been improved. Instead of a data dump that you had to clean up in excel, you can now select the data elements you want in the report.

In the business records, a down arrow in the “Corporate Family Tree” column indicates the parent company and the availability of a list of affiliates.

You can quickly get a list of neighborhood companies with a “Radius” search. Pull up a report on a particular company and in the address information, there will be a link to “Radius.” You can choose to show all businesses or all businesses in the same SIC code for any radius from 1/10th of a mile to 20 miles from the company’s location.

Some other notes from the meeting:
Prefer Explorer with this database; some tables do not display well in Firefox
When searching the yellow pages headings use the plural form of words
In the residential database the “Neighborhood Information” is from the 2000 Census
Residential data is updated annually, only with the publication of a new phone book
Business records are updated from one to four times a year, depending on company size
Anyone can send corrections to the records which will be verified and uploaded within 6 to 8 weeks.

Friday, March 21, 2008

AM Best

AM Best reports and their magazines are available now through a website. Details about access are in the wiki. I had a few minutes at the reference desk to play with the confusing interface yesterday but I am not sure what is available through the site since I was asked to pay for some reports. I will ask Mike to clarify and post.

Archives of the Downtown Lower Manhattan Association now open for public research

I thought this would be of interest for those having an interest, or doing research, on the modern history of New York City:

The Downtown Lower Manhattan Association (DLMA) archives are now open for public research.

The archives were acquired by the Rockefeller Archive Center in 2000. The collection includes 85.5 cubic feet of archival material and about 2,000 photographs, according to an announcement in the Feb. 2008 issue of Benchmarks, the community newsletter of Rockefeller University.

The nonprofit DLMA, founded by 1958 by David Rockefeller, helped plan and build Battery Park City, the South Street Seaport and the World Trade Center.

More information about the archive is available. Questions about the collection can be addressed to Senior Archivist Robert Battaly, The archives are located in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and appointments are required.

Last month I contacted the archives by email for a research question relating to an event that occurred at the Rockefeller Institute in the 1918-1920 period and the assistance received was extremely helpful and answered the question.

Access to Best Insurance Reports at the reference desk?

Perhaps I missed something, but I haven't been able to find how to locate these reports at the reference desk. Will someone please post. Some students were asking for access. Thanks.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

MOMA - Design and the Elastic Mind

Last weekend I went to a fascinating exhibit at MOMA on "Design and the Elastic Mind." One part was all about information visualization. Perfect for the librarian or information geek. MOMA gives this description:

"We live in an age when information is more prolific and widely available than ever before, and to visualize it is to understand it. The projects in this category demonstrate the ways in which designers and scientists tackle the extremely small and the extremely large in order to bring them to a human scale, facilitating our ability to comprehend great amounts of data."
To sample some of the exhibits, try these links:

Blogging At Baruch

The Schwartz Institute blog, Cac.ophony, recently posted an update on Blogging at Baruch with links to the various classes using blogs at Baruch. One blog, the Anthropology/Sociology Faculty Working Group on Teaching with Blogs , is for the faculty who write about how the blogging experience is going in their classes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Anyone have experience with citations for articles with Digital Object Identifiers

An accounting professor has asked my assistance in citing an article that was published in the Journal of Business Ethics last August as an Online First publication (Springer's version of rapid publication.) It has a DOI number but no volume or page number. This was a first for me.

I found some sources that explain the DOI citations.
SpringerLink Features
Online First™
This innovation in research publishing permits access to peer-reviewed articles well before print publication. Article text is searchable, and citable by Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Online FirstTM significantly accelerates the circulation of critical discoveries in interested research communities."

Unfortunately, the Springer web site didn't seem to have information about DOI citations.

I came across this guide from Vanderbilt University's library about APA style guide for journal articles with assigned DOI numbers. (Scroll down.) (Harvard's Citation Guide doesn't have any mention of DOI numbers.)

The problem here is the article doesn't have the pages numbered and there's no volume but the online publication date is August 1, 2007.

So, I kept looking and came up with this information from the British Journal of Pharmacology, published by the same group as Nature, and they had information at:

This is what I would suggest:

Nurnberg, H. & D. P. Lackey. Ethical reflections on company-owned life insurance. Journal of Business Ethics, Online First, August 1, 2007. DOI 10.1007/s10551-007-9472-7.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Has something changed with the login for Books24x7?

