Database of the Week: Mergent Online

Each week we will highlight one of the many databases we have here at the Pomerantz Business Library.

The database: Mergent OnlineMergent

Where to find it: You can find it here, and under M in the databases A-Z list.

Use it to find:

  • Company information on both public and big private companies
  • Business summary information – history, properties, subsidiaries, long-term debt, capital stock, business segments
  • Executive information
  • Ownership information
  • Equity pricing and reports
  • Access to company news
  • List of company competitors
  • Quick access to Annual Reports and other SEC filings
  • Industry reports: automotive, banking, food & beverage, heavy construction, insurance, media, , pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, healthcare, oil & gas, retail, etc.
  • Company News

Tips for searching:

  • Search by company name or ticker symbol
  • Use the “Advanced Search” to search fro companies by: state, city, zip code, year incorporated, number of employees, number of shareholders, auditor, etc.
  • Use the tabs across the top to do a: executive search, government filings search, report search, ownership search or bond search

Take a look at our tutorials below:

Want help using Mergent ? Contact Willow or Kim and set up an appointment.

Database of the Week: FAITS – Faulkner Advisory for IT Studies

Each week we will highlight one of the many databases we have here at the Pomerantz Business Library.

The database: FAITS – Faulkner Advisory for IT Studies

Where to find it: You can find it here, and under F in the databases A-Z list. FAITS

Use it to find (from their brochure):

  • Technology tutorial reports – provide intelligence about emerging and mature technologies
  • Marketplace reports – offer an excellent way to stay current on all the latest trends and advances in the IT and communications market segments
  • Implementation guide reports – provide users with the know-how to keep a project running on a budget
  • Standards reports – examine the major IT and communications standards and protocols currently in place
  • Product profile reports – provide a concise summary of the leading products and suppliers, examine product strengths and limitations, and analyze current pricing strategies
  • Company profile reports – review business goals, sales and marketing strategies, and financial stability of the leading vendors
  • Comparison and selection guide reports – offer the intelligence user need to make the best product and service selections
  • Topics include: IT infrastructure, Telecom, Technology vendors, Linux/Open source, Healthcare IT topics, Wireless communication, Data networking, etc.

FAITS_TabletsTips for searching:

  • Start with a simple search in the search bar, or
  • Browse by topic or report type
  • Take a look at the “help with searching” page for additional suggestions – link above the search bar

Want help using FAITS ? Contact Willow or Kim and set up an appointment.

DRP welcomes Rob Shepard!

Digital Research & Publishing is pleased to announce that Rob Shepard has accepted our offer to be the new Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Librarian for the UI Libraries. Rob comes to us from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Geography.

University of Iowa campus map, ca. 1943

University of Iowa campus map, ca. 1943

We at DRP are looking forward to the talents and experience Rob brings that will further enhance the accessibility and usability of geospatial resources (everything’s spatial!) in the Iowa Digital Library.  Rob will also be working on cross-campus coordination of GIS and support for faculty research and other Libraries partners.

Moving items into Main Library, the University of Iowa, 1951

Moving items into Main Library, the University of Iowa, 1951

Welcome, Rob!

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Drones are taking off

Source: Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 37: Drones Take Off!

Source: Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 37: Drones Take Off! January 31, 2014 Available in the UI Lichtenberger Engineering Library periodicals section

As you take your final exam, you may find yourself shopping last minute for your family’s holiday gifts. Don’t despair. There is a day for that. December 18th is Free Shipping Day; a one-day, online-shopping event when thousands of merchants offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve.1

So how do your packages go over the river and through the woods to arrive at your grandmother’s house in less than a week? Current delivery methods include carefully choreographed and computerized warehouse management structures as well as expedited ground and air express shipping services. Now, another method is rapidly taking off: commercial drones.

