Archive for the ‘Library guides’ Category

Checking database coverage (companies)

As research students begin to scope their dissertation projects, they often ask about the availability of company data for a specific market (country). Two basic questions are how many companies are covered by a database, and how much historical data is available.

This post will take South Africa and Datastream as a concrete example, but it can be adapted to other databases.

Using Thomson Reuters Datastream Navigator Critera Search we can search for :-

  • Market equals South Africa
  • Major Security is Yes and Primary Quote is Yes (to ensure that there is only one equity series for a company)
  • Status is All (to include both active and dead/inactive companies)

This search returned 1295 results, and on the Base Date header we can select the results to be oldest to newest

Datastream Navigator South Africa equities search (click to expand)

Datastream Navigator South Africa equities search (click to expand)

A total of 1295 is a reasonable number of companies, and the results show that data is available from January 1 1973.

This list can be downloaded for further analysis using the Excel icon at the top right.

One of the columns in the Datastream Navigator output, WS, indicates whether the company is in Worldscope, and therefore whether company accounts information is available.

The summary statistics for WS and Equity Status are

in Worldscope Not in Worldscope
Active 322 88
Dead 533 347
Suspended 4 1

The Datastream Base Date (BDATE) variable gives the first date for which price data is available for a company (equity series). There is a Worldscope variable WC11516, Date added to product, but when a company is added this can include historical accounts data. For example, the company AECI (dscode 930060) has a value for  WC11516 of 19920609 indicating it was added to Worldscope in June 1992. However a time series request for net sales (WC01001) shows that data is available at least from 1980.

Creating a Datastream list and then doing a few test requests is the quickest way to check the availability of specific data items. See our guide Datastream Part 2 (List Creation) for more details.

Quick Summary

Datastream covers approximately 1300 South African companies, about 400 of which are active (on May 28 2014), and price data goes back to 1973. Company accounts data is available for approx 850 of these 1300 companies, and data pre-1990 looks limited.

A quick equity screen on Thomson has 324 active South African companies (386 if active/inactive is selected). (This is what we would expect – dead companies are removed from Thomson as they are no longer of interest to professional investors.)


Datastream Navigator update

Thomson ReutersThomson Reuters Datastream now has a updated version of Datastream Navigator (version 4.5).

The most obvious difference is that the “datatype search” screen has been redesigned – see screenshot below.

As usual in Datastream, first check that you have the correct category in the top left (choose Equities or Equity Indices or Exchange Rates or Interest Rates or Economics or …)

The results are displayed using “Sort by Ranking” as default. For equities and equity indices the datatype RI (total return index) is a little way down. (I guess it is not as popular with commercial Datastream users as academic ones.) If you want “key datatypes” then use the “Display Hierarchy” link on the left-hand side.

Datastream Navigator 4.4   datatype search (click to expand)

Datastream Navigator 4.5 datatype search (click to expand)

Selecting a row will give the definition in a pop-up window – clicking the symbol link selects the datatype. Use the check-boxes at the left if you want to select multiple datatypes.

The search box works well with the sort by ranking – search for “debt” and “Total Debt”, “Long Term Debt” and “Net Debt” are in the top five of 352 results. Searching for “book to market” finds the MTBV (Market to Book Value) datatype – improving on the previous Datastream Navigator version -see Datastream searching for book to market (posted April 2013)

There is further information available on the “Help” tab, including a Thomson Reuters training video What’s new in Datastream Navigator 4.4 (Thomson Reuters Datastream customers only).

Datastream: Part 3 (Request Tables)Finally, you may wish to use our three Datastream getting started guides, updated to reflect the changes above.

Previous posts on Datastream Navigator:

Analysts’ reports on Thomson

22 January 2014 3 comments

Thomson (or is Thomson Reuters replacement product for Thomson One Banker.  Thomson Reuters It provides relatively easy access to analysts’ reports on public (quoted) companies through its Research tab (in Company Views).

You can also search for analysts’ reports using  Screening & Analysis -> Research -> Research Search. This search screen is similar to one available through the older product Thomson Research.

Select your company using the boxes at the top left and then the Research tab. Do not worry that the heading says Company Research – Embargoed – the University of Manchester subscription does include these reports. When you see the price given as Subscription this is because our subscription for personal non-commercial use is a fixed fee – others pay per page for these reports.

If you get nothing the most common problem is browser compatability – see details below.

Thomson ONE research report search (click to enlarge)

Thomson ONE research report search (click to enlarge)

The number of analysts’ reports will vary significantly from company to company. For the year to 22 Jan 2014, Apple (AAPL-US) had 877 reports, Tesco (TSCO-LN) had 203, and Castings (CGS-LN) only 15 reports.

There are two types of reports:

1) Investment bank analysts’ reports (broker’s reports) from JPMORGAN, DEUTSCHE BANK RESEARCH, BARCLAYS etc. These are typically short reports with the analysts’ latest update of their Target Price or Earnings Per Share (EPS) forecast and explanatory background information.

2) Company analysts’ reports from MARKETLINE (DATAMONITOR), GLOBALDATA, ‘MORNINGSTAR, INC’ etc. These are longer reports with more information about the company, for example GLOBALDATA usually includes a SWOT analysis, but no specific target price or EPS forecast.

You can use the search options on the number of pages, contributor and date to refine your search. If you need more options there is an Advanced Research Page link at the top right – (similar to  the older  Thomson Research search page)

There is a Thomson ONE guide in the databases section of the business and management guides page (LibGuides)

Browser problems with Thomson

Thomson (or is sensitive to your browser. Like other Thomson Reuters products it only works with Internet Explorer (IE). Further it only works with IE versions 7,8, and 9. For more recent versions you have to run IE in compatability mode. Once you have a compatable browser you have to make sure that it allows popups from – without this it will fail when you try to download a report forcing you to restart your search. For more detail see Thomson – browser compatibility (posted March 2014)

Most posts tagged Thomson Research will also be relevant to research reports on Thomnson

Referencing – new citation guide

26 February 2013 4 comments

UoM-BandM-Ref-2013-02-26There is a new version of the University of Manchester Harvard Citation Guide.

