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How to book the specialist database PCs at Precinct Library

27 November 2015 Leave a comment

The specialist financial databases are mostly available online via the library website. For Bloomberg, Datastream, SDC Platinum and Thomson Reuters Spreadsheet Link, you will need to come to the Finance Zone or the Precinct Library and log into one of our dedicated PCs.

The Finance Zone is available whenever there is no training session on (check the signs by the doors). The Precinct Library has specialist PCs that students can book via My Manchester. See the screens below which take you through the process. (Special thanks to the student who let me take these screenshots!)

My Manchester

Start by visiting My Manchester and logging in with your University username and password.

My Manchester: Library Study Spaces

Click on ‘My Library’ > ‘Library Study Spaces’ > ‘Book a study space’

My Manchester: book

Choose ‘Precinct Library’ and the date you wish. Choose the time slots you need then Confirm.

My Manchester: confirm

Finally, confirm your booking.

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The new and improved Bloomberg keyboard has landed

Bloomberg keyboard 4 UK

Bloomberg keyboard model 4 “Starboard” (UK layout)

The keyboards in the Bloomberg Suite at The University of Manchester Library have been upgraded.

The new keyboards, called “Starboard” by Bloomberg, are lighter and quieter to use, with the full-size layout of numeric keypad, cursor keys and bank of keys above the numeric pad.

The extra row of keys across the top are mostly the same, as are the colours. The main differences that may affect you are as follows.

  • The F1 function is now “Help” instead of “Law”. Previously, the Help key was just above the F1 key.
  • The “End/Back” key is now better labelled; previously, it was labelled “End/Menu” and users often did not know that pressing it was the easiest way to go back one screen.
  • There is a built-in microphone as well as speakers, and the headphone socket on the rear also accepts the single plug headphones and microphone layout common to mobile phone earphones (including the iPhone remote). We request users consider others in the room when using these features.
  • The volume keys are on the top-right above the numeric pad. The microphone on/off key lights up when the microphone is active.

Let us know if you have any comments about these new keyboards. I hope you enjoy using them.

See also: Bloomberg Professional documentation website

Changes to MBS Library facilities

19 March 2015 1 comment
Illustration of new MBS Library

Illustration of new MBS Library

The next phase of the University’s £1 billion campus redevelopment, which will transform over 20,000 square metres of teaching and learning facilities in MBS, is about to begin. To support the development, important changes to MBS library facilities are announced.

Between Monday 9 March and Monday 13 April, Eddie Davies Library, located in Devonshire House, will be vacated and its facilities will transfer across two sites. All printed resources will transfer to the lower floor of Precinct Library.

Specialist resources, including the Finance Zone and Bloomberg Suite, will transfer to a new facility at Dover Street, which will open on Monday 13 April.

Eddie Davies Library will close to all library users on Friday 20 March.

Library facilities will remain operational during the transition period, but users will experience some temporary disruption to stock access and services. Here is a summary of the key dates, activities and impact for users:

    • Week commencing Monday 16 March
    • Week commencing Monday 6 April
      • Usual lending and stock access to resume at Precinct Library from Tuesday 7 April.
    • Week commencing Monday 13 April
      • New Dover Street facility to open to library users on Monday 13 April.
      • Access to Finance Zone and Bloomberg Suite available at Dover Street.

During this phased program of activity, partial closures and contingency measures, including a retrieval service for borrowing books, will be in place at Precinct Library from Monday 9 March.

There will be also be reduced access to Finance Zone and Bloomberg Suite resources at Precinct Library, until Dover Street opens on Monday 13 April.

Precinct Library will remain operational during the transition period, but it is expected to be busier than usual and less study space will be available.

Students requiring study space are encouraged to consider other library sites across the campus, most notably Joule and Kantorowich libraries. Students should also consider accessing online resources whenever possible.

For enquiries about library services and facilities during the transition period, please speak to a member of library staff at Precinct or Eddie Davies, email libdesk@mbs.ac.uk or telephone 0161 306 3200.