Typically, drones are associated with clandestine military operations. However, a year ago Amazon announced that it is developing aerial robotic technology to fly packages directly to a person’s doorstep.2 “Drones ‘will change the way we conduct some of our existing business in the not-too-distant future, but more importantly, will create completely new and world-changing applications we haven’t even thought of yet,’ said Jeff Lovin, a Woolpert senior vice president.”3

What is required to make this happen? The Federal Aviation Administration, the government agency responsible for all aircraft flying in the United States airspace, must approve of their safety. “The key safety element is to prevent drones from colliding with other aircraft, or with people on the ground. That means ensuring ways for other aircraft to detect and avoid drones, and for drones to land safely if they lose contact with remote pilots.”4

Because of the high demand for developing commercial, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the FAA is pressured to expedite rules and regulations. In a letter to the FAA, Amazon said its indoor testing of drones must now move outdoors “to practice in real-world conditions.” Paul Misener, the company’s vice president of global public policy, said the company might move its research abroad if the FAA does not act quickly. With a Congressionally mandated deadline of September 2015 looming large, the government agency has set up six test sites across the country and given exemption status to a few companies in order to learn more about how the technology works.5

What if you miss Free Shipping Day? Perhaps purchase your own Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 and personally deliver your gifts in record time.

Planning and Decision Making for Aerial Robots book cover

Bestaoui Sebbane, Yasmina. Planning and Decision Making for Aerial Robots. New York: Springer, 2014. Engineering Library TL718 .B47 2014


1About Free Shipping Day

2Amazon Unveils Futureristic Plan: Delivery by Drone December 2, 2013 (Source: 60 Minutes CBS News website)

3FAA Lets 4 companies Fly Commercial Drones (Source:, December 10, 2014)


5FAA’s Treatment of Amazon Proves Congress Must Act or Companies Will Take Drone Research Abroad (Source:, December 10, 2014)



Learn More

Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International

Bestaoui Sebbane, Yasmina. Planning and Decision Making for Aerial Robots. New York: Springer, 2014. Engineering Library TL718 .B47 2014

Commercial Drones (Source: Popular Science website)

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Source: Federal Aviation Administration website -

“60 Minutes” reports on the uncertainty of regulating drones March 14, 2014 (Source: YouTube)

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Sciences Library Stress Relief During Finals Week

Do you need a break from studying for your finals? Sciences Library will have games, color pages, Leogs, Wii ,and KNex to help you relieve some of that stress. We will also have snacks and drinks. So come join us.


M-Th 8:30am – 10:00pm

Sat 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Sun 1:00pm – 10:00 pm

Good luck!

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Nature announces exaggerated “free to view” program

On Tuesday Nature published a news item with the following headline, “Nature Makes All Articles Free to View”, which from the headline alone sounded pretty good. Upon further inspection it looked like Nature had created a new form of access, that has been coined “Beggar Access”  (see Bonnie Swoger’s blog post). Two days later the Nature news article was corrected, and the title now reads “Nature promotes read-only sharing by subscribers” (see the corrected Nature news post here), which is a more realistic depiction of the new program. Comments from others, skeptical of the program, have now been included in the article. See excerpts from the corrected Nature news post below.

Annette Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan Science and Education, says that under the policy, subscribers can share any paper they have access to through a link to a read-only version of the paper’s PDF that can be viewed through a web browser. For institutional subscribers, that means every paper dating back to the journal’s foundation in 1869, while personal subscribers get access from 1997 on.

Initial reactions to the policy have been mixed. Some note that it is far from allowing full open access to papers. “To me, this smacks of public relations, not open access,” says John Wilbanks, a strong advocate of open-access publishing in science and a senior fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri

Peter Suber, director of the Office for Scholarly Communication at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says that the programme is a step forward by providing immediate free online access, in contrast to Nature‘s self-archiving open access policy, which still requires a six-month embargo. But, he notes, if authors prefer to share links rather than actually deposit their manuscripts in an online repository, the programme could be a step backward, because repositories host copies independently from the publisher, and those copies can be printed or saved and are generally more reusable than a screen-only file.


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Database of the Week: Business & Economics Portfolio

Each week we will highlight one of the many databases we have here at the Pomerantz Business Library.

