Responding to your feedback

Members of the School of Management library team attended the Staff-Student committee meetings last week to hear your feedback on our services. We are responding to a couple of things that came up:

  • The date for book loans being extended over the Easter vacation is Tue 8th April (9am). Normal and one week loans will then be due back on Wed 7th May. Short loan and overnight loans stay the same as usual. We would urge all students to make sure they have renewed their books – they can do this online via the catalogue (http://ifinddiscover.swan.ac.uk, then “Login” top right) or at the Issue Desk. You will not be able to renew a book if it has been requested by another student.
  • We were asked about the use of Training Room 2 at the back of Level 3 in the library for teaching small groups of students which then means it is not available for use as a PC lab, often at times of high demand. We do try to avoid using this room for teaching but timetabling of classes does mean it has to be used when the smaller Training Room 3 is in use. We also have to book this room for classes over 30 – if you only see a small number of students, this may be due to students not turning up!
  • This term we have been purchasing additional copies of textbooks as far as funds allow (for example, extra copies of Slack’s Operations Management) and if we are aware of high demand. Please do let us know if you are having trouble getting hold of a book or are having difficulty placing a request for it (which you can do via the library catalogue) as we may be able to help.

If you would like to give us further feedback, the team email is: buslib@swansea.ac.uk

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Country information: comparing web resources (so you don’t have to!)

If you need information, facts and figures on a specific country there are plenty of sources out on the web, some more reliable than others. We also have subscription resources which require a login but have reports not available for free on the web.

Taking the example of Sudan, we have compared what you get. Is it worth a few extra steps to access the subscription content? (Spoiler alert: YES! Read on and find out why…)

As a specific comparison figure, we have extracted the population figures from all resources where given. Interesting to see how widely this varies!

Resources from the open web

  • The American CIA World Factbook has long been considered a reliable source of country information – its entry on Sudan contains facts and analysis under headings Geography, People and Society, Government, Economy, Energy, Communications, Transportation, Military and Transnational Issues. Population 35,482,233 (July 2014 est.)
  • The World Health Organization has a country profile for Sudan which includes more health-focussed information and risks. It estimates the 2012 population at 37,195,000.
  • The World Bank also has a home page for Sudan which has a financial slant and links to their work with Sudan. They cite a 2012 population estimate at 37.20 million.
  • The major accountancy firm KPMG also have online reports including this one on Sudan. It has a lot of detail and dates from 2012. Population given as 34,206,710 (July 2012 est.).
  • Wikipedia: the profile of Sudan is extensive and can be a valuable starting point. However, you should not use Wikipedia as an academic source or reference – follow its footnotes to find more credible sources or verify the information elsewhere. Anyone can edit a Wikipedia page (try it yourself if you have knowledge of a particular topic!). Population is given as 30, 894, 000 citing the 2008 census and acknowledging that this has been disputed as a precise estimate.
  • The BBC has its own Sudan country profile with an overview, facts, media, leaders and a historical timeline. It is useful as it links to its own recent news stories on a country. Population is given at 45.7 million (UN estimate 2012) which seems very large in comparison with all other sources and may be unreliable in this instance – always worth checking more than one source!

Subscription Resources

In comparison with these, you can find extensive country profiles in our EBSCO Business Source Complete database. To find a country report in EBSCO, the following search is recommended:

  • Enter the country name as a search time and change “Select a field (optional)” to “TI Title”
  • Limit the search by date to most recent years
  • Limit the search by “Source Type” to “Country Reports”
  • Change the sort order of results to “Date Newest”

Screenshot of EBSCO BSC showing search filters applied

 

Is it worth the extra effort to search EBSCO? The Political Risk Yearbook report for Sudan is 39 pages long and dates from November 2013. As well as the usual facts and figures (population given for 2012: 37.20 million) it has sections on “Comment & Analysis”, 3 “Forecast Scenarios” based on political changes that could occur, 5 pages of detail on “climate for investment & trade”. So this is a much more extensive, current and researched resource than those available freely on the web – the reason why these reports are only available on subscription via the PRS Group.

Proquest Business Collection also has a series of Country reports, available only on subscription: find these by clicking on “Browse” then expand the “Country Reports” section:

Screenshot of Proquest showing Browse link to Country Reports

 

The individual collections listed here are all worth exploring for a specific country but some countries are not covered in all collections. In the case of Sudan:

  • Oxford Economics Country Economic Forecast has one from Oct 2013, 6 months ago. This is a 4 page economic forecast that looks ahead to 2016 with analysis and figures. (There is no Oxford Economics By Country Industry Forecast for Sudan – only selected countries are covered for this category).
  • The EIU reports do not include Sudan.
  • Oxford Analytica Daily Brief Service has many short items on Sudan indexed by industry and topic but these are not that current (2012 is the most recent) and are often not specifically on Sudan.
  • Oxford Analytica Country Profiles has one that is 2 months old (Jan 2014). It gives a population of 25,946,220 (July 2012).

Conclusions?

EBSCO’s Country Reports are by far the most comprehensive option for authoritative country information with additional forecast information from Proquest also proving useful. It is worth noting that not all the subscription sources cover all countries – Mintel Global Market Navigator is another resource we have for country economic data but does not include Sudan.

The web resources listed are useful but basic – the CIA World Factbook is possibly the most reliable & recognized one to cite for an assignment.

 

How to cite quotations from electronic sources when there are no page numbers

Most, but not all, journal articles are available as a pdf file.  When there is no pdf the article is made available on a web page in html format without page numbers.  If you want to include a direct quotation from such a source, this is what you do:-

 

1.  If paragraph numbers are visible in the document, use them instead of page numbers.  The abbreviation to use is para.

Smith and Jones (2013) stated that “direct quotation here” (para. 2).

2. If there are no paragraph numbers use the heading and number of the paragraph following it.

In their study Smith and Jones (2013) discovered that “direct quotation here” (Results, para. 3).

3.  When the heading is very long, use a shortened version with quotation marks.

“Direct quotation here” (Smith and Jones, 2013, “Implications for Future,” para. 2).

The heading was “Implications for Future Development of this Management Structure”

 

If you have any questions about how to cite or reference a source you can email buslib@swansea.ac.uk and we will help you.

Videos for learning and teaching

Trial access to Alexander Street Press – video content

Use the link above to access video content for business and economics.

The library has trial access until 30th June 2014 to Alexander Street Press, where video content in many formats has been brought together for reference, learning and teaching.  You can search for content by topic, theme, organisation, country, content type etc.

Have a look and let us know if you found it useful by emailing us using the link on the right.

 

Alexander Street Press