Two Business Databases Hosted by Gale (Tip of the Week)

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By Ken Fox

There are two Business-related databases available to all Saskatchewan public library users that are hosted by Gale – Business Collection and Business Insights: Essentials.

You will need a public library card to access these databases. For advice on how to find the e-Resources page for your library region, see my earlier post.

As I have already reviewed two Gale databases – CPIQ and LegalTrac, much of what I said about searching those products applies here as well.

Gale’s Business Collection is a newly rebranded amalgam of two other Gale databases: General Business File ASAP and Business Index ASAP. It is important to tell you this because most library sites are still using the old names.

Regina Public Library users can begin at the Business page. The headings Business Index ASAP 1980 and General Business File ASAP 1980 each take you to the newly amalgamated Gale Business Collection.

In Saskatoon, begin at Research, then click the Subject tab, and link to Business & Career. Business Index ASAP goes to the same place as Gale Business Collection.

For regional libraries, find your e-Resources page, then go to Business & Career. The headings are the same as for Regina, except some regions (Palliser, Southeast, Wheatland) have combined and updated their links to “Business Collection.”

At all sites Business Insights: Essentials is correctly identified in the Business & Career section.

Business Collection

This newly combined database comprises company and industry information and statistics as well as a huge collection of magazine articles, news sources and academic content.

As with other Gale databases, there are Basic and Advanced searches, and the search can be combined with other services using the “Gale Databases” link in the top-right corner of the screen.

Rather than exhaustively going through the many features of using Gale again, I will simply do a search that is of interest to me and share my experience.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I am interested in what is happening with legal publishing, so I will enter that phrase, wrapped in quote marks, into the Basic Search command line.

The default results screen shows 136 academic journals articles. Oddly, Gale databases only display results for a single Content Type. The top portion of the right-hand results pane shows results for 3 Content Types: Academic Journals (136), Magazines (264), and News (961).

The results look interesting, but the database does not seem to have recognized my quote marks – none of the top results include the exact phrase, even after changing the sort from Newest to Relevance. I can’t find an easy way to view the searching syntax, so I will try a different approach.

The right-hand pane includes many filtering options, but the one that catches my eye is at the bottom of the column, the Topic Finder. Clicking on that heading automatically brings up my search terms organized into a large, colourful wheel of subject headings and sub-headings (if the wheel is not your thing, there is also a “tiles” option). Many of the headings are company names, and others identify industries (Information Services, Database Industry), content types (Law Review, Case Law), occupations (Lawyers, Judge, Vice President, Publisher), and there are geographic, biographic, and topical headings as well. Following my curiosity, I click on “Case Law,” a sub-heading under “Database Industry.” The results instantly appear in a separate pane to the right of the wheel.

galedatabases

If I don’t like the results I can simply click on a different slice of wheel and instantly get different ones. Most subheadings yield between 4 and 10 records. Main headings have slightly more, up to perhaps 20.

There are product announcements, company rankings, market analyses, opinion pieces, and academic articles. Many of the hits are full-text articles, but many are also citations to print sources.

Business Insights: Essentials

The scope of Business Insights’ (recently rebranded from Business & Company Resource Center) is limited to “Company and Industry Intelligence” – its default search command line advises to “Enter company name or ticker symbol.”

I don’t know what a ticker symbol is, so I’ll try a company, one whose name was recently shorted to Emond. The search engine gives me no results, but gives me a list of “did you mean” variants, of which one is “emond.” So I click on that and get 1,188 results, most of which seem to be full texts articles mentioning various people who have the surname Emond, and at least one naming a law firm with an Emond in it. It seems the initial search only looks at company names, whereas the “did you mean” option searches the entire record.

My second try is “Canada Law Book” – once a leading legal publisher that was acquired by Thomson Reuters a few years ago. If I enter that name without quote marks, I get over 1,000 companies with “Canada” in their name, but not Canada Law Book. If I enter the name with quotes, I get zero hits. So I have learned that (1) quotation marks work to indicate a phrase, and (2) the database might be limited to active companies.

When I enter “Irwin” I get a number of results for companies named “Irwin,” one of which is the profile for the Canadian legal publisher Irwin Law Inc. There is contact info, a brief description, and the names of two officers. Other company profiles have more detailed information, and in some cases, financial data.

The results for the company name search seem to consist mostly of such profiles. But I am curious about the results of my earlier search, where “emond” produced many magazine articles and such.

There is an Advanced Search that allows you to select Content Type, which includes News, Academic Journals, Trade Journals, Magazines, Company Histories, Rankings, Company Chronicals, SWOT Reports, Market Share Reports, Market Research Reports, and Videos.

Business Insights also has a set of tabs that allow you to conduct separate searches by company type, industry, financial reports, comparison charts, or filter by document type. The Company Finder is the default but there are many, many ways to search this database.

It is unclear to me at this point what the difference in scope is between these two databases. They certainly overlap, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that in the future they are merged, as has already happened with the two “ASAP” products noted above.

For more information, or research help, contact the library.

(Databases provided by public libraries in Saskatchewan #4. Read the rest of this series: #1 | #2 | #3)

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