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May 7, 2024
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Worthington Libraries provides a great deal of information for people interested in conducting business and industry research, in print and online. For information about starting a business, check out our Jobs guide.

If you're looking for business books, check the following call numbers:

  • 330 (economics, consumerism),
  • 331 (jobs, careers),
  • 332 (financial economics, personal finance, investing),
  • 338 (production and industries),
  • 361 (fundraising and grants),
  • 651 (business communication, business letters),
  • 658 (entrepreneurship, financing, management, marketing),
  • 670 (manufacturing).

Information available about companies can vary due to a number of factors and not all companies and industries are represented equally. In most cases, the following general rules apply. It is easier to find information on larger companies than smaller ones. Likewise, it is easier to find information on publicly owned companies than privately held ones. Companies that are subsidiaries of larger entities pose special problems. Often, information about subsidiaries is "absorbed" into the records of the parent companies. With all these factors to consider, it can be helpful to begin any company research by determining such things as size, location, ownership and hierarchy.

Business directories

These sources typically provide company addresses, phone numbers, sales and employment estimates and contact information. They are often a good place to begin researching a company, as they answer many of the basic questions that will help guide subsequent searching.
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AtoZ Databases offers an extensive directory of businesses, including detailed profiles, job opportunities and more. It also includes information on healthcare professionals, residential household, new homeowners and newly moved households. Updated monthly, it permits emailing and downloading of lengthy lists.

Columbus Business Directory

Maintained by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, this directory provides addresses and contact information for companies in Columbus.  Search for specific companies or browse companies based on industry categories.
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Formerly known as ReferenceUSA, Reference Solutions from Data Axle has extensive business listings and features a U.S. Standard White Pages search. The Quick Search allows searching by name or phone, with city or state limits possible. The Advanced Search also permits searching by address, street name or ZIP code.


ThomasNet provides online access to the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers. The database is searchable by product or service, company name or brand name. Information includes a brief company profile, web address and a contact form.

Detailed company information, annual reports and SEC filings

In many cases, the information available from directories is just a starting point. If you need in-depth financial information, company histories or investment reports, Worthington Libraries has resources that can help. In general, the following sources cover fewer companies than the directories listed above, but they do so in much more detail. A number of these resources provide links to news stories, press releases and industry information.
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Hoover's offers company profiles, histories and financials for public and private companies around the world, along with links to news sources, press releases, competitors and industry profiles. Business data includes annual revenues, employee counts, corporate family tree, key contacts, analyst reports, SWOT reports and stock data.

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Morningstar Investment Research Center offers financial information, portfolio analysis, information on investment options and financial news. The database covers stocks and mutual and other funds and provides analysts' reports and opinions on many investment possibilities.

U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website allows users to search for reports filed with the SEC by qualifying public companies. This includes annual reports, quarterly filings and more.

Business news

Newspaper and magazine articles are a good place to find information about companies and industries. In addition to print subscriptions for the Wall Street Journal, the Columbus DispatchBusiness First and others, Worthington Libraries offers the following sources to help you locate business news. Additionally, websites such as Google NewsCNN and Yahoo! offer business-specific news.
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Get access to the world's top newspapers and magazines, covering business, technology, news, science, design, sports, travel and more. Newspapers include U.S. titles like Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and global titles such as Arab News, Business Day Ghana, China Daily, Le Figaro, Folha de S.
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This database from EBSCOhost provides comprehensive full text coverage for regional business publications. Regional Business News incorporates coverage of business journals, newspapers and newswires from all metropolitan and rural areas within the United States. This database is updated on a daily basis.

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Powered by EBSCOhost, this collection provides full-text articles from trade- and industry-related periodicals for vocational and technical libraries servicing high schools, community colleges, trade institutions and public libraries.

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Enjoy unlimited access to news and content on WSJ online-- no paywall! Just click through and register to create a new account on, or log in to your existing account. You will be granted access for 72 hours. After your access has expired, visit the library website and click through again to extend your access.

Market research and demographics

Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a myriad of statistics, from employment trends to salary surveys to consumer spending.

Explore Census Data

A source for population, economic, housing, and geographic information and data about the United States, Puerto Rico and the Island areas.

Market Research and Competitive Analysis – SBA

Tips and tools for market research compiled by the Small Business Association.  Resources cover several statistical areas relevant to business research, such as consumer and employment statistics, demographics and economic indicators.

Industry information

If you're looking for industry overviews and rankings, you can find them in Hoovers (see above). The following directories may include major companies in various sectors and their market share.

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This multi-volume set provides sample business plans aimed at entrepreneurs seeking funding for small businesses in the service, manufacturing and retail industries.
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Business Source Premier from EBSCOhost provides indexing and full text of articles from scholarly journals and business periodicals covering management, international business, accounting, finance, economics, banking, marketing and other business-related topics.

CRB Commodity Index

This online Thomson Reuters/CoreCommodity CRB index shows commodity futures for 19 major energy, agricultural, precious metal and base/industrial metal commodities.

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Kara R

I am the library's digital library manager. I like to read fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction and retellings, especially extra-long tomes. When it comes to music, give me anything with a groove and some soul. 

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