Friday, April 11, 2008

Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources

The 23rd edition of theEncyclopedia of Business Sources is now out at a cost of $485. It comes out every year, but the most recent one we have is the 21st from 2006. The cover and format for the new edition is exactly the same as the old. The review copy that is on the reference counter is the new one. It is not cataloged yet, but can be returned if appropriate.

Take a careful look at this source if you are not already familiar with it. It gives sources of business information on a wide variety (over 1000) topics. The types of sources include books, abstracts and indexes, CD-ROM databases, directories, handbooks and manuals, databases and statistical sources.

The books are generally disappointingly dated. For example, under the topic "Selling a Business," the two books cited are dated 1999 and 1991. These same titles were listed in the 21st ed two years ago. Our own catalog reveals two titles on the subject dated 2004 and 2007.

However, it is quite handy for tracking down ongoing sources of information on a specific business topic such as internet and online databases, and, especially statistical sources. For example, under the topic "Business Failures" we find that D&B publishes Business Failure Record annually and it is free upon request.

Take a careful look at this and give me your recommendations.


Cynthia said...

Hi Jane:

Once again, I quickly hit the Gong on this one (still looking for a good sound file to include...or at least a picture of Gene Gene the Dancing Machine).

My reason, you can find similar inforamtion in a variety of other places including here:

Rutgers has a terrific pathfinder for Biz. It is updated regularly and despite having some RU restricted links, it has plenty of free links (Plus, there are plenty of ways to access RU library resources....the ref desk is generally very helpful to other librarians).

Catherine Harper said...

Hi Jane,

As I already mentioned, I'd be very unhappy (and, more importantly, I wouldn't be as confident answering business reference questions) if we didn't keep this source--although I have no problem getting it every other year. Yes, the General Works sections are of minimal use. But that's not what I use EBIS for.

If someone asks me a question relating to a business topic that I'm unfamiliar with, this is often the first place I go. I find it particularly useful in identifying quickly the primary sources of information for an industry--trade associations, the top trade rags, and directories. It helps me formulate a logical and efficient search strategy.

While Rutgers has done an amazing job with their business links, their site does not offer close to the amount of data or specificity that EBIS does. The Encyclopedia of Associations of course has trade associations, so does OneSource, but EBIS is so much easier to use and I've found I can rely on it to show me at a glance what the major associations are, which I can't do with EA or OneSource. I don't tend to use the Statistics section often, since I tend to go first to government sources, which are free (and often the best source anyway) and because most of the commercial sources EBIS lists are not in our collection.

EBIS isn't perfect, but I find it extremely valuable.

JiHae said...

I'm so glad CH posted before me. :) I'm going to use this source more now.

Kristin said...

I have to say that I agree with Ji Hae - I feel like I've been let in on a trade secret. And, not entirely in my comfort zone when it comes to business questions, I am also going to delve deeper into this resource.

mlh said...

Keep it but get it every other year. I did a quick check on biotechnology info and found it basic but good. It is helpful because it is one stop shopping instead of surfing around.

Romina said...

I was not aware of this source, but was looking at it and as others have already mentioned seems to be very helpful and contains a wealth of information.

Jane said...

From BJS: Catherine Harper was quite eloquent in her defense of Encyclopedia of Business Information Resources. I agree. This is definitely my initial “go to” resource to get a feel for an industry and the trade organizations and research centers associated with it. In this way it’s a great strategizing tool in a field that is pretty foreign to me. It is not necessary to have the newest edition but I’d hate to get rid of it altogether.

Jane said...

DK says:I was unfamiliar with this resource until now, but I can imagine using it in exactly the way Catherine describes - - to formulate a search strategy when confronted with an unfamiliar business topic.

Since most business topics fall into that category for me, I would vote to keep this one.

Janie L. Hermann said...

Weighing in late, but just want to say that I am glad that we are keeping this, even if it will not be updated yearly.

Jane said...

The decision on this one is every three years since the data doesn't seem to change that much from year to year.