MBS and University Library Twitter followers can also track key updates using the hashtag #MBSchanges.

Social Science sites recommended by LSE Library

31 March 2014 1 comment

LSElibraryblogJust added the LSE Library Blog to the blogroll widget on the right side.

The LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science) Library Blog does a regular feature that highlights online resources of interest. The most recent Social Science sites of the week from LSE library (28 March 2014)  includes sections on women on boards, engaging with massive online courses, research ethics guide book, and the Australian Government Web Archive (AGWA).

The blog also has an excellent post about the recent UK budget with lots of links to additional online resources – UK Budget: get the facts with LSE Library’s recommended academic resources (19 March 2014)

In addition, you have to like a blog that includes a post on the economics of chocolate – Celebrate Valentines day with our economics of chocolate special (14 February 2014)

If you are interested in the UK budget, there is a “TweetMap” and commentary from Anita Greenhill of Manchester Business School – The social media reaction to #Budget2014

For more on women on boards try the Corporate Law and Governance blog board diversity posts.

 

Categories: Business Libraries

Reflecting on Business Research Plus and other blogs

23 December 2013 4 comments

In 2013 Business Research Plus has reached two significant milestones: over 100,000 views for the year and over 250,000 views since it was started in September 2009.

We are taking a break. There will be no new posts until the week beginning 6th January 2014, and limited checking for comments.

This feels like an appropriate time to metaphorically step back and reflect a little. To try and view Business Research Plus objectively, one angle is to review some other blogs of interest to business and management researchers.

There are some blogs based on “online tips from the library”

Some of these are specifically on specialist financial databases (Bloomberg, Datastream, Thomson One, WRDS)

Others aim to promote online resources available through the library

There are library blogs about general information literacy and academic libraries in general

Finally, there are blogs authored by academics that have a specific topic

If we look at the most popular posts on Business Research Plus (BRP): risk free rates and CUSIPs would be specialist financial databases, journal ranking is not subject specific (though the BRP posts are), and referencing/EndNote is similar. The posts “How to …” are firmly in the category of online tips based on Manchester resources.

Blogs evolve. We should review the Business Research Plus About page (Broadhurst, 2010) and, if necessary, update it to reflect what we plan to blog about in 2014. Perhaps a resolution for the new year could be to reorganise our categories and improve our tagging. On the other hand, most readers may not use the categories and tags so our effort would be better spent on new posts, or new revisions of old posts.

If you (as a Business Research Plus) reader have any ideas, comments or suggestions, please let us know (just remember to wait until January if you want a prompt response).

References

Broadhurst, D. (2010) About [Business Research Plus]. Available at: https://bizlib247.wordpress.com/about-2/ (Accessed 23 December 2013)

University of Manchester Library, (2102) ‘Manchester University Library – restructure heralds new library strategy’ SCONUL Focus,  56,  p. 62. Available at: http://www.sconul.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/20_6.pdf (Accessed 23 December 2013)

Categories: Business Libraries

Go with the Flow: Bloomberg’s Trade Flow Function

17 December 2013 Leave a comment

From the Lippincott Datapoints blog – an excellent source of Bloomberg tips

Datapoints: A blog from the Lippincott Library of the Wharton School of Business

China deficit_reducedBloomberg’s Trade Flow function (ECTR) has recently been updated. It provides an easy way to produce tables and graphs for world trade including data on total trade, surplus/deficit, exports/imports and net exports. Time series go back to 1980 and include yearly, quarterly, and monthly data. Geographic detail includes geographic regions, 251 countries, and geopolitical regions such as BRICS and the EU.

