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Posts Tagged ‘databases’

BLA Financial Databases Training Day – 14 May 2012

Posted by JackieHanes on 15 May, 2012

I attended the Business Librarians Association Financial Databases Training event at the University of Birmingham on 14 May 2012.   We received presentations about 7 financial databases – delivered by academic business librarians (not sales representatives!). 

Fame and Amadeus by Emma Craggs (University of Warwick)

Fame (UK and Irish) and Amadeus (European) are company financial information databases provided by Bureau van Dijk.  Both products (indeed all BvD products) run across the same platform and user interface.   The user interface appears to be very intuitative – especially to a non-business librarian.  The company reports were well laid out, and I liked the peer report option, whereby you can compare a company to it’s competitors, and the ability to create tailor-made reports.  With Fame, you can also download orginal documents as submitted to Companies House. 

PI Navigator by Anastasia Kelly (Sheffield Hallam University)

PI Navigator is an international company and markets financial information database provided by Perfect Information.  PI Navigator is used widely in law firms – providing company reports and mergers and acqusitions information.  The user interface involves building a search from options on the side-menu, with search criteria displayed at the foot of the screen.  It’s supposed to be easy and user-friendly; however I was not convinced by the demonstration.  One of the key features included the ability to download original company reports and documents.  The presenter had experienced problems setting up ezproxy access to the database; but praised PI Navigator technical support, and online training tutorials.

Bloomberg and WRDS by Carolyn Smith (Cass Business School)

Bloomberg is a leading international financial markets information database.  It is used widely in banking and trading – less so in education (prohibitive cost).  I was impressed by the look and feel of the Bloomberg terminal – a double black screen, a colour coded keyboard and dos-style command language.  Indeed, the Bloomberg training suite is one of Cass Business School’s best marketing tools.  Bloomberg provides more than stocks and shares information – there is business news and company / director profiles.  I particularly liked POSH – eBay for the super-wealthy!  Bloomberg is not a user-friendly database, but it comes with a vast range of tutorials and a 24 hour support line.

WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services) is a business, finance and economics database for researchers provided by the Wharton Business School.  WRDS is only the user-interface, you need to purchase data sets at additional cost.  The presenter talked only briefly about the service: their only support is to administer user accounts and guide researchers to WRDS help services. 

Datastream and Thomson One Banker by Steven Bull (University of Birmingham)

Datastream and Thomson One Banker (product replaced by T1.Com) are financial information databases provided by Thomson Reuters.  The presentation was beset by technical problems connecting to data terminals – not helping to convince me that Datastream is entirely user-friendly.  Datastream provides international public company, financial markets and macroeconomic data.  The presenter, and many of the delegates, preferred to use Datastream via the Excel Add-in, rather than the Datastream client.  I was pleased to recognise some of the research techniques demostrated by our own Andrew Dunn at internal UoL Datastream training earlier this month.  Thomson One Banker ( T1.Com) is an UK and international comapny financial information database.  It is unique because it harmonises data across regions, and enables direct comparisom. 

Thomson Reuters were praised for their customer support, including support guides, online training videos available via Thomson Reuters Knowledge Network, and telephone/email help services.  Delegates had mixed experiences with getting Thomson Reuters trainers onto Campus to deliver training direct to students.  There was success in London (Cass) and Birmingham, but not further North. 

Vendor backed training and certification schemes were a recurring theme during the day.  Databases (financial and legal) are increasingly provide online training tutorials, and associated tests, leading to a certificate of competency.  The certification schemes are popular with students as they add to employability. 

The University of Birmingham proved to be excellent hosts: the training was held in a state-of-the-art group study room in the iconic Muirhead Tower (if you like the Rotunda!).  Our welcome packs included a University of Birmingham Library Services branded note-paper, pen, pencil, ruler and drinks coaster.  Coffee and pastries were served upon arrival; with a nice sandwich spread for lunch, and chocolate brownies for dessert.  We also received a tour of the library during the lunch break – which is reassuringly full-to-the-rafters in this pre-exam period.

Posted in Meetings | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Lexis Nexis Academic Reception – 28 March 2012

Posted by JackieHanes on 4 April, 2012

Caralyn Duigan (Lexis Nexis Account Manager) and Emily Stanley (Lexis Nexis Training Consultant) held a reception for academic staff at the School of Law (University of Leicester) on Wednesday 28 March 2012.  It was also a good opportunity for the new law librarian to meet the legal academics!

The reception was used to highlight new features on the LexisLibrary legal database:- Find a Legal Term (2500 legal terms now indexed), Halsbury’s Laws of England, Halsbury’s Annotations in Legislation, Case Search, and Journals Index Plus (now 100 full-text journals available).

Also discussed was the offer to send Lexis Nexis trainers into university to deliver LexisLibrary database training and certification sessions to students, and Halsbury’s Laws editors to deliver lecture on use of Halsbury’s Laws in legal research.  I have worked with Lexis Nexis trainers to very good effect in my previous role, and think it’s something we should consider here at UoL.

Of interest to librarians:- LexisLibrary aims to be compatible with EndNote (as well as RefWorks) by end 2012, it should be compatible with Serial Solutions, but is not compatible with Summon (although Lexis Nexis are receiving more and more requests for this).  The My Bookshelf list of popular resources on the LexisLibrary start page can be changed during the summer.