I am doing email reference today and two forwarded chat reference transcripts involve how to access Books 24x7 from home. I was going to tell the students that they first must create an account, by emailing Books 24x7, but when I tried accessing the database here at my office computer and at the reference desk it goes straight into the database now and there is a message "anonymous user" Baruch where previously my login name appeared. I can retrieve chapters in books without any problems. But apparently remote access is a problem, even after they enter their webmail addresses for remote authentication. Does anyone know about the change?

IBM has new report on corporate social responsibility

IBM has posted a new report Achieving Sustained Corporate Growth through Corporate Social Responsibility for which 250 business leaders throughout the world were interviewed. Three factors examined are impact, information and relationships.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Industry Directories at SIBL

Students doing industry research should be aware of the many industry-specific directories available at SIBL, New York Public’s Science, Industry and Business Library. SIBL has posted aides to this collection on their website. Finding the directories is easy with a list of Industry Specific Directories or the new list of Directories with Industry Indices. SIBL also maintains a list of Industry Surveys available through Business Source Premier.

Today I saw that they have added a link to Boston University Pardee Management Library’s Industry Survey Locator. This is a searchable list of industries covered in the following sources that we subscribe to including Datamonitor, Hoovers, Encyclopedia of American Industries, Mergent Industry Reports, S&P Industry Surveys and Value Line, as well as a few titles that we do not own like Mintel, Plunkett’s, SourceOECD Reports and the Securities Industry Fact Book.

BU did a great job with the indexing of this resource. For example, a search on “pharmaceuticals” brings up a wide range of related industry sectors such as cough remedies, cancer drugs, analgesics, and the biotech and genetics industry.

RIA Checkpoint adds free Economic Stimulus Refund Calculator

RIA Checkpoint, one of our databases, has added a new calculator which can help you, and others, estimate the amount of refund to be received under the recently passed Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.

How to find it:
Log on to RIA Checkpoint.
Click the tools tab
On the left, Tools by Type appears
Then, click on the hyperlinked 2008 Rebate
It will require a small download and you will also need to use Excel.

SPSS upgrade

The SPSS software on the Graduate Workstations will be upgraded from version 15 to 16. The upgrade will start late Thursday and continue into Friday. Access to SPSS will not be available until the upgrade is complete. Hopefully, there won't be any problems and access will resume on Friday.

The upgrade is happening campus-wide, most likely at different times. If grad students are not able to access SPSS in the library, you may want to recommend the 6th floor lab with the caveat that the upgrade may effect access there as well.

SEC Filings now available through Westlaw Campus

Since Monday, Westlaw Campus has offered SEC filings back to 2003. They can be searched in the News and Business party of Westlaw Campus. (In the past year Westlaw Campus has offered News and Business information, in addition to legal cases, statutes, etc. Although I haven't made a great study of this change, it is likely do to the fact that West is now part of Thomson, which owns many business information sources.)

So why would you want to search SEC filings on Westlaw Campus rather than Edgar
Online I-Metrix, Mergent, Thomson Research, or Hoover's? An advantage is you can easily select specific exhibits to search, such as subsidiaries, or you can combine a keyword search of Hoover's company information and SEC filings, for example CEOs who have been hired in the past year. You can keep track of your research using their research tracker. You can search by CUSIP number, or SEC filing number, which one is unlikely to know.

So why wouldn't you want to search SEC filings on Westlaw Campus?
First, we have a limited number of simultaneous users so other databases, including the SEC's free site might be preferred. Also, it seems to be running slow. The filings are available as word documents, so I don't know if they have been rekeyed from original filings or if the documents have been copied from the SEC filings. I looked at several filings, and found that throughout one filing the possessive demonstrated by 's had been transformed into R17;, which was rather distracting, and might cause some doubt on the accuracy of the other information.

Although you can search by SIC Code, you can't search by the NAICS Codes, which have been used for almost 10 years now.

