On the Case with Sage Business Cases

Case studies are a tried-and-true part of business school curricula. They tell stories about how companies and individuals respond to business opportunities and challenges. The story-telling aspect of these tools is represented in the titles of several cases available in Sage Business Cases, a resource that hosts them. There are many “tales” told, such as: “A tale of two properties: debt strategies for financing commercial real estate,” “Sara Lee: a tale of another turnaround,” and the slightly less traditional “Leading from the margins: Paulina in Shakespeare’s A winter’s tale.”


The Sage Business Cases platform includes not only original cases produced by Sage, known as Sage Originals, but also cases from several content partners including the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, Yale School of Management and several international providers. A complete list of contributors is available here

You can choose to search across the platform or browse by categories like discipline and region. There are a broad range of disciplines covered, from standards like accounting, finance, strategic management and entrepreneurship, to more specialized areas like crisis management and negotiation.  

The Advanced Search option is available at the top of each page on the platform. It allows you to build a more sophisticated search by looking within certain fields, e.g. title, abstract, as well as providing an option to limit results by the number of words in the case to find more in-depth cases. One thing to be aware of when using the Advanced Search is that it defaults to searching across the entire Sage platform, so you will need to select Cases under Content Types to limit to cases.


Express Cases are a subset of Sage Originals designed to provide a bridge between news events and academic business concepts and theories. They are released in several batches each year in order to capitalize on current events and allow instructors to easily bring those discussions into the classroom. 

On the other side of the spectrum are Enhanced Cases, which include data sets or video content. Enhanced Cases may also include teaching notes or other supplementary teaching materials. Faculty members should contact lippincott@wharton.upenn.edu or their department’s librarian to request access to teaching support materials.  

Cases are also indexed in Franklin, so they will also show up in the regular results list, along with books, videos and other types of content. While they aren’t books, they are categorized as such in Franklin. As shown in the screenshot below, you’ll be able to easily connect directly to the full-text of the desired case by using the Connect to full text link. 


Wide open SPAC-es: researching Special Purpose Acquisition Companies

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) are having a moment. Also known as “blank check” companies, they allow investors to raise funding to acquire a company before the target has been identified.

It seems like every advisory firm or consulting company has a SPAC-oriented site, including those from Deloitte, KPMG and PwC to name a few. Interest in SPACs on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus has been strong enough to inspire Penn undergraduates to create the Penn SPAC Club.

Continue reading

Keep your finger on the pulse of health news with STAT+

STAT is a health news reporting service that has gained increased visibility during the COVID-19 crisis. Touted by the New York Times in late March as the site that “saw the crisis months ago,” STATCoronavirusSTAT’s profile has been raised as its articles and reporters have been widely quoted in many major newspapers and business publications. In keeping with the importance of the COVID-19 to health news now, STAT has both a COVID-19 tracker linked from the homepage and a news section devoted to coronavirus easily accessible from the top menu.

The tracker, produced in collaboration with Applied XL, provides a dashboard and visualization of trends in cases and deaths worldwide gathered from several international sources. AustraliaCovidEXampleClicking on a country name will often provide a more detailed breakdown by state, province, region or territory, as shown with the Australian example below.

STAT makes some of their articles available to all website visitors, but there are many others under the STAT+ umbrella that are only available to subscribers. To access the subscription content, you need to sign up for an individual account by following the directions that you’ll get after selecting the Connect to full-text option on the STAT+ record in Franklin, the Penn Libraries catalog; you can connect to your account in the future by using the same Franklin link. STAT+ articles are available via the STAT+ button in the top right-hand corner of the screen, but they are also available under the various topics from pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to health technology and artificial intelligence. STAT+ subscribers also have the option to receive STAT’s newsletters via email; there are options covering each of the broad health-related areas that STAT covers, as well as newsletters that are more specific for a particular geography (West Coast, China) or disease (cancer).

Not surprisingly for a publication whose tagline is “Reporting from the frontiers of health and medicine,” many Penn experts are cited in STAT or have authored opinion pieces for STAT. Search for “university of pennsylvania” to locate these articles.

