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Beck Library - Research Tools

Guide To Company Research

To use this page click on the subject titles below to navigate to the appopriate paragraph.

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If you cannot find the answers to your citation questions, then consider using BC3's Ask A Librarian web feature.

Beck Library on Blackboard

Beck Library subscribes to several online databases that are excellent resources for company information. These include Hoovers, Reference USA, EBSCOhost, and America's Newspapers. These databases are not freely available over the Internet. BC3 students and faculty access them through Beck Library on Blackboard. Login to the BC3 Blackboard system at and select Beck Library on Blackboard from the My Courses List. Click on the Subject Search button to access Hoovers or Reference USA. Both of these databases will be listed in the Business folder. EBSCOhost and America's Newspapers are listed under the Find Articles button.

  • Hoovers Business Database Use to obtain information about a company or industry. Database of 12 million companies with in-depth coverage of 40,000 of the world's top businesses. Information includes company histories, company profiles, financial information, lists of competitors, news, corporate executives, and industry profiles.
  • Reference USA Use to locate businesses by industry, SIC codes, geographic areas and other criteria. Useful for generating lists of businesses for job searches and research projects.
  • EBSCOhost Use to find articles on companies published in magazines and journals.
  • America's Newspapers Use to find articles on companies published in newspapers.

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  • Beck Library Catalog and Other Library Catalogs Search under the subject heading retail trade or search by industry or company name Go to the Beck Library website ( The Beck Library catalog is listed under "Find Books ." Links to other library catalogs are under the "Find Books and More" link on the left sidebar. Access Pennsylvania is a union catalog that lists holdings of several hundred libraries in Pennsylvania.
  • Reference Books Beck Library has several books in its Reference Collection useful for company research

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  • Search with ticker symbols The most efficient way to search for company information is by its ticker symbol. If you cannot find a ticker symbol, the company may be privately owned (not traded on a stock exchange) or a subsidiary of a larger company. If it is a subsidiary, you will probably have more success if you search for information on the parent company. If it is privately owned, it will not have a ticker symbol and it will be more difficult to find information on your company. To find out a company's ticker symbol, go to Yahoo! Ticker Symbol Lookup:
  • Company profiles and financial data
    • Hoovers (see above) provides profiles, financial data, company histories and more. Yahoo! Finance provides brief company profiles and financial information. The following sites are additional sources for financial data.
    • SEC EDGAR Database
    • EDGAR Online
    • 10K Wizard
    • Daily Stocks
    • Reuter's
  • Company Home Pages Hoovers, Reference USA and Yahoo! Finance all include links to websites of companies.

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Professional Associations

Professional Associations can be useful sources for information on industries and businesses. The following are resources for locating professional and trade associations.

  • Encyclopedia of Associations -- available through many libraries in their print and online reference collections
  • Gateway to Associations Online -- Searchable directory of webistes of professional associations
  • Associations on the Net -- Internet Public Library's (IPL) list of professional association web sites organized into categories

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The following sites provide information on nonprofit organizations. M

  • Guidestar
  • Internet Nonprofit Center
  • Foundation Center
  • The Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance
  • National Center for Charitable Statistics

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Do You Need Help?

If you cannot find what you are looking for, or have specific questions, then consider using BC3's Ask A Librarian web feature.

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