Eyes in the Sky: Resources to Learn about Drones

Exciting research is happening at Penn’s GRASP Laboratory in the fields of robotics and drones, and the applications of drone technology are being seen in ever-expanding industries. Entrepreneurs on campus, such as Josh Phifer, Vince Kuchar and Nichin Sreekantaswamy, the founders of Barn Owl Systems,  are developing business ideas which include drones, entering business plan competitions and launching businesses. As librarians, we can begin to identify trends based on the number of questions we receive from our students, faculty and staff about specific topics. We can tell you, drones are hot!

You can search databases to which Lippincott Library subscribes to learn more about drones. As you search, note that drones are known by other names. Keywords such as unmanned aerial vehicles, UAV, unmanned aircraft systems, UAS, unmanned combat air vehicles and  UACV are all related to drones.

IBIS World Industry Reports provide broad overviews of industries in the US and China. Here you will find a report for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Manufacturing which outlines industry performance, operating conditions and more.

drones-by-typeIf you are looking for a global perspective on the drone industry, use BCC Research. In this database, you will find more details about the technology of drones and their markets by application, type, subsystem and region. The report, Drone Technology and Global Markets is 111 pages of market information and analysis. In BCC, you will also find reports about the sensors and batteries used in UAVs.

For even more specific market applications of drones, Marketresearch.com Academic has a report titled: Commercial and Military Drones: Technologies, Solutions, Market Outlook, and Forecasts 2016 – 2021. Details about enabling technologies and applications are covered in this 186 page report.

In EMIS, you can access company profiles, research reports and more. One of the market research report providers in EMIS is Technavio which produces country, regional and global reports. In EMIS, search for Technavio and click on Technavio Regional Market Assessment Reports, and then switch to their Global Market Assessment Reports. A search for drone will yield reports such as: Global Commercial Purpose Drone Market, Global Defense Drones Market, Global Civilian Drones Market, and more. A search for unmanned will reveal reports such as:  Global Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Market and Global Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Payload Market. Technavio reports often include a Five Forces Analysis.

Business Source Complete contains trade, academic and news articles which cover unmanned aerial vehicles. Search for words such as: drones OR uav OR unmanned aerial vehicles. From the results you can limit using the filters on the left side of the page. Here, you will find everything from an article with consumer drone ratings in Consumer Reports to video from the Associated Press of drone competitions.

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Our technology focused industry research databases, Gartner, Forrester and IDC also offer some articles about drones.

Beyond the library’s subscription databases, industry associations and governmental websites in this field are also important to consult. The FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems web page links to regulations and resources. The AUVSI is the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and UAVSA is a subsidiary of the Tesla Foundation Group. Both associations connect people within the industry.

In rapidly changing industries, information is being added to our databases on a regular basis. Contact the Lippincott Librarians, and we will be happy to direct you to resources to assist in your research!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

I Graduated!! Can I use the Library Databases?

Congratulations to the Class of 2016!!!

“Why can’t I get access to the Library’s databases?” is the perennial question of the recent Penn graduate.

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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.

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Many Universities, such as Penn, provide Scholarly Commons where research by faculty and students are readily available.

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.

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The Library of Congress lists many resources, print and online in the Business Reference Services website.  Check out the Bibliographies & Guides as well as recommended Internet Resources.

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.

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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.taking-your-biz-to-the-top2

 

The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank providing information about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America.

Financial Data is also accessible on the web.  Yahoo Finance and Bloomberg provide data on stocks, bonds and other financial instruments as well as providing current news.

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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.