Monday, May 1, 2006

Find Articles by Subject

Are your search words not finding enough journal articles, or finding too many? Want a more precise way to search a database? Try using the "Subject" or "Topic" feature offered on the multidisciplinary databases ProQuest (Topic Guide), Gale's InfoTrac and Expanded Academic (Subject Guide), and EBSCOhost (Subjects).

In most research databases, each article is assigned specific subject terms from a limited, controlled vocabulary, based on its content. If you know the term used in that database, it is the most accurate way to locate information. For example, if you were searching for articles on "education for the learning disabled" would you search on handicapped education, learning disabled education, learning disabilities and education, or special education? The answer may depend on the specific database you are using. That is why it is so useful to utilize the subject term feature. If you know the specific term used for that concept, you are assured of getting all relevant results.

Mergent Online

Are you researching a particular company? Not sure where to locate the most recent annual report, or 10-K ? Need an SEC filing from 1999? This information and more is now available to you through Mergent Online.

Mergent Online is a treasure trove of corporate and financial information on over 35,000 U.S and global public companies. It's also a terrific source for information on defunct companies. Mergent Online includes profiles, financial statements, stock and bond performance data, institutional investor holdings, and company news.

Part of the Mergent Online search page:
Mergent Online search pageYou can find information by company name, stock ticker symbol or by industry groupings using North American Industry Classification (NAIC) codes. You can also search and retrieve company data to generate customized reports, such as company profiles and comparisons, by downloading financial and text data into Word, Excel and PDF formats.
Reluctant to jump right in? You can view a tutorial on how to use this resource. Just locate your Student Technology Resources CD ROM which was sent to you last fall. If you're ready to explore Mergent Online right now, go to the library's home page at and click on "All Research Databases" or follow the link for "Business Management and Economics" in the listing of "Database Subject Guides."

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Before beginning any academic research it is helpful to obtain a good overview of your topic to help you identify key terms, names, and dates as well as give you a solid grasp on your subject matter. A great resource for this initial pre-research is an encyclopedia. The Empire State College online library includes several encyclopedias in its collection, such as Oxford Reference Online, Encyclopedia Brittannica and Gale Virtual Reference Library.

The Gale Virtual Reference Library is a searchable electronic book collection of almost 60 subject encyclopedias, handbooks and guides, covering many subject disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and science and technology. Articles in subject encyclopedias are usually written by experts in that particular field and often include useful bibliographies that can lead you to additional sources on the topic. The Gale Virtual Reference Library includes subject encyclopedias covering topics such as:
  • Business (e.g. Business Plans Handbook, Business Information Handbook, Encyclopedia of Small Business)
  • Culture (e.g. Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, Countries and Their Cultures, St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture)
  • Health Issues (e.g. Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, Encyclopedia of Public Health, Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer)
  • Religion (e.g. Encyclopedia of American Religions, New Catholic Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World)