Archive for the ‘UoM Research’ Category

Researching Researchers

You hear about the book Initial Public Offerings: The mechanics and performance of IPOs and decide that you want to know more about the research of the author Prof. Arif Khurshed, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester.

You could look at Prof. Khurshed’s Manchester Business School academic profile, or his University of Manchester research profile.

You could also do a search in the University of Manchester institutional repository eScholar.

There are a number of advantages to using eScholar.

  1. more options for refining your search
  2. links to get more details on Arif Khurshed’s publications
  3. recent theses that he has supervised.

The main disadvantage to Manchester eScholar is that it is a relatively new service, officially launched in April 2009, so may have limited information on publications before this date.

An alternative approach is to look up an academic’s publications in a citation database such as Scopus or Web of Knowledge (aka Web of Science)

After reading the MBS news Gary Davies takes Tesco Professorship you could lookup Prof. Davies academic publications in Scopus.

Goto Scopus

Perform an author search – surname Davies and organisation Manchester Business School

Select the link to see all the author’s documents in Scopus

(You might want to refine your search – for example, affiliation Manchester Business School OR University of Manchester )

One popular feature of Scopus is that you can order results in terms of “Cited by” so you can start your browsing with those articles that are most cited (by other papers within Scopus). Remember that this will be biased in terms of older articles that have had longer to be cited.

Scopus documents by Gary Davies (click to expand)

Scopus documents by Gary Davies (click to expand)

When you find someone of particular relevance to your research area then you might want to investigate keeping up to date services.

Obviously if you are researching an academic researcher not at the University of Manchester then you will have to look for their institutional repository, which may vary in some features from Manchester eScholar.

Target Prices – different sources

17 November 2013 Leave a comment

target-300x277Professional analysts provide target prices for the companies they research. This information is available at different levels of detail from different sources, and therefore there is not a single source that is always the best when looking for target price data.

“A target price (TP) forecast reflects the analyst’s estimate of the firm’s stock price level in 12 months, providing easy to interpret, direct investment advice.” (Bilinski, Lyssimachou, and Walker, 2013)

Some target price data is freely available online. If you go to for ARM Holdings PLC you will find:

  • Mean target price 1,048.28 UK pence (median, high and low is also available)
  • Number of Brokers(Analysts) 25

This is for 15 November 2013 when the ARM share price closed at 944 (UK pence). Yahoo Finance UK – ARM.L – Analyst Opinion.

Thomson ReutersThomson Research will give you more information behind the analysts’ target prices. It gives you access to the analyst reports that include the reasoning behind target prices. However, this is at the detailed level: the reports describe the target prices of an analyst, or group of analysts. There is no report that describes the consensus target price, such as the ARM mean target price of 1,048.28p (based on 25 detailed broker target prices).

For more detail see Analysts’ Reports on Thomson Research (which unfortunately only works with IE – Internet Explorer).

Thomson Reuters Datastream only gives access to consensus target prices, in contrast to the detailed target prices on Thomson Research. Datastream does give access to historical consensus target prices.

Bloomberg Professional and Thomson One Banker are sources for both consensus and detailed target price data. If you are looking for numbers, rather than the text behind the numbers, for a single company or a small portfolio these are excellent sources.

WRDS-iconThe best source for researchers who want to study target prices is IBES (I/B/E/S – Insitutional Brokers’ Estimate System) from Thomson Reuters on WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services). WRDS provides access, supporting documentation and online support to several databases used by leading accounting and finance researchers worldwide. Like other databases on WRDS, IBES has an excellent research reputation.

Recent University of Manchester research looked at target prices across 16 countries over 2002-2009 and found that analyst target price forecast accuracy is higher than a naive price forecast. The study identified various factors that affect target price accuracy – forecasts are more accurate in countries with higher accounting disclosure quality (Bilinski, Lyssimachou, and Walker, 2013).


Bilinski, P., Lyssimachou, D. and Walker, M. (2013) “Target Price Accuracy: International Evidence”, The Accounting Review, 88(3), pp. 825-851.


Target image is from An On-Purpose…On-Target Life for 2013 and Beyond (posted Dec 2012 on Retire Then What? blog)

Open Access

Open Access makes scholarly work available online, free of charge, to anyone who wants to read it.

It is the end of International Open Access Week

An appropriate time to highlight some open access resources.

Open Access at Manchester

Open Access at Manchester

Open Access at Manchester provides lots of valuable information from “what is open access” to details of the library services for University of Manchester researchers who want to publish their research open access.

Open access posts on Impact of Social Sciences – this LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science) has included several posts on open access topics during the past week.

The effect of open access and downloads (‘hits’) on citation impact: a bibliography of studies – an extensive bibliography on the relationship between impact and access.

Categories: UoM Research Tags:

Three theses from eScholar

From 2011, University of Manchester PhD theses have been deposited in the eScholar institutional repository. These are available in full-text. Examples:

Benjamin, H. (2011) An investigation of consumer motivations towards buying fashion online. PhD. University of Manchester. eScholarID:115553 (Accessed: 03 July 2013)

Cullen, J.P. (2012) The Futility of stock-based compensation in the light of imperfect market pricing. PhD. University of Manchester. eScholarID:179217 (Accessed: 03 July 2013)

Radcliffe, L.S. (2012) An in-depth, longitudinal, qualitative study exploring the decision- making processes of dual-earner couples in incidents of work-family conflict. eScholarID:160371 (Accessed: 03 July 2013)

eScholar search (click to expand)

eScholar search (click to expand)

To browse the Manchester Business School PhD theses in eScholar you can search “PhD Accounting and Finance” or “PhD Business Administration“.

Tip. Remember to use AND between search terms in eScholar, e.g. “PhD Accounting and Finance” AND earnings.

You don’t have to read a PhD thesis in full. Sometimes it can be useful to skim the related work, and references, or focus on the research methods used.

For more details on other University of Manchester theses, (ie. not available in eScholar) see earlier post Manchester Business School theses (posted July 2012).

Categories: UoM Research Tags: ,

Social Media Report 2012 and eScholar

After reading the post “Social Media Report 2012” (Academic Trend & Innovations blog, Doriot Library, INSEAD Business School), and the Nielsen report it highlights, I have been thinking about social media and research. There are at least three aspects:

  • Research into the impact of social media on businesses and the world of work in general
  • The use of social media by academic researchers and research communities
  • Social media as part of the online presence of academic libraries

The Nielsen report provides a useful overview – but so general that it made me want to find something more specific. Manchester eScholar identified some University of Manchester research:

  • Hughes, D. H., Rowe, M. Batey, M. & Lee, A (2012) “A tale of two sites: Twitter vs. Facebook and the personality predictors of social media usage” Computers in Human Behavior, 28(2) pp. 561-569.  DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2011.11.001 – Manchester eScholar. (For full-text use FindIt@UML for Computers in Human Behavior)
  • Demetriou, G. (2012) Organisational Social Media Platforms: exploring user participation behaviours in software and technology firms. PhD Thesis, The University of Manchester, Manchester eScholarID:157374
  • Zhu, Y, and Proctor, R. (2012) “Use of blogs, Twitter and Facebook by PhD Students for Scholarly Communication: A UK study”. In: 2012 China New Media Communication Association Annual Conference, Macao International Conference ; 06 Dec 2012-08 Dec 2012; Macao, Manchester eScholarID:187789
  • Tuten, T. and Solomon, M. (2012) Social Media Marketing. Upper Saddle River, NJ USA: Pearson Education. eScholarID:157026 (UoM Library catalogue entry)

The Nielsen report did mention that an increasing number of people are using social media as their medium of choice for contacting companies. So far I have not been able to find any research on this topic.

Please leave details if there is research you recommend on any of the three aspects above.

Chairman’s optimism and future return uncorrelated?

chairman's statement optimism and following year return (click to expand)

chairman’s statement optimism and following year return (click to expand)

This scatterplot shows the relationship between the percentage total return in the following year (RetP1) and the optimism of the chairman’s statement in the annual report (Optim). In general it appears that increased optimism only corresponds with increased variability in returns.

This has only been done for a small sample of 29 FTSE 100 companies over the years 2006-2011. The main purpose was to provide an example of analysis using textual, rather than numeric, information in company annual reports.

Steps followed:

  1. Identify the FTSE 100 companies at 31 December 2011. [Historical FTSE 100 Index constituents (July 2012)]
  2. Obtain the annual reports for a sample of these companies. [Where can I find current and historical company annual reports?]
  3. Convert the annual reports from PDF to Text.
  4. Extract the chairman’s statement from each report.  (This could only be done manually one report at a time)
  5. Analyse the statements using the text analysis software Diction.
  6. Link the results from Diction with the total return (obtained from Datastream) for the same and following year [Total shareholder return (July 2011)].

From a library perspective the main interest is the research process rather than the results, and specifically the data collection needed to assemble a dataset for analysis (steps 1-4 above). Researchers have to work hard to transform the raw data available to them into a dataset ready for analysis.

Related Research

Manchester academic research in a similar area –

Schleicher, T.  (2012) “When is good news really good news?” Accounting and Business Research 42, no. 5, pp, 1-27. eScholarID:158855 | DOI:10.1080/00014788.2012.685275

Schleicher, T., Walker, M. (2010)  “Bias in the tone of forward-looking narratives.” Accounting and Business Research 40, no. 4, pp. 371-390. eScholarID:75654 | DOI:10.1080/00014788.2010.9995318

Further exploring our small sample dataset

Another scatterplot showing the relationship between the percentage total return in the current year and the optimism of the chairman’s statement shows a similar lack of correlation.