Lippincott Library in China: Wharton Research Data and Analytics Librarian Conference

I had the privilege of participating in the Wharton Research Data and Analytics Librarian conference just before the beginning of the fall semester. Hosted by Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) at the Penn Wharton China Center (PWCC), this conference brought together over forty librarians, business school faculty and vendors from across greater China to share best practices related to digital research resources and data-oriented services and skills. It also provided the opportunity to discuss emerging initiatives in these areas. With help from a team of simultaneous translators, speakers presented in Chinese and English, and presentation materials were available in both languages. Although the conference attendees were from Chinese academic institutions, we also had participation from business and finance librarians in the United States who presented via videoconference.


My introductory keynote set the stage for the presentations that followed by reviewing the challenges and opportunities facing business and finance librarians in an era of data proliferation. These included: researchers’ quest for unique data, defining and measuring usage in a data-focused environment, the impact of publisher/vendor mergers on data availability, data transparency and reproducibility, access and storage and improving data skills. Other presenters examined these topics in greater detail:

  • Expanding the role of libraries throughout the research cycle – such as helping users develop software/coding skills for data analysis and visualization (Hilary Craiglow, Vanderbilt University), educating researchers and faculty about data literacy (Yun Dai and Jennifer Stubbs, NYU Shanghai), research data management and data literacy training (Aaron Kennedy, University of Nottingham Ningbo China) and developing discipline-specific data services (Jianfa Zhong, Xiamen University).
  • Redefining vendor relationships – from developing new products (Corey Seeman, University of Michigan) to working closely with vendors to build data communities (Henry Huang, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics).
  • Data discovery and usage evaluation – developing big data knowledge discovery platforms (Jing Xie, Chinese Academy of Sciences), creating standardized and replicable systems for assessing usage (Dandan Tan, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics) and introducing evidence-based evaluation (Liping Yang, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University).
  • Understanding user needs (Michael Yang, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business) and the differences between needs of expert and beginning users (Dehua Xiong, Peking University), as well as strategies for keeping abreast of new research trends and techniques (Bobray Bordelon, Princeton University). Rui Dai from WRDS discussed the use of machine learning to identify research trends.


The inimitable Foster Zhang from Chinese University of Hong Kong Shenzhen gave the closing keynote, leaving attendees with a lot to consider about developing future data services and architectures: “Data is only limited by imagination. We give it a ‘suggested usage’ within an interface, but this limits us.”

Thank you to all of the contributors and attendees for making this conference a first-rate learning and cultural experience.

MIXing it up: microfinance data from MIX Market

Microfinance data is hard to come by since reporting requirements for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) are not well-developed or consistent across countries. MIX Market focuses exclusively on providing information related these institutions, and their MIX Intelligence subscription lets you find information on specific institutions or screen for institutions using a wide range of criteria.   [Note: MIX Intelligence is not licensed for use outside the library, so you will have to visit Lippincott Library to use it. Just ask at our Information Desk for assistance with logging in.]


The Resources menu is the primary way to navigate to reports, data and tools in MIX Market.  The easiest option is to select Profiles to look for a specific Financial Services Provider (FSP) or to screen for organizations by region, country and type. Profiles have top level information about organizations. This includes typical directory information, such as address, contact information and high level financials for the last three reported years, as well as links to annual reports if available. See the sample record below for CUMO, an MFI in Malawi.


The profile page also lets you to easily access the FSP (Financial Service Provider) Analysis data on that organization, where each option under Report Types allows you to select individual variables


Example of available social performance variables

Use the Cross Market Analysis function to select from more than 100 specific data points to compare, such as assets, administrative expenses, average loan balance per borrower, renegotiated loans, and many more. The additional filtering and grouping options allow you to create results like the table below, which shows the number of female active borrowers by country.


In addition to making tools available that you can use to create your own analyses, MIX publishes regular quarterly reports that include their analysis and visualization of data Forecast-Bangladeshby country. These are generally produced on a quarterly basis and include country overviews called “factsheets” which include quarter-by-quarter performance across common variables such as average loan balance, number of active borrowers and portfolio-at-risk at the country level. Their “barometer forecasts” also provide forecast data from on a quarterly survey of FSPs. The snapshot on the left illustrates the projected borrower growth rates for Bangladesh. 





Please see our Microfinance Research Guide for additional resources.

Plumbing the pipeline: pharmaceutical products in development

The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) approved a record 59 novel drugs in 2018 to treat diseases ranging from common illnesses like influenza to rare diseases like Dravet syndrome. 