The database: Business & Economics Portfolio (The Conference Board)

Where to find it: You can find it here, and under B in the databases A-Z list. portfolio

Use it to find:

  • “Essential economic data coupled with superior business management research and insights from the world’s most widely-quoted source of management and economic research.” (from the website)
  • Economic data sets, including: Historical Data for Key Economic Indicators, the Conference Board Total Economy Database (macroeconomic time series on global output, input, and productivity for over 100 countries)
  • Business Management Research publications database. Topics covered include: Consumer Dynamics, Corporate Governance, Global Value Chains, Labor Markets, Risk Management, Sustainability, etc.

confernence_boardTips for searching:

  • Search Business Management Research by clicking on the search button
  • Browse by topic unless you know the report title or number
  • You can also do a keyword search, but it only searches within titles
  • Reports are listed with most recent at the top

Want help using Business & Economics Portfolio ? Contact Willow or Kim and set up an appointment.

Get Cooking; Saturday is Microwave Oven Day


Raytheon’s Radarange. Source: How the microwave oven became a super success (

In 1942, while Dr.Percy Spencer was testing a magnetron, a candy bar in his pocket melted. This was Dr. Spencer’s ‘aha moment’ when he realized that radioactive beams can cook food. The Raytheon Company filed a patent application for Spencer’s  invention on October 8, 1945. Then the company built the first commercially available microwave oven calling it the Radarange. It debuted in 1947 standing six feet tall and weighing over 700 pounds.1

Obviously, this model did not become popular in the average American home. However, during the 1970s, “electronic ovens” started to make their way into the ordinary kitchen. At first, they were used reticently because the radioactive waves were considered harmful. However, the convenience of microwave cooking outweighed the fear factor. During the 1980s, the market was saturated with microwave cookbooks and products such as microwave bacon trays. Even Dire Straits references the kitchen appliance in Money for Nothing. Today’s average microwave cooks between 1000-1200 watts and is America’s sweetheart appliance for fast and convenient defrosting of frozen foods, rewarming of leftovers, or popping of corn. Bon appétit!

How does a microwave oven work? “A microwave oven produces high-frquency electromagnetic waves. Passing through food, the waves reverse polarity billions of times a second. The food’s water molecules also have polarity, and they react to each change by rapidly reversing themselves. Friction results, heating the water and cooking the food.2 For a visual explanation, watch the video, “How a Microwave Oven Works” by Bill Hammack from the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


US Patent 2495429

Spencer, Percy L. Method of treating foodstuffs. U.S. Patent 2,495,429, filed October 8, 1945, issued January 24, 1950.

1 National Microwave Day (December 6, 2009)

2 Langone, John. How Things Work: Everyday Technology Explained. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2006, p.14. Engineering Library T47 .L2923 2006

3 Spencer, Percy L. Method of treating foodstuffs. U.S. Patent 2,495,429, filed October 8, 1945, issued January 24, 1950. Source: Google Patents

Books and Standards

Crupi, Giovanni, Editor. Microwave De-embedding : From Theory to Applications. Waltham, MA: Elsevier/Academic Press, 2014. Engineering Library TK7876 .M53 2014

Hwang, Ruey-Bing. Periodic Structures: Mode-Matching Approach and Applications in Electromagnetic Engineering. Department of Electrical Engineering, National Chiao-Tung Universit, Hsinchu, Taiwan. Singapore: Wiley, 2013. Engineering Library TK872.F5 H93 2013

Maas, Stephen A. Practical Microwave Circuits. Boston: Artech House, 2014. Engineering Library (on order)

Pozar, David M. Microwave Engineering, 3rd. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley, 2005. Engineering Library TK7876 .P69 2005

Rohde, Ulrich L. RF/Microwave Circuit Design for Wireless Applications, 2d. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2013.

Engineering Library TK7876 .R65 2013 Subcommittee F02.15 on Chemical/Safety Products microwave oven standards (Source: ASTM)

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Try it: Value Line LibraryElite

Value Line, online version, is available as a trial subscription through the University of Iowa Libraries.  This resource provides reliable, unbiased information, with accurate and insightful investment research on companies, industries, markets and economies.

The Value Line trial ends December 24, 2014.  Please send comments to Kim Bloedel.

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