(From the Washington Post) “The solutions to all our problems may be buried in PDFs that nobody reads”

The World Bank recently published a report analysing how their numerous reports and publications are used. This article by Christopher Ingraham from the Washington Post pulls out the highlights including the depressing fact that roughly one third of their reports have never been downloaded at all. The report has given rise to various debates (see the comments on the Washington Post article) ranging from how little impact research has on policy to the issues with publishing via PDF (“Is the PDF hurting democracy?”).

It’s worth highlighting what the World Bank website has to offer for academic students: it’s particularly handy for finding information by country or region:

  • The World Bank is an authoritative source for information for assignments: their reports and analysis will have been commissioned from experts in the field.  Open Knowledge Repository is their gateway to papers and can be browsed by country or region.
  • We have already blogged about World Bank Data is also a great source for reliable country data.
  • World Bank Blogs” also has expert bloggers posting reports – a good source of current awareness on global issues.


Exploring one of our top resources: Proquest Business Collection

Screenshot of the Proquest logo

One of our top business resources is Proquest Business Collection. Easy to use, it makes finding scholarly journal articles as fast and straightforward as Googling (or faster: the quality of results is guaranteed so no need to analyse the source).

Under the hood, this is actually the following distinct databases:

So as well as a strong coverage of business topics, it is also a good bet for anything in the specific areas mentioned above. We have our own guide to the database (PDF) but to get the most out of it, try the in-depth resources that Proquest themselves provide:

Detailed User Guide (PDF)

YouTube playlist of videos that cover every aspect of the interface. Most of the videos are under 2 minutes long. Try using the thesaurus to help you find the best search terms for your topic:


or the Advanced Search for power-searching tips:


Note: The Business Collection shares the same interface as other Proquest subject resources (e.g. ASSIA) so the Proquest guides refer to the general interface, not the business collection specifically.

Useful blogs for Swansea students


Our School of Management library blog focusses primarily on information skills and resources. However there are also other great Swansea University blogs that will give you news, tips and advice:

You can use an RSS feed reader like Feedly or Netvibes to keep up with blogs or any other news sources. We have a quick guide to “Getting Started With Feedly” (PDF).

If you want more suggestions for blogs worth following – try this 2013 article on “22 Influential Business Blogs That Help Students and Managers Advance Their Careers” or make a suggestion in the comments!