In undertaking research on a particular topic it is a good idea to ask the question: is this research feasible?
Seeking guidance from a librarian can be beneficial, highlighting relevant factors in completing an MSc dissertation, for example. Is it possible to obtain the data required? How difficult is it to use a database? Can I obtain the data I need in the time available?
Datastream: a database commonly used in financial research.
Factors such as timing and location can be pertinent.
Timing: Limited to 3 months to complete an MSc dissertation, a student must carefully consider if what they are planning is realistic – trying to replicate what has been produced for a journal article is unlikely to be so.
Location: This can limit options in terms of obtaining data, where a student is a distance learner – meaning the data they require may not be accessible.
In seeking to confirm the feasibility of research, the Business Data Service (part of Research Services, The University of Manchester Library) assist students (and staff) at the University of Manchester, through:
Numerous sessions are delivered each semester (e.g. Mergers and Acquisitions, Researching Quoted Companies, Researching Private Companies, Researching Company Directors, Datastream [standard, advanced], Bloomberg Professional [introductory]) providing assistance in using specialist financial databases, to help students gain competence in searching for required data.
BDS Training Sessions (available to current students and staff of the University of Manchester).
Through these regular drop-in sessions, students can discuss their requirements and confirm the best options to obtain data.
One to One Training Session.
These allow extended support and the flexibility to fit in with the student/librarian’s other work commitments and any preparation needed on the part of the librarian.
Establishing the feasibility of research provides a valuable service, taking advantage of the accumulated knowledge and experience of librarians (such as those in the Business Data Service), for the benefit of students.