Bloomberg uses import data provided by the IMF. Bloomberg then determines the figures for exports by imputing them from imports. For example, country A’s exports to Country B are given as Country B’s imports from country A.  This calculation is done to make world total imports and exports equal. Reported export figures of countries tend to be lower, and are assumed to be less accurate, than import figures. For example, the IMF reports Total World exports in 2012 as 18,097.2 billion U.S. dollars and Total World imports as 18.267.0…

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Risk Free Rates on Datastream

25 October 2013 10 comments

A couple of business library blogs have mentioned the risk free rate recommendations on the Thomson Reuters Datastream extranet – see Risk free rates, T-Bills, Benchmark bonds (Databaser, Oct 2013) and Datastream – Risk free rate (Aberconway Library, Sept 2011). The first recommendation is to use 3 Month Treasury Bills where possible (Thomson Reuters, 2009). Unfortunately, these recommendations have not been updated recently. Some of the series mentioned are now dead (i.e. do not give up to date data), including those for the US and UK.

Thomson ReutersThere are alternative sources for 3 Month Treasury Bills (T-Bills) on Datastream:

US

  • USTBL3M – 03/07/1989 – 01/05/2007, Daily, US TREAS.BILL 3M(USE FRTBS3M)’DEAD from Financial Times
  • FRTBS3M – 04/01/1954 – present, Daily, US T-BILL SEC MARKET 3 MONTH from Thomson Reuters
  • FRTBW3M – 08/01/1954 – present, Weekly, US T-BILL SEC MARKET 3 MONTH (W) from Federal Reserve, United States
  • TRUS3MT – 04/01/1954 – present, Daily, TR US T-BILLS BID YLD 3M from Thomson Reuters

UK

  • UKGBILL3 – 31/01/1972 – 31/10/2011, Monthly,  UK 3 MONTHS TREASURY BILLS YIELD from UK Office for National Statistics (ONS)
  • UKTBTND – 04/01/1985 – present, Weekly, UK TREASURY BILL TENDER 3M from UK Debt Management Office
  • TRUK3MT – 02/01/1975 – present, Daily, TR UK T-BILLS BID YLD 3M from Thomson Reuters

By default these express the 3 Month T-Bill rate as an anualised percentage yield (comparison chart below). However FRTBS3M and UKTBTND also have datatype RI – total return index – which makes calculating a monthly/weekly/daily return easier.  See comment March 3 1014 below.

UK 3 month T-Bill rates (click to expand)

UK 3 month T-Bill rates (click to expand)

Other countries

Thomson Reuters have government bond benchmark lists by country – Datastream code LTRXXBMK where XX is the country code. In total Datastream has benchmark lists for 47 countries with 32 having a 3 month rate, e.g. TRNL3MT for the Netherlands. (For example see comment March 2014)

For the examples above, LTRUKBMK is the UK list and LTRUSBMK is the US list, with TRUK3MT the UK 3 month rate and TRUS3MT the US 3 month rate.

Additional notes

The choice of the 3 Month Treasury Bill as the risk free rate is very common but not universal. Some choose 1 Month Treasury Bills (4 week) where these are available – see Risk Free Rate and Fama French Factors (Jan 2013)

Risk Free Rate for UK and US (August 2011) is a good starting point if you are looking for alternative sources.

The Thomson Reuters extranet recommendations (Thomson Reuters, 2009) have been mentioned in a previous post Risk Free Interest Rate (November 2009) and do not seem to have been updated since then.

References

Thomson Reuters (2009) Risk free interest rates. Available at: (Datastream extranet) http://extranet.datastream.com/data/Exchange%20&%20Interest%20Rates/RiskFreeInterestRates.htm (Accessed: 25 October 2013).

Appendix

US risk free rate (click to expand)

US risk free rate (click to expand)

A comparison between the US risk free rate returns from Datastream ( PCT#(FRTBS3M(RI),1Y) ) and annual factors from Ken French – see comment below.

The 2000 figure is 6.05 from Datastream and 5.88 from Ken French’s annual factors.

We would not expect these to be identical since one is based on the return of 3 month treasury bills and the other on 1 month treasury bills.