“Why can’t I get access to the Library’s databases?” is the perennial question of the recent Penn graduate.
Unfortunately, the library’s subscription databases are only available to current students, faculty, and staff members of the University of Pennsylvania. Once the school switches a student’s status from student to alumni – usually mid-August – access to the Library’s electronic resources ends. Below is a summary of the Penn Libraries resources that you can access as an alumni, both remotely and on-campus. We also have a few tips for finding business resources at your local public library or on the Web.
Alumni Services provides information on visiting the Library, Library Events and E-resources that are accessible remotely using your PennKey information.
Alumni also have access to some business databases on campus as shown in this list: Alumni Business Database Access on Campus.
Other options for Alumni include the local public library. Many public libraries provide access to selected databases for members. Check your library to find out what is available to you. New York City’s Science Industry and Business Library, (SIBL) rivals many college libraries. The Free Library of Philadelphia also has a large collection of business resources.
There are also many useful freely available web resources. Here are a few tips on locating and finding reliable information. First, check our Library Research Guides. Many guides include web sites carefully vetted by subject Librarians.
Use Google filters. For instance, when you are researching topics such as foreign trade or exporting, limit your search to government sites. To search for trade regulations in Brazil, use this search:
TRADE REGULATIONS BRAZIL SITE:.GOV
You will retrieve resources about trade with Brazil from U.S. government sites only.
To search for information from associations or organizations use the filter SITE:.ORG. Many organizations such as the World Bank provide free information. One great resource from the World Bank is the annual “Doing Business In“ survey of the ease of doing business in countries across the Globe. The World Bank also provides detailed information on each country including business regulations and historical macroeconomic data.
Google Scholar contains many scholarly publications from around the world. Many are accessible via the web. This can also be used as a way to build a bibliography that can be used at the local library.
Large consulting companies often provide free reports. PricewaterhouseCoopers provides industry overviews and research and insights. Real estate firms such as CBRE provide quarterly international market research reports.
An easy way to access government data is through American Factfinder. Select your topic of interest such as demographics, economics or housing.
FRED, the Federal Reserve Bank, St. Louis, is another depository of economic statistics and research. This covers a range of countries as well as the United States.
The Thomas Register is the largest directory of suppliers in the the U.S. Many companies include brochures.
The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank providing information about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America.
Edgar provides free access to company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It also includes information about the usage for various filings.
This is a sampling of sites that are available on the web. Good luck going forward!!
For more detailed information about the Library’s business databases available to alums, please look at our blog post Library Database Access for Penn Alumni.