Follow the Guide to Referencing at the University of Manchester link on the Business and Management Referencing tab.

At the Guide to Referencing at the University of Manchester pages select:

Referencing styles -> Harvard

You can download the guide as a pdf file, or read the advice online.


Guide to Referencing -> Referencing styles – Harvard

The Guide to Referencing at the University of Manchester (now renamed Referencing guide at the University of Manchester) includes tabs on referencing software: EndNote, EndNote Web, Reference Manager, Zotero and Mendeley.

Referencing databases (Bloomberg, Datastream etc.)

30 November 2012 3 comments

Guide to citing referencesBased on our popular “Guide to citing references guide (2012)” here are recommendations for citing specialist company and financial databases.

Harvard Style Referencing is now available as part of the Guide to Referencing at the University of Manchester. [12 Jan 2013]


Bloomberg. (2012) Bloomberg Professional. [Online]. Available at: Subscription Service (Accessed: 30 November 2012)

CRSP/Compustat Merged. (2012) CRSP/Compustat Merged. Center for Research in Security Prices. [Online]. Available at: WRDS (Accessed: 14 November 2012)

Datastream. (2012) Thomson Reuters Datastream. [Online]. Available at: Subscription Service (Accessed: November 2012)

Fame, (2012) Fame. Bureau van Dijk. [Online]. Available at:  (Accessed: 19 November 2012)

Orbis, (2012) OrbisBureau van Dijk. [Online]. Available at:  (Accessed: 19 November 2012)

SDC Platinum. (2012) SDC Platinum. Thomson Reuters. [Online]. Available at: Subscription Service (Accessed: November 2012)

Thomson One Banker. (2012) Thomson One Banker. Thomson Reuters. [Online]. Available at:  (Accessed: 19 November 2012)

Reports/Data within a Database

Bloomberg. (2012) “Company information for Rolls Royce PLC”, Bloomberg Professional. [Online]. Available at: Bloomberg Subscription Service (Accessed: 19 November 2012)

Mintel. (2009) Books – UK – December 2009, Market Research Report. [Online]. Available at : (Accessed: 05 January 2010).

Meltz, M. A., Lewis, D. & Lovell, N. (2009). [J.P. Morgan report on] The McGraw-Hill Companies – 07 Dec 2009. Thomson Research Investment Research Collection Rpt. 15613728  [Online]. Available at: Thomson Research – (Accessed: 05 January 2010).


If we consider a database as similar to an e-book then the first decision is whether you are citing the complete database or a separate identifiable part of the database.

Where a company has several databases it is easier for the reader if you use the database name as the author. This means that the in-text citation will be (Datastream, 2012) rather than (Thomson Reuters, 2012a) and the reader has to go to the list of references to find which Thomson Reuters database you are citing.

In some academic writing there are alternatives in how to cite the source, or sources, you have used. You can put all the information where the original data is described, or you can include a citation in the text with the full detail in the references.

For example:

Figure 1 shows comparison of share price return and total return. Graph obtained from Bloomberg Professional, online subscription service, (Accessed: 3 December 2013).


Figure 1 shows comparison of share price return and total return – graph obtained from Bloomberg (2013).


Bloomberg. (2013) Bloomberg Professional. [Online]. Available at: Subscription Service (Accessed: 3 December 2013)

For student academic reports the second option has the advantage that anyone reading the references is reminded of the data sources used. If you are submitting to an academic journal then you should follow the guidelines for that specific journal.

Additonal information

here is a Referencing Tab in the Business and Management subject guide.

You can also browse the other posts in the referencing category.

Datastream Workbook

Thomson ReutersDatastream (Thomson Reuters) is a Specialist Financial Database.     

Within the Eddie Davies and Precinct libraries there are copies of a ‘Datastream Workbook’, designed to assist students using Datastream.

This has been updated with an additional section under ‘Company Information – Quick Reference’, entitled:  ‘Importing Companies from External Database Search’.

When undertaking research for a dissertation, large numbers of companies can be generated from a database search. Often further analysis is required using another database, such as Datastream. A common company identifier available from database searches is the ISIN (International Security Identification Number) code. For example, GB0008847096 represents Tesco PLC.

Using the Datastream Advance For office (AFO) Excel Add-In, results [ISIN codes] from an external database search can be imported into an Excel sheet (copy and paste) and then the ‘Create List (From Range)’ function can be used to create a List for further analysis. This List can be stored locally or uploaded to the Thomson Reuters Mainframe for access and use in a ‘Static’ or ‘Time Series’ request (search).

The updated Datastream Workbook is available at the Eddie Davies Library and Precinct Library.

Datastream is available to use by current students and staff of the University of Manchester at the Eddie Davies and Precinct libraries.

Analysts’ reports on Thomson Research

31 January 2012 6 comments

Analysts’ reports (brokers’ reports) are written by respected analysts within investment banks, brokerage houses and consulting firms worldwide for their clients.

Current University of Manchester staff and students have access to an extensive analysts’ reports collection through Thomson Research (the collection was previously called Investext).

(Update March 2014, also now through Thomson – see Analysts’ reports on Thomson )

Thomson Research company lookup (click to expand)

Analysts write their reports for clients who are mostly interested in companies as an investment opportunity so they cover public (quoted) companies and there will be more reports for larger companies. Reports vary from short buy/hold/sell recommendations to longer detailed analysis of company strategies.

For further information on Thomson Research: