Web sites can be sources of great information...but how do you determine what is okay to use in academic papers?
Here are 4 considerations as you assess web sites for use in your assignments.
Author: Who wrote the section, and what are their credentials? What larger organization are they affiliated with? If I google them, what do I find? What is the parent web site?
Bias: Can you identify an angle/slant/bias in the article or on the larger web site? What is the purpose of the study or content—to prove something to a particular group? Can you corroborate the claims with at least 2 other sources?
Content: Is the source accurate? Are there basic mistakes in grammar, dead links, or spelling? When was it posted or last updated or published? Does it contain claims that contradict things you know to be true or even other claims within the article itself?
Support: Does the content have citations or sources? Can you verify the sources? Can you contact the author or organization?
A massive web directory of the most relevant and useful business sites. Links are divided up by major topic: Newspapers, TV & Radio, Government Research, Financial Market Research, Statistics & Economics Research, and Company & Industry Research, to name a few. While it might seem overwhelming, this is one of the most comprehensive directory web sites for the field of business - working professionals, educators, and students.
A web portal designed to parallel the finance textbook Fundamentals of Financial Management, it provides links to most major topics in the field. Sections are divided up to correlate with chapters in the text, and are entitled: Introduction to Financial Management, Valuation, Tools of Financial Analysis and Planning, Working Capital Management, Investment Capital Assets, The Cost of Capital, Capital Structure and Dividend Policy, Intermediate and Long-Term Financing, and Special Areas of Financial Management. It also provides online Excel spreadsheets for practice and study help.
EDGAR = Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval System. An excellent source for business information including SEC filings (1993-present), address, phone numbers, state of incorporation, Central Index Key (CIK) number, Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, and fiscal year end. The site indicates that "all companies, foreign and domestic, are required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR." It has an easy-to-use search feature and lists of SIC codes for quick location of companies and their financial information.
Hoover's is known as an excellent source of business/company information. The most detailed and highly critical information is available for a fee to subscribers, however, they do offer quite a bit for free. The Search box on the right hand side of the page allows a search of the free content by company, industry, or executive.
A U.S. government web site that covers export and international trade information. Much of the information is available to everyone, however, the latest country information and industry market research reports are available only to registered users. It also offers step-by-step export advice in the Export Basics section. Excellent resource for anyone interested in or learning about international trade and exporting from the U.S.
Provides tools and resources for tax and accounting professionals, including news wires, daily columns, web seminars, Top 100 special reports, online access to Accounting Today and CPA Wealth Provider, and many other things. Excellent for staying on top of the latest CPA news and practices.
Offers easily accessible information on the exploitative practices of businesses worldwide. Search by company name, human rights issue, country, or general topic. They attempt to give balanced coverage.
Learn a product’s potential in a given market, the market’s business practices, and best prospects for success. Discover market conditions, opportunities, regulations, and business customs for over 125 countries prepared by trade and industry experts at U.S. embassies worldwide. Economists and trade experts analyze and rank industry opportunities in key overseas markets. Find the latest market intelligence, trade events, and trade leads for your industry.
A database that provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement, the Doing Business indicators are comparable across 175 economies. They indicate the regulatory costs of business and can be used to analyze specific regulations that enhance or constrain investment, productivity, and growth.
EAA holds a unique collection of elements from the history of advertising. Offers an interesting perspective of American culture and the advertising industry for this period. Is a companion site to Duke University's Ad*Access, which contains ads in newspapers and magazines from 1911-1955. Features of the EAA site include a time line of events from 1841-1920, bibliographies, and various search features including keyword, illustrations, and coupons, contests, and testimonials. You can also search by famous person featured in an ad.
Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in research, education, industry relations and public affairs on behalf of its 1,500 member companies - food retailers and wholesalers - in the United States and around the world. Provides research reports, information on training and certification, consumer information, lobbying updates, and industry news and advice. A good site for news, current issues, statistics, and consumer information relevant to the food industry.
Created by the Center for International Business Education and Research out of Michigan State University, this site organizes and annotates over 5,000 business and country-specific web sites. Allows users to assess and compare country investment climates, and resources are accessible by region, country, and topic. Special features are available for those who register (which is free!). Sections of the site include News & Views, Industry Profiles, Country Insights, Resource Desk, and the Academy.
The US government is attempting to make information about business a bit easier to find with this site, and they have certainly succeeded. It is managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which is working in partnership with 21 other federal agencies. Along the top of the homepage, visitors will find sections that include "Small Business Guides", "State and Local Info", and "Government Forms". In the "Small Business Guides" area, visitors can read over topical guides that address everything from e-commerce to occupational safety and health. The "State and Local Info" section allows users to click on an interactive map to find state and local regulations that pertain to businesses. Finally, the "Government Forms" area contains links to frequently requested forms, such as the I-9, the SS-4, and the W-2. Visitors should also check out the "Spotlight" area which features information on free tax training, managing small business credit, and an assessment tool for new businesses.
"Pulls together a large amount of information on housing and economic development and allows users to directly access demographic and economic population characteristics; labor force data; information on jobs, number of establishments, and average pay; crime rates for violent and property crimes; local building permits; state and local government finances; and housing affordability. Content is generally reliable and of high quality" (from Choice review).
To find quick stats on people, places, and general populations, check out this web site. Offers maps, data charts, area overviews, fun facts, and rankings. Contains data from the 1990 and 2000 Censuses (demographic, economic, housing, and social characteristics), Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (home mortgage applications and loans), Section 8 Expiring Use database (neighborhood- and property-level data on federally assisted housing at risk of loss), and Consolidated Plan special tabulations (data on housing needs by household income level). See a table of Specific data sources available on the site.
A vast collection of country information from around the world, the CIA FactBook is a credible web source for statistical, geographic, political, and a plethora of other details on specific nations around the world. It is updated throughout the year.
The World Bank is the largest single source of development knowledge. The World Bank Open Knowledge Repository (OKR) is The World Bank’s official open access repository for its research outputs and knowledge products.
Through the OKR, The World Bank collects, disseminates, and permanently preserves its intellectual output in digital form. The OKR also increases the range of people who can discover and access Bank content—from governments and civil society organizations (CSOs), to students and the general public.
The OKR contains thousands of research works including:
World Bank Group Annual Reports and Independent Evaluation Studies
Books published by the World Bank Group including flagship publications, academic books and practitioner volumes;
All World Development Reports (WDRs) plus recent WDR background papers;
Journal articles published in World Bank Economic Review (WBER) and World Bank Research Observer (WBRO), two journals published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank;
Accepted manuscripts of Bank-authored journal articles from selected external publishers (after an embargo period if applicable);
Metadata and links to Bank-authored external journal articles;
Serial publications (typically data-intensive outlook reports);
Policy Research Working Papers (PRWP)—a series of papers that disseminate findings of work in progress in order to encourage the exchange of ideas about development issues;
Selected other papers of high research quality;
Economic and Sector Work (ESW) studies—a series of analytical reports prepared by Bank staff. ESWs gather and evaluate information about a country’s economy and/or a specific sector;
Knowledge Notes, providing short briefs that capture lessons of experience from Bank operations and research;
The latest Country Opinion Surveys done in client countries for feedback on World Bank Group activities.
Selected translated titles.