Business Research Sources for Job Seekers

Developed for Bruce Dreyfus's seminars for GSU Alumni

What kinds of information are in different sources?

Company website - The company website is chock full of great information, but remember this is the company as it wants to be seen. 

Summary information - Overviews of companies are available in all of the recommended proprietary databases as well as some non-proprietary websites. These give you a quick look at the company's business, leadership, and financials, but do not give a thorough picture.

Hoovers Reports, MarketLine reports, etc. - These types of reports are collected information about companies, including key personnel, financial information, competitors, company history, and SWOT analyses (SWOT = Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). These information sources usually cover the previous year, so while they give a broad look at the company, they are not usually the most recent information. Full versions of these reports can be found in databases. Versions on the web (e.g., yahoofinancials) may be abbreviated versions.

News sources - Google and YahooFinancials can help you find news about the company and/or individuals. You can find additional articles from newspapers, magazines, and trade publications in databases such as Business Source Ultimate. Depending on the date, these sources can give you more current information than reports and may present unflattering information that the company may not include on their own website.

Search functions - Some resources will help you identify companies by location, industry, and other factors. Two examples are ReferenceUSA and the Company Information search in Business Source Ultimate.

Responsible use of proprietary resources

Can I distribute information from the databases or put it on a website, etc?

You may make print or electronic copies for your own use. It is both illegal and unethical for you to distribute content from the proprietary databases by making multiple copies to share, distributing electronic copies to others, or putting copies of the file on the internet. This is because our licensing agreements with these information services only allows personal and on-campus use, not distribution. (Information that is public knowledge such as the company website, location, and key personnel are okay to distribute as long as they are not actual pages from the database.)

How do I make copies for myself?

To make an electronic copy, you can save files to a flash drive or you can email the file to yourself.

Most databases have tools that will allow you to email a PDF or HTML copies to your own email address. Look for an email icon to make sure it is properly formatted for email. (The PDF option is recommended, if available.)

Some databases will not email you the actual article, but will email you a link that will require you to log in when you're off campus to access the information. As a visitor/alum you will not be able to use that link to access the article off campus. For these files, you can save the file to the computer then email the file to yourself.

To make print copies, look for a print icon to format the article for printing. E-books cannot be printed in their entirety; the number of pages allowed varies from book to book. (See the FAQ about printing elsewhere on this page.)

Library Visitor information

What are the library hours, directions, and phone numbers? 

See the library homepage. Under the Library Hours column, click on the campus you want to visit to see additional hours and other information.

What do I need for parking?

On the weekends at Perimeter campuses, call Public Safety Dispatch to make parking arrangements. On other days, park in the visitor parking spaces and go to the Panthercard office or public safety for a parking permit that is good for that day. (You can call Public Safety Dispatch with questions.)

Public Safety Dispatch 404-413-3333

Atlanta parking information, Perimeter parking information

What do I need for visitor access to the library?

All GSU libraries are open to the public at least some of the time. The Perimeter libraries are available to visitors whenever the library is open, but the Atlanta campus limits visitor access during certain hours and times of the semester. See Library Access Policy.

At Clarkston and Atlanta, you will need a photo ID for admittance, but any of the libraries may ask for identification.

At the library, you may use most of the materials (books, magazines, newspapers, etc.) in the library with no special permission. Certain items, such as technology equipment and reserved textbooks, are for students only.

What do I need for visitor access to library computers?

Go to the service desk and ask for a visitor log in. This will give you one hour of computer access on select computers set up for visitor access. The one hour time may be extended at the discretion of the library staff if no one is waiting. Visitor computers are first-come, first-serve; you cannot reserve one in advance.

Note that there are a limited number of visitor-enabled computers so if the computers are occupied, you may need to wait until one is available, even if there are student computers empty. Because priority is given to students, sometimes visitor access is restricted to certain times of day or periods of the semester.  If in doubt, call the library first to make sure that visitor access is available at the time you want to visit. 

Can I use my laptop in the library?

You may access visitor Wifi in the library, however this will not give you access to the library databases if you are not a GSU student or employee. You will need to use one of the library visitor computers to access the databases.

How do I print?

To print, you will need a visitor printing card. The card costs $1 cash and a minimum deposit of $1 cash is required. You may add more money now or at a later date, but be aware the machine does not give change nor are the funds on the card refundable.

Most campuses have visitor card machine in the library, but at the Newton and Alpharetta campuses, the machines are elsewhere on campus.

Black and white prints are 6 cents/page at the Perimeter campuses. Photocopies are 10 cents/page. Prices are slightly different at the Atlanta campus.

If you need help printing, please ask a library employee.

Can I borrow books from the library?

Members of the GSU Alumni Association may request a Special Borrower's card. This card allows you to check out up to 5 books at a time. Certain collections, such as a the Browsing Collection and media items, are not available for borrowing on the Special Visitor card. See the Alumni and Visitor page for more information.

How do I get help?

All campus libraries have librarians and Reference Specialists who are happy to help you access our computers, work with the databases, and save or email the information you find. Unfortunately, we cannot provide tech support for your personal computer.