Recent Tables of Contents – November 2016

December 2, 2016

Finding Business Information at U of T

November 16, 2016

By Holly Inglis*

Business research can be more challenging than expected, particularly because most of the business resources cannot be searched through the library catalogue.  Law students who are interested in company or industry information related to case research (particularly for tax law, or looking at mergers and acquisitions that have already occurred in an industry) or JD/MBA students can get started with the following resources available here at the University of Toronto.

The Rotman Business Information Centre has a direct list on our “Databases by Subject” page and we also have research guides for company research, industry research, and market research information.  All of these resources are available through the library catalogue and off-campus with your UTORid.

Finding public company information

Public companies are required to disclose specific information to their investors.  This information is freely available online, usually on the company’s website, but in Canada, a company’s annual filings must be filed with SEDAR.  Filings since 1997 are available on the SEDAR website and you can download any of the information available as a PDF.  This is not ideal for financials so this is when going to a database such as Mergent or Capital IQ can be more efficient for your needs.  They have downloaded the information from SEDAR and repackaged it to make it more searchable and you can download financials in Excel, compare them to other companies, run screenings, and more.  Mergent and Capital IQ also have US company filings, which are available online via EDGAR.  In EDGAR, recent years’ filings include financials in Excel forms, however a lot of other files are .txt files.

Disclosure doesn’t mean that you can find everything about company.  If they are a large corporation, the information is compiled as opposed to being able to find data specific to a particular plant or store. Subsidiaries are private and do not have to disclose the same information as their public parent company.  If you cannjot find information from a

Private Companies

One of the biggest challenges is finding information on private companies.  Private companies are not required to disclose any information.  If you can’t find information on a private companies, the odds are that it’s not your search skills, it’s that they haven’t made anything available. The best resources for private companies tend to their own websites and any social media profiles; directories; or news or trade magazine articles about the company.  Think outside of the box – if you’re interested in what the company is developing, you could check job postings to see where they’re hiring. Find out who their competitors are, and if the competitors are public, there is likely analysis available regarding the industry or markets that could be useful for you.

Corporate Social Responsibility Reports

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports are voluntarily produced by companies in Canada and can be found on company websites. This is an overview of their sustainable development, diversity, and other social responsibility initiatives.  Though CSRs are not required, they are becoming more commonplace and the federal government in Canada has created standards for a few industries, such as mining and garment manufacturing industries.

Market research versus industry research  

Aren’t they the same thing?  No, though they may have overlapping information.  Market research reports present an analysis of the potential or current market for a product or service.  Industry reports are on the state of an industry and include information on the geographic and economic influences that affect the industry.

For subscription resources, try IBISWorld for industry reports. U of T subscribes to the Canadian, US, and global reports.  If you’re looking for market research reports, try Marketresearch.com/Academic.  Market share, brand share, and industry and market summaries by Euromonitor are available via Passport GMID.  If you are looking for ratios to compare companies, they are available in some industry reports, and we have a subscription to Key Business Ratios as well.

If you have any business research questions, please don’t hesitate to contact *Holly Inglis, Public Services Librarian, Rotman Business Information Centre.


Recent Tables of Contents – October 2016

November 4, 2016

Recent Tables of Contents – September 2016

October 27, 2016

Recent Tables of Contents – August 2016

September 1, 2016

Recent Tables of Contents – July 2016

August 24, 2016

Welcome to our New Students

August 19, 2016

To all new law students:

Welcome to the Bora Laskin Law Library.

The librarians and staff of the Law Library look forward to working with you as you complete your legal studies. Our library occupies three levels of the Pavilion wing in the Jackman Law Building. Here you will have access to quiet study space, our extensive law collection, the Information Commons, and the expertise of our librarians and staff.

The entrance to the Library is located just off the Atrium on level 02. As you enter the Library you will find the Library Services desk, where you will be able to borrow books, get reference advice as well as IT support. Behind the desk is our Short Term/Course Reserve area which contains most of the key treatises to which you will refer to during your studies. Across from the desk is the Information Commons which holds 30 desktop computers for your use as well as a state of the art book scanner.

Torys Hall, the Library’s magnificent reading room, is also located on level 02 and provides an impressive space for quiet study.  Next to the Reading Room in a small alcove you will find our printing and copying facilities. Wireless printing from your laptop is available.

On the lower level (level 01) of the Library you will find our monograph print collection.  Level 02 is where you’ll find our collection of legislative materials. The top level (level 03) hosts our collection of law journals.

The library has a total of 11 bookable group study rooms available for collaborative study. Three group study rooms are located on level 02 adjacent to the reading room. An additional 8 group study rooms are located on the top floor.

For more information about the library’s resources and policies please check out our website at http://library.law.utoronto.ca. In particular I’d like to draw your attention to our services to law students located at http://library.law.utoronto.ca/services/services-students.

The Library’s strongest asset is its staff.  We will advise you on research strategy, find the most relevant materials to assist with your course work, show you how to get the best out of our electronic resources, solve any tricky citation problems that you can throw at us and sometimes just provide a sympathetic ear when you need one.  For a full list of the Library staff please check out Who We Are. We are also available online: come visit us on Facebook, Twitter and our award winning Blog.

During your time here the Law Library will become a trusted resource, a resting stop between classes and a home away from home. Welcome and best of luck with your law school career!

Gian Medves
Interim Chief law Librarian