So, you may want to give it a try and keep it in mind.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Firefox Browsers at the Reference Desk

Stephen Francoeur has configured the Firefox browsers in each of the four reference desk computers so that they have the same bookmarks, buttons, and extensions. This was accomplished by installing the Foxmarks Bookmarks Synchronizer. This Firefox extension allows you to save a set of bookmarks that can be shared across a set of computers. If you loose your bookmarks and need to reconfigure, you will find the details on how to use the synchronizer on the Wiki.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Audited financial data for Apple

A number of students have been coming to reference (the desk as well as chat and email) asking for help in locating audited financial data for Apple back to 1986. As I learned from Peggy Teich yesterday, the best place to get that is in COMPUSTAT in WRDS. Here's how:
  1. Launch WRDS via databases page
  2. Click on "COMPUSTAT North America"
  3. On the left under "Tools" select "Balance Sheet and Income Statement Extract"
  4. On the search window that opens, select the appropriate date range
  5. In the "Company Codes" box type in the ticker symbol for Apple: AAPL
  6. In the "Variables" section, select the relevant data points (such as "Sales" in the "Income Statement Variables" section.
  7. In the "Output" section, you may want to select "comma-delimited text (*.csv)" if the student is interested in manipulating the data in an Excel spreadsheet.
  8. Click the "Submit request" button and wait about 10 seconds. Voila!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

JSTOR Business II added

We've just added access to the JSTOR Business II Collection -- you can find a title list here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

CMR AdSpender Not Working

A faculty member came in last night to use CMR AdSpender. We were unable to connect to the database from any of the reference computers. Systems has been notified.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Marketing Campaign Assignment

We have had at least two students come to the desk looking for marketing campaigns for beverages that came out in the 1960s and 70s. There are a number of things that might be of help, including:

Advertising Slogans of America (reference HF6135 .S53 1984 )
Every Bite a Delight and Other Slogans (reference HF 6135 .U73 1992)
International Directory of Company Histories (Reference HD2721.I54)

Advertising Age may also be of help, though it does not go back to the 60s and 70s in full text. We found a number of articles in the New York Times historical database. You can also search ABI/Inform and Factiva for news sources and trade journals that might have more on these campaigns. Business Company and Resource Center covers corporate histories as well.

Trial - Shakespeare Collection

We have a trial until 4/10/08.

This collection brings together general reference data, full-text scholarly periodicals, reprinted criticism, primary source material and the full-text annotated works from The Arden Shakespeare, the world's most recognized scholarly edition.

Trial - Oxford English Dictionary

We have a trial until April 5, 2008.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Buenos Aires mandates sustainability reports for companies with more than 300 employees

According to the Global Reporting Initiative, the city of Buenos Aires recently mandated sustainability reports for companies with 300 or more employees.

Reuters Terminal at the Reference Desk

The Reuters terminal is up and running. Students from BUS1000 have been in all day working on their homework assignment. Policy details and passwords are on the wiki. Rules of use are posted next to the terminal. Students can use Reuters in the library only when the reference desk is open so please be sure to log off when closing for the day.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

SFX (Find It) not in MLA Intl. Bibliography

Ever since Gale changed the interface for Literature Resource Center and MLA International Bibliography, the SFX buttons (Find It) have gone missing from search results in MLA International Bibliography. I don't know if this is a CUNY-wide problem or not.

Card for Tania Colmant-Donabedian

Our adjunct librarian Tania Colmant-Donabedian recently lost her father. Please sign the card for her that is at the reference desk. I will mail the card on Friday afternoon. If you want to send a separate card, please contact me and I will provide her address.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Trial - Palgrave dictionary of economics

Trial until 4/3/08 - on campus only.
Palgrave is having some trouble with IP access, so you have to click "log in" on the top right in order to enter. You can get full text once you click "log in."
You can also use this Username: citynewyt /Password: campv6

The online edition of the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics contains the full text of the 8 volume print edition. In addition, the online Dictionary is a dynamic resource for economists.

This is an ERAC sponsored trial.

Trial - Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia

We have a trial of this online scientific encyclopedia until April 18. Please share your comments.

Monday, March 03, 2008

New Databases from the SEC

The SEC has recently released two new products to give investors access to SEC filings from the group of about forty companies participating in the XBRL Voluntary Filing program. These products give us a "preview" of what the new EDGAR will look like. EDGAR is currently undergoing a $54 million dollar overhaul in a project that is expected to be completed by year end.

Financial Explorer is a visualization tool. It represents all the line items in the financial statement as "atoms" labeled with the item value as well as the percentage change from the previous period. It is a nice easy way to see how a company performed in the current fiscal period in relationship to a prior period. You can also drill down into the components of the line item to understand how the numbers are compiled. To get a sense of this, choose a company and look at its expenses or its assets.

The Interactive Financial Report Viewer can be used to view financial reports in XBRL, export financial data to Excel and chart selected data items.