Source: 2018 New Drug Therapy Approvals, CDER, p. 8

Cowen’s latest Therapeutic Categories Outlook and the IQVIA Institute’s Global Use of Medicine in 2019 and Outlook to 2023 both forecast pharmaceutical sales growth in the middle single digits (CAGR) over the next five years. Lippincott Library has several tools to help you discover areas of emerging therapeutic interest by screening for drugs in development and biopharmaceutical deals. 

BCIQ from BioCentury has a number of different ways to find information on drugs in the pipeline. BioCentury has published information and analysis related to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors for over 25 years. Their profile reports allow you to quickly visualize data by company, product, disease or target. The example below shows top targets for thyroid cancer.

Graph of Biocentury-TopTargets  by number of drugs for Thyroid Cancer

Selecting Companies, Products, Finance or Deals from the top menu provides many additional options for screening variables in each category.

Bloomberg’s Drug Explorer is another option for finding drugs in development. The data is supplied by Springer Nature (Adis) and can be found using the function BI PHRM DEX. The Drug Profiles tab permits screen by phase of development, status and geography, as well allowing you input a specific disease category or indication.

image of a Bloomberg Drug Profile Search

Profiles include:

  • Description – alternative names, registered indications, mechanisms of action and a basic explanation of the drug’s therapeutic uses. 
  • Timeline – information about changes in developmental phase including image of a list of companies using the Bloomberg Drug Companies Tabindication and geography, clinical trial data announcements, FDA actions and licensing changes.  
  • Phases – includes a table of all indications, phases and countries associated with the drug, as well as providing detailed commentary about movement between phases. 
  • Companies – companies associated with development of the drug, including originators and licensees

Thomson One includes Cortellis drug pipeline reports published by Clarivate Analytics. For public companies, these are available from the Company Overview under the Research; reports for non-public companies can be located by selecting Screening & Snapshot of a Cortellis drug pipeline reportAnalysis, then Research and Research Search. These are lengthy predefined reports that don’t allow you choose your own screening options. For large companies, a Cortellis competitive landscape report is available, providing information about a company’s positioning in its key therapeutic areas relative to its competitors.

For more intensive research needs, Cortellis data is available via Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS).  See our Pharmaceutical Industry Research Guide for additional resources focusing on this industry. 


Wharton Faculty Research now available on ScholarlyCommons

The Penn Libraries are very pleased to announce that research papers from all academic departments of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania are now available on ScholarlyCommons, the University of Pennsylvania’s open access institutional repository. Reflecting the core values of inclusion, innovation and impact in the Penn Compact 2020, ScholarlyCommons shares the exceptional works of Penn faculty, staff and students with local, national and global audiences. By gathering Wharton research into a searchable repository, it is easier for scholars worldwide to discover, cite and link to these materials. These research papers can be found by visiting https://repository.upenn.edu/wharton_faculty.


Readership activity sample

With the support of Deputy Dean Michael Gibbons and the Wharton Faculty IT committee, the ScholarlyCommons team reviewed thousands of papers to date to verify copyright permissions for inclusion in the repository. The initial collection of more than 2,200 papers will continue over the coming months as additional publications are cleared and added. The Wharton material was made available on the ScholarlyCommons site in late November 2017 and has already garnered over 21,000 downloads.


Readership Distribution for Wharton Faculty Papers (11/23/17-1/21/18)

Wharton faculty should contact their Lippincott Library liaison librarian or the ScholarlyCommons team with questions or for more information about setting up accounts on ScholarlyCommons. These accounts provide download statistics for individual authors. Penn librarians can work with individual departments, centers and programs to provide specific pages that highlight the research of their unit; see for example cross-disciplinary collaborations with the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. Contact the ScholarlyCommons team for a consultation. For more information about the Wharton Departmental Papers permissions review project, please visit the project FAQ.

Ins and Outs of EINs

There is no shortage of symbols or numbers that can be used to identify companies, which makes trying to match company lists from different sources challenging. The more commonly used company identifiers include ticker symbols, CUSIPs, CIKs and ISINs, as well as proprietary numbers like D-U-N-S Numbers or BvD identification numbers. One of the less commonly used company identifiers is the Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as the Federal Tax Identification Number. It is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify entities that need to file business tax returns. It is a nine digit number, either expressed as a single string (050155090) or with the first two digits, a dash/hyphen and the final seven digits (e.g. 05-0155090). EINs are not as readily available in directory and company databases as other identifiers. Where can you find EINs for company matching when you need them?

