LLRXBuzz - December 10, 2001

Tara Calishain is the co-author of Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research, 2nd Edition, and author or co-author of four other books. She is the owner of CopperSky Writing & Research.



In This Issue:

eStat Database

Global Reports


Arizona @ Your Service

"Oil and Gas on the Internet" 4Q Released

Google Hoses One of My Favorite Search Tricks, Offers Feedback Option

LLRXBu zz Tour of 50 State Web Sites

LLRXBu zz Archives: April 3, 2000 - Present

The Latest on Legal Research

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eStat Database

eMarketer has launched its eStat Database at http://www.emarketer.com/bin/rd?db.  You can mine this database of 15,000 records for statistics on topics such as Demographics, E-Business, Communication Technology and E-Commerce. The front page, once you've
logged in is set up as a searchable subject index so it's easy to navigate.

An additional way to learn more about the coverage on eStat Database is to explore the coverage lists: sources, subjects and countries/regions (you'll find
that in the lower-right corner of the front page.) Better yet, do a test drive by clicking on the trial search icon on the lower portion of the page.

Pick a subject and you'll get both a list of subcategories and the first part of a list of results relevant to that category. There were 2911 results in the Demographics category; there's so much here it's a better idea to search than browse if you're looking for categorical information. Subcategories are much easier: Demographics/Occupation/Physicians had only 68 results.

I tried a quick search and later tried an advanced one. The quick search is a simple keyword search, while the advanced search allows you to narrow search results by type (article, chart, Quick eStat) and publication date. You can also sort the results from an advanced search by publication date, author, source, title, and type.

Search results include a link to the chart, eStat or article, the date and title of the source, subjects and country of origin. You also have the option to download the information as a high-resolution JPG, as a PDF or