Academic BRASS

published by the
BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee

vol 1(2), September 2003 | return to current issue

Resource Review: ABI/Inform and Business Source Update
Anne Bradley, Business Reference Librarian, California State University Sacramento

Time for some updates in the continuing saga of ProQuest’s ABI/Inform and EBSCOhost’s Business Source databases. In the past year both vendors have announced content changes and have made database upgrades as well.

Update: ABI/Inform

Taking a page from EBSCO’s strategy book, ProQuest officials announced ABI/Inform will be the sole full-text provider of the MIT Sloan Management Review. Proquest’s "limited exclusive agreement" 1 takes effect November 2004. Until then, ABI/Inform users only have full-text access to the journal from the 1970’s through 2001. Many of you will remember a few years back when EBSCO’s "strategy" won exclusive access to the Harvard Business Review. It looks as though Proquest has now returned the favor.

Another exclusive agreement will bring 4,600 Snapdata reports to the academic community via ABI/Inform databases 2 . These international reports provide an overview of a particular market including market share and distribution data, five-year forecasts, and socioeconomic data from The Economist Intelligence Unit. Snapdata subscriptions can be purchased in regional bundles.

ProQuest has also finalized agreements with John Wiley & Sons and Sage Publications to provide exclusive access to business journals. The 21 Sage journals cover everything from research in accounting and finance to management and marketing 3 . See Appendix A for a complete title list. The Wiley collection also covers a variety of business topics and includes titles such as Thunderbird International Business Review and Strategic Management 4 .

Starting in May 2003, full text to the Wall Street Journal was added to ABI/Inform databases. Previously available as a separate ProQuest subscription, this marks the first time the Journal has been bundled with ABI/Inform’s other business periodicals. Articles are uploaded daily with an archive going back to 1986.

If you don’t have time to keep up with the ever-changing content of ABI/Inform, sign up for ProQuest’s content notification email services at

Finally, this summer ProQuest launched PQNext, the latest group of database upgrades. Some of the highlights include:

  • The elimination of its various date files. Now users have the long sought after ability to search the entire database at once. Users are also able to choose date ranges (Last seven days, Last three months, etc.) or enter a specific date range.
  • Results can be viewed by article type (scholarly, newspapers, trade, etc.)
  • Support for Open URL linking.
  • Auto Citation Style which enables users to select articles then print them in a formatted bibliography. Formats include AMA, APA, MLA, Chicago, or Turabian.

For business users, the new interface offers searching by NAICS code (but not SIC!), as well as classification code and business name. Browsing by subject has also been improved allowing users to easily move from the alphabetical index to the classified thesaurus.

Update: Business Source

While not new content news, EBSCOhost announced in July that they have extended their agreement with Harvard Business School Publishing to provide full-text of the Harvard Business Review through 2010.

Business Source subscribers will be getting new content in business communication, human resource planning, finance, economics, and international business. Highlights include top communications journals such as Business Communication Quarterly and Journal of Business Communication. See Appendix B for more journals added in the other subject areas.

EBSCOhost made two important database upgrades in 2003. First, in February Business Source indexing was augmented by the implementation of a new Business Thesaurus. The thesaurus was developed independently of EBSOhost’s databases so it would "include virtually every available business term ." The thesaurus is to be updated on a regular basis to reflect changes in the business world. Users can browse through the thesaurus hierarchy to find terms to add to their search.

Also, this summer EBSCOhost launched its Index Browse feature. This allows users to browse by specific indexed fields. Fields that will interest business researchers include:

  • Company entity
  • DUNS number
  • Geographic terms
  • NAICS code or description
  • People
  • Products
  • Ticker symbol

Once located, terms can be pasted to the search screen and combined with Boolean operators.

Appendix A

Sage Journal Content in ABI/Inform

  • Advances in Developing Human Resources
  • American Behavioral Scientist
  • Business and Society
  • Compensation & Benefits Review
  • European Journal of International Relations
  • Group & Organization Management (formerly Group & Organization Studies)
  • Human Resource Development Review
  • International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management
  • Journal of Applied Behavioral Science
  • Journal of Business and Technical Communications
  • Journal of Conflict Resolution
  • Journal of Management Education
  • Journal of Management Inquiry
  • Journal of Marketing Education
  • Journal of Service Research
  • Journal of the Academy of Marketing
  • Management Communication Quarterly
  • Management Learning
  • Organization
  • Organization & Environment
  • Organizational Research Methods

Appendix B

New journal highlights in Business Source databases

  • Human Resource Planning
  • Business History
  • Journal of Money, Credit & Banking
  • Financial Analysts Journal
  • Financial Executive
  • Journal of Risk Finance
  • History of Political Economy
  • Econometric Reviews
  • Singapore Economic Review
  • International Journal of Public Administration
  • International Journal of Business Studies
  • International Journal of Management
  • International Labour Review
  • Journal of World Trade
  • Journal of Business & Management
  • Journal of General Management


1. ProQuest Information and Learning. "MIT Sloan Management Review to Return to ProQuest’s ABI/Inform Business Periodicals Database." PR Newswire, December 16, 2002.
2. ProQuest Information and Learning. "ProQuest Announces Exclusive Agreement to Distribute Snapshots International Market Research Reports." June 23, 2003.
3. ProQuest Information and Learning. "SAGE Publications Licenses Titles to ProQuests ABI/INFORM Business Periodicals Database To Reach Business Schools and Research Centers." April 7, 2003.
4. Rogers, Michael. "ProQuest Increases Journal Access." Library Journal 2002, Vol. 127, Iss. 17, p. 23.

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