Individual EINs for a specific company are available from a company’s SEC filings; see Lippincott’s Business FAQ Where do I find SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) filings? for details about locating these filings. On the front page of a filing, the EIN is listed as the IRS Employer Identification No.


It is also listed in the filing submission text files with the label IRS Number. You can find EINs for private companies if they have filed with the SEC. See for example the IRS Number from the complete submission text file from a Form D filed by Uber in 2015.


Corporate Affiliations, a directory database from LexisNexis providing corporate structure information, includes EINs in its records for public companies and some private companies. One caveat about Corporate Affiliations and the other resources mentioned below is that they often only list EINs for public companies, even though private companies are also required to obtain and use EINs. To find EINs in Corporate Affiliations, search for a company of interest and view its record. The EIN will appear toward the top of the record as FEIN.


Note that Corporate Affiliations is misleading with regard to the exportability of EINs. While FEIN appears to be available as an exportable field, it is not populated in the export results; a FEIN column will display, but it will be blank. Another LexisNexis option is to use the FEIN search in Lexis.com. Lexis.com is available to current Wharton students, faculty and staff at Lippincott; please contact us at lippinco@wharton.upenn.edu to set up an appointment.

Mergent Online includes the EIN in the header information at the top of  the company record, labeled IRS Number.



These can be exported for 500 records at a time via the Company Analyst List option that appears on the results page after running a search.

After adding companies to the analysis list, click the My Mergent Tools button and select Company Analysis List. From the My Mergent Tools page, select Company Comparison Report. EIN appears as IRS Number in the Select Data Items area.


EINs for nonprofit organizations can be found in their IRS 990 filings, officially titled Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.









See the 990s, Financials & Regulations tab of our Nonprofit Sector research guide for information about tools for locating 990s.  They appear At a Glance section of each foundation record in the Foundation Directory Online.


The National Directory of Nonprofit Organizations includes the EIN in organization records, and also provides it as a field in exported lists.

Lippincott Library Seminar Room – Open for Business


Lippincott’s new seminar room and information desk are open for business! Please join us on Tuesday, September 22 in room 242 from 2:30-3:30 for an informal open house to check out the new space. The seminar room and desk area are the first things you will see upon walking through our main entrance on the second floor of the Van Pelt Dietrich Library Center.


The Lippincott Library Seminar Room (room 242) will function as a space for classes, workshops and meetings. It seats up to 28 people with a flexible and configurable seating arrangement, ranging from seminar-style seating to small group clusters for collaborative work. Several glass whiteboards allow for an ample amount of writable surface.


The seminar room includes a full high-definition projection system with ceiling embedded speakers for audio playback. It has a permanently installed Windows PC as well as two sets of laptop inputs supporting both HDMI and VGA connections to the video projector. Wireless presentations are possible through the use of Mersive Solstice software installed on the resident PC. The room supports video and audio conferencing and has a microphone array permanently installed in the ceiling and a high-definition pan/tilt/zoom camera installed next to the projection screen in the front. Skype and Bluejeans are both installed on the resident PC. USB inputs connected to the resident PC are available in the front and back of the room and allow for the connection of auxiliary peripherals to the system such as cameras and visualizers.

We welcome single-use and recurring reservations for classes and academic support activities. To book the room, please see our reservation form. Contact us at  lippinco@wharton.upenn.edu with questions.

We look forward to seeing you at the Open House on Tuesday, September 22 from 2:30-3:30 in Room 242!!

Lippincott Library Seminar Room Construction

If you have visited Lippincott Library in the past few weeks, you have undoubtedly noticed some major changes. As you enter the library, you will immediately encounter the “great wall of Lippincott” – a large barrier that has been constructed around what was once our reference and reserve services desk.


Thanks to the generosity of the Snyder family, we are building a 28-seat seminar room this summer. The new room will be located just inside Lippincott’s main entrance. It will have a flexible furniture configuration, allowing it to be used seminar-style, lecture-style or to be set up for smaller groups. This project also gives us the opportunity to completely restructure our service desk and build a new staff work room which uses space more efficiently. An interior “behind the wall” shot is below.


Since we do not have a service desk during the construction period, we are operating a service room out of Room 248 (Class of 1955 Consultation Room). We will continue to provide reserve services from this room, as well as on-call access to reference librarians.

Construction will continue over the summer, but we anticipate the room and new service desk will be open and ready for business at the start of the Fall 2015 semester. We will be posting updates on its progress.