Summary stats (click to expand)

Summary stats (click to expand)

Looking at both the certainty and the optimism that is measured in the chairmen’s statements, this small sample shows that a certainty below average and an optimism below average give a total return in the following year, and in the current year, that higher.

This is only  a small sample, and we have no theory why selecting companies because their chairman’s statement is uncertain and pessimistic should be better than random selection.

Social media and technology

27 August 2012 2 comments

There is no doubt that technology developments, and in particular the use of social media, is of interest to many researchers.

For business and management researchers this can involve both the impact of social media/technology on being a researcher, and the impact of social media company strategy, marketing, knowledge management etc.

Some useful starting points:

There are various social media links in the previous post Research awareness and dissemination.

Photo from Creative Commons: Flickr: By ebayink (from BizResearch blog)

Manchester Business School theses

19 July 2012 2 comments

The thesis collection at the Eddie Davies Library has copies of the Manchester Business School PhD and DBA theses.

These are available for reference only (no borrowing)

Recent theses are available online through University of Manchester eScholar.

Recent addition:

Tasavori, M (2011) Corporate Social Entrepreneurship at the Bottom of the Economic Pyramid: Antecedents and Outcomes in India. (PhD) University of Manchester, Manchester Business School. Available at  (Accessed 19 Jul 2012).

Previous related posts:

Cited Reference Searching

10 July 2012 1 comment

In researching a topic it is often very useful to find articles that have cited an article of particular interest. There are two library databases with good support for this cited reference searching: Web of Knowledge (aka Web of Science) and Scopus. Taking an example:

Mouzas, S., Henneberg, S., and Naude, P. (2007) Trust and reliance in business relationships. European Journal of Marketing, 41 (9-10), 1016-1032.

Web of Science/Knowledge - reference searching

Web of Knowledge – (click to expand)

Web of Knowledge  (Web of Science) shows that this article has been cited by 12 articles that are themselves covered by Web of Science.

It also offers the chance to look for related articles – those that are similar to this one because of the references they share.

These features can be used to trace the development of research ideas through shared references and reference chains: paperA cited_by paperB cited_by paperC cited_by …

Note: Web of Knowledge  does not give direct access to full-text but these are mostly easily reachable through the purple FindIt@UML links.

Scopus (click to expand)

Scopus shows that this article has been cited by 17 articles that are covered by Scopus. The details are in the Cited by since 1996 section on the right hand side.

Scopus will often provide a greater number of cited-by articles  since it  covers a greater range of business and managenent journals. See  Journal database comparison

Like Web of Knowledge, Scopus also offers links to related documents based on the references they share and access to full text through  the purple FindIt@UML links. Both databases  also offer the chance to setup an alert when a particular article is cited by another in the database.

Google scholar will give an even greater number of cited by resources – 39 for this example. This is because Google scholar will include everything where it can find the full text or bibliometric information on the web – articles, books, conference papers, working papers, reports, theses. In contrast Web of Knowledge  and Scopus only include cited by from respected academic publications that qualify for inclusion in the respective database.

Finally I must acknowledge Dave Hirst’s post on the Everything Engineering blog that partly inspired this one – How to track the citations? Web of Science versus Google Scholar.

Research awareness and dissemination

Looking to find related research?
The other side of this coin is to consider how you could disseminate your research findings.

Academic journals

Getting your research published in a academic journals is fundamental to academic research. Peer review provides a guarantee of the quality of your work. In general, the higher the journal ranking the better: this will improve the chance of others finding and citing your work, and help you get an academic job/promotion.

In looking at related research you can use journal rankings as one approach to filtering a large set of “might be interesting related” papers. You can also use cited reference searching to find out other papers that have sighted your key papers.

 Institutional and subject repositories

Manchester eScholar is the University of Manchester’s institutional repository and a primary dissemination route for all University of Manchester research. You can search Manchester eScholar directly or the University research directory, which is based on the data in eScholar.

SSRN (Social Sciences Research Network) is an eLibrary with over 300,000 full-text papers. This includes working papers that later get further developed into academic journal papers.

If there is a research group, or an individual, whose research is closely related to yours then try to search their institutional repository and/or working papers.

Social media: blogs, twitter, …

There is growing interest in the use of social media in the dissemination of research.

You should certainly consider social media as a medium for research dissemination. Browse what others have done and decide what is right for you. One common message is to think of social media as enabling a conversation about research ideas and findings.

Surprisingly (to me at least) blogs do not seem to be an efficient way of finding out about current research in business and management. There are some interesting blogs, (e.g. Leaders We Deserve and Whitehall Watch from MBS academics) but these can be hard to find and often focus on commenting on current events from an academic perspective rather than on research.  [There are of course also several interesting blogs from business school libraries.]

Perhaps social media is all about building a network of contacts – people who might lead you to interesting idea you would otherwise overlook. It is not a replacement for the traditional techniques for finding related research but a complementary technique.