Excellent freebies including a nice lunch, pens, pencils, highlighters, post-it notes, trolley-coin, and a laser-pen!

Posted in Subject Support | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

LRA and the role of the information librarian

Posted by gazjjohnson on 6 January, 2009

Wearing my LRA hat this morning, and working through the pile of correspondence that Keith has passed on to me.  There’s one here from my old associate Talat Chaudhri at Aber Uni concerning “acquiring work for archiving and subject librarians” that makes for interesting reading.  Interestingly it seems at Aber that the subject librarians don’t have a whole lot to do with the process, as their contacts are used for “other ppurposes”.

I know it was a similar case when I was the repository manager at Nottingham; though I spent a lot of time trying to get the subject librarian teams on side and involved in the process.  With varying degrees of success.  I’m still trying to get a picture of what my collegues here at Leicester do, but I do know that most of them have alerts and the like and use these as the stimulus to approach academics for material.

That said having done a study late last year on the coverage of our major alerting databases and academic output I’m well aware of the major holes in their coverage; which means we’re missing quite a bit of material.  I’m hoping to explore links with the Research Office to perhaps plug that gap, making the whole process more systematic.  I do worry though that this might risk cutting the info librarians out of the loop, and I believe that their involvement in the LRA is a key factor for promotion, uptake, as well as acquisition of articles.  Doubtless I’ll have more insight as I get to grips with the situation here at Leicester over the coming weeks.

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Research Support | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Crossing the peaks for CrossFire

Posted by gazjjohnson on 27 November, 2008

Yesterday I went across the peaks to the University of Manchester for a CrossFire training session.  Though I’ve actually taught a session recently to PhD Chemists on CrossFire and SciFinder scholar, but I have to confess that most of the material I was using was largely cribbed from their online help guides.  Yesterday was all about getting my comprehension of how the database functions and is searched up to a much higher level. 

I’m no Chemist, but I have come back with a much broader appreciation about how to support this resource and search it.  I’ve even come to be reasonably fond of the interface, which before scared the living daylights out of me.  It was a bit of pity that the training room we were in had some sort of IP conflict for the resource, which meant that some of the time our searches just dropped out of contact with the server giving null responces at random.  But Jo from Mimas worked around that very well; I certainly was impressed with her professionalism underfire having had to run sessions myself where databases have not worked quite as they should (RefWorks comes to mind).

One of the things I wasn’t aware of before the session was the reason CrossFire is only updated every three months is the sheer complexity of the dataset.  What I also didn’t realise is that the version we use if generally 6-9 months out of date, due to the time it takes for Mimas to get their hands on the dataset and then upload it themselves.  Certainly a little info nugget I’ll be passing onto my students.  That said it is a totally brillaint resource for Chemists, and one that I hope they continue to use.  My day was well spent learning more about it.


A word on East-West rail travel.  It seems the trains that used to run cross country Nottingham-Manchester are down to just three a day in the early morning.  Thus I could get there okay, but coming back had to change twice (three times if I’d not driven to the station in the first place).  All of which made a journey that used to take under two hours now take closer to 4.  Having spent the vast bulk of yesterday on trains/platforms it will certainly make me think twice about heading over to events on that side of the country; which I think is a real shame.  Maybe when the new timetables come out it’ll be easier, but I have my doubts.

Posted in Staff training | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Postgraduate sessions – a bit of a review

Posted by gazjjohnson on 20 November, 2008

Whilst the four sessions I’ve run recently for PhD students haven’t been packed, going on the feedback they were much appreciated by those who attended them.  I’ve just gone through the feedback for the sessions and I’ve been rather pleasantly surprised.

  • Advanced database searching fo Science Postgraduates
    • Overall, this session was
      • Very good 71%
      • Good 29%
    • This session was
      • Just the right length 86%
      • Too long 14%
  • Bibliographic Databases & Keeping up to date for Postgraduate Students
    • Overall, this session was
      • Very good 86%
      • Good 14% 
    • This session was
      • Just the right length 83%
      • Too short 17%

Not quite sure if I’d want to do more than 2 hours on RefWorks and EndNote AND keeping up to date!  But those aren’t bad results all in all.  I was very pleased that the elements on Open Access along with searching and using quality OA resources were especially popular, with students asking for more.  As they say ABM*! Best student review quote has to be:

“Excellent session, most useful one so far! All very useful and interesting.”

As for stuff they didn’t like…most said “Nothing” or “All things were necessary” which is very rewarding to hear.  On personal reflection there are a few elements I want to revise before running these sessions again; changing location to a smaller room given the numbers might be one I’ll try pursuing!  I also think I want to make use of a digital format possibly for the workbooks, as I estimate I’ve spent about 5 hours just photocopying and stapling materials for these 4 sessions alone.

Slides are available for those interested – Databases session & Bibliographic session

My one worry is that elements of what I was teaching may have overlapped a little to a lot with some of the session Keith, Selina and probably even Stuart have been teaching.  But then since the whole programme seemed to emerge from the fog fully formed without much input from our end, perhaps that is one thing we now need to look at in retrospect.  So the big question – is there going to be a course review meeting, and how do we ensure that the library is represented on it this time?

*ABM = Always Be Marketing

Posted in Open Access, Referencing, Research Support, Training | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »