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ABL — Academy of Business Leadership

ATTENTION: This research guide was last modified on July 07, 2009, before the January 2012 redesign of the library's home page. Information on how to access journal articles, databases, and other library resources may be inaccurate or outdated.

For up-to-date instructions on accessing materials, please visit our tutorial pages instead.


Contact Information

Caroline Bordinaro


How to Start Your Research Project

Citing Your Sources

Company and Industry Information

Additional Resources (including SIC and NAICS codes)

How to Start Your Research Project
  • What's your research question?
  • What information do you need to find?
  • Who cares about the same information? (e.g.: the government, competitors, investors, etc.) What kind of information do they need? Where would they get it?

    Types of information available:

  • Company and government publications, such as statistics, annual reports, etc. (primary sources)

  • Articles from journals, magazines and newspapers (secondary sources)

  • Statistical, numeric and tabular data (primary or secondary)

    Check out HOW TO RESEARCH AN INDUSTRY in 18 easy steps from Polson Industries. Organized breakdown of what to look for when doing business research.

  • Citing Your Sources

    When writing a paper or completing a project, you will usually be asked to provide a bibliography of the materials that you used. Take a look at this guide in advance so you'll know what information you need to jot down before you begin your research. It may be more difficult to retrace your steps than to make bibliographic note cards as you are working on your project.This page shows you how to cite books, articles, and web resources in APA, MLA, and Turabian formats. Always check with your instructor to find out which citation format is preferred.

    Company and Industry Information

    Stocks and Financial Information:

    University Library

    • Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios: From Dun & Bradstreet, provides ratio analysis for major industries and sectors. [HF5681.R25 I525 latest edition at Reference Desk]
    • Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys: Provides short and long term industry forecasts from S&P500 businesses. [HC106.6 .S74, most current edition at Reference Desk]

    Subscription Databases*
    NOTE: These databases must be used in the university library through the library website.

    • Factiva: Select Quotes, Charting or Company Screening for the latest or historical financials. Also includes analyst reports.
    • Lexis-Nexis: Information from news, business and legal sources.
    • National Trade Data Bank  The National Trade Data Bank is part of STAT-USA. Includes international market research, export opportunities, how-market guides; and demographic, political and socio-economic conditions for hundreds of countries.
    • STAT-USA : An exceptional resource. Search for information in Market Research Reports, Commerce Busines Daily, Country  Commercial Guides, International Market Insights, and the entire National Trade Data Bank (NTDB).
    • Mergent Online Company Reports: Use Basic Search to search by company or industry, or try Advanced or EDGAR searching for more flexibility. Also includes industry reports.

    World Wide Web: Generally Available Resources

    • 10Ks and Annual Reports
      • Edgar/SEC: for publicly held companies
      • Company Annual Reports : Search the web for <your company> "annual report" for publicly held companies. Occasionally a privately held company will provide a company history or some general financial information.
      • 10K Wizard : Search the text of SEC filings ("debt covenant", "executive summary"), contains news reports from Bloomberg and others. Search by company name or ticker symbol.
      • Public Register's Annual Report System (PRARS) : Request a print copy of an annual report over the web.
      • Annual Reports.com: Free and easy way to find company annual reports. Search by company name or industry.
      • Investor Relations Information Network : Company current and historic annual reports and other filings and documentation.
      • Annual Reports Library : Global in scope, contains millions of original Annual Reports and other filings from companies, banks, nonprofits and and other institutions.
    • Exchanges
    • Company Financials and Analysis
      • Yahoo's Stock Research Center: Easy to use information center for company financials and other information.
      • Hoover's: Search for company and industry information by name, SIC code or other criteria. Headings with a available to subscribers only.
      • Zacks: Stock quotes, company information and financial analysis from Zacks Investment Research.
    • Standard & Poor's Index Services : Standard & Poor's Current Index Statistics, Global Indices, U.S. Indices, Sector Scorecard, and more.
    • BondsOnline: Tracks bond prices and bond market news, provides information on preferred stocks and convertible preferred stocks, self directed education, active personal advice and bond trading.

    Company and Industry Information, History and Analysis:

    University Library

    • Hoover's: Publisher of Hoover's Handbooks and Guides, the company profiles are easy to read and full of historical and financial information. [Ref HG 4057 and others - ask at the Reference Desk for specific call number]
    • Ward's Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies: Complete company listings to approximately 120,000 companies with national and state ranking by sales within SIC codes [Ref HG4057 .A565]

    Subscription Databases*
    NOTE: These databases must be used in the library using the library website. Use these databases to find magazine, journal and newspaper articles about industries and companies (especially privately-held companies):

    • Industry Reports and Analysis
      • EIU Viewswire : Global business resource. Provides business country alerts on market developments, country market forecasts and risk assessments, economic indicators, business regulations and more.
      • Snapshots North America : This database includes over 1,100 market reports. Information includes market size, market segmentation, market shares, and market forecasts.
      • ABI/Inform Trade and Industry : Covers more than 750 magazines and newsletters with a trade of industry focus. Look here for the latest industry news, product and competitive information, marketing trends, etc.
    • Company History, News and Narrative
      • Hoover's Company Records : Provides a brief overview of the companies, their products and operations, competitors, and brief financial information.
    • Company/Industry/Market news
      • ABI/Inform Business Global: indexes international business articles in magazines, scholarly and trade journals, newsletters and reports.
      • Business Source Premier: also indexes business articles in many formats. Scroll down list to find database name.
      • Lexis-Nexis: Information from news, legal and business sources.
      • Business Full-text: Search for industry trends, competitive intelligence, market share and more.
      • Factiva: Select Companies/Markets and then Companies to find latest financials, latest news and competitor list. Select Reports to focus on company/industry/financial data. Or select Search for latest newspaper and journal articles.
      • Mergent: Use tabs to search by company or industry and create custom reports, or try Advanced or EDGAR searching for more flexibility.
    • Wiley InterScience Journals : Includes a selection of full-text journals in the areas of business, finanace and management research.

    These are multi-subject databases, not specifically business-related, but very good for information on world trade, economics and other news :

    • Academic Search Premier
    • ProQuest Databases

    World Wide Web: Generally Available Resources

    • Company histories
      • Company Annual Reports : Search the web for <your company> "annual report" for publicly held companies. Occasionally a privately held company will provide a company history or some general financial information.
      • Annual Reports.com: Free and easy way to find company annual reports. Search by company name or industry.
      • EDGAR Database of Corporate Information : Company filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
      • Forbes Global 2000 Annual Directory : Database of the 2000 largest corporations worldwide measured by sales, profits, assets and market value.
      • ThomasNet : Register free to search this database of 155,000 companies classifed under more than 57,000 product and service headings. Makes available 3,100 online supplier catalogs.
      • Company Annual Reports Online : Free service (with registration) with links to company annual reports from the USA, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia.
    • Industry Analysis
      • Survey of Current Business: From the Bureau of Economic Analysis, statistical articles on business and economics, with tables on topics such as national incomes, business cycle indicators, industry economic indicators and international perspectives.
      • Polson Industries Portal List : Thousands of websites for US and international industries.
      • Current Industrial Reports : Reports on the production, inventories and orders for 4400 products.
    • Combined company/industry information
      • Hoover's: Extensive links to web sites of 4000 plus companies and corporate job listings. Search for company and industry information by name, SIC code or other criteria. Headings with a available to subscribers only.
      • Forbes Lists : Information-rich site of tools and lists: Mutual Fund Guide, Forbes Forty Finanacial Index, 500 Largest Private Companies, 200 Best Small Companies, 400 Richest People in America, Forbes 500s Annual Directory, and Annual Report on American Industry.
      • Big Charts : Market news and communtary; interactive charts, quotes, and industrial analysis.
      • Business.com : A search engine for business research and information. Think Yahoo with only business related results.

    Additional Resources (including SIC and NAICS codes)

    University Library

    • Encyclopedia of Associations: Search for industry associations. These groups often post detailed reports and statistics on their websites.
      [Ref HS17 .E5]

    World Wide Web: Generally Available Resources

    International Trade and Business

    • Tradeport Country Library : Detailed information from the World Trade Press with information on economic policies and trade practices, economic trends and outlook, trade regulations, investment climate, etc.
    • Travel & Business : From the U.S. State Department. The links under Business provide useful information including U.S. foreign economic policy, Country Commercial Guides, etc.
    • Bureau of Public Affairs: Repository for State Department public information. Links to major speeches, press releases and others.
    • GlobalEdge : Links to Internet sources of international business and economic information.
    • Trade Data Online : Data on U.S. and Canadian trade from a Canadian site; use to explore international marketing and investment opportunities.
    • Market Research Library : Search for information prepared by U.S. embassies providing information on countries' commercial environments, using economic, political and market analysis.
    • Marketing (U.S. and International) : Louisiana State University Libraries's links to marketing resources relating to individual countries, policies, advertising, statistics, and trade agreements. Also includes journals and news sources. (NOTE: any database links or book call numbers refer to LSU resources only. Please ask a CSU Dominguez Hills librarian for clarification or assistance.)

    General Information on Countries

    • Country Studies/Area Handbooks : Seventy-one countries represented with descriptions and analyses of their political, economic, social and national security systems and institutions. Provides information on the people.
    • CIA World Factbook :  In-depth information on any country.
    • XE.com Currency Converter : Use this service to quickly perform currency conversions
    • Background Notes : Profiles of countries produced by the Department of state. Includes data on ethnic groups, religion, languages, etc.

    Tax Information

    • U.S. Tax Code On-Line : Fully searchable Title 26 U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Multiple search methods with easy-to-use links to access cross-references.
    • Tax and Accounting Sites Directory : A good starting point for accounting and tax web sites produced by a professor at the University of North Iowa.

    Industry Classification Codes

    United States government offices

    Small Business

    General Finance

    • Assessing Risk and Solvency: Debt Covenants: A great guide from the USC Marshall School of Business Library. Use this outline to find a company's debt covenant and debt/equity ratio. (May refer to online resources only for USC students)
    • Historic Stock Quotes on the Web: Another great guide from the USC Marshall School. It's easy to find current stock prices, but how about prices from last year? Five years ago? This guide explains how to find historic stock quotes and charts on the web.

    Other helpful information

    • Business Cycle Indicators : U.S. Business Cycle Indicators portal for tracking and predicting U.S. activity from 1948.
    • Nolo's Business Law Portal : Uses non-legal language to explain legal concepts in 15 subject areas, including small business, employment, mediation, parents & children, spouses & partners, wills, debt & credit, and real estate.
    • PRNewswire : Online business newswire for breaking news in the business world.
    • Retail Trends : From About.Com. Focuses on retail trends and consumer trends and behavior, current and historical.
    • Salary Calculator : A calculator for comparing cost of living in hundreds fo U.S. and international cities. Also provides information on crime indexes for 500+ U.S. cities, city comparisons, and local public schools.
    • Human Resource Executive Online: Index to workplace, human resources and personnel related websites. Includes links to numerous work-related resources covering human resources, work behavior, labor law, benefits and compensation, motivatin, workforce diversity and many more topics.
    • Business Wire : Today's business news on the 'Net. Includes a Dow Jones Business Directory with links to 350 business information sites.
    • Bplans.com : This is a commercial site that gives sample business plans. The business plan that you write will be a result of your own ideas, research, and analysis. Please do not think you can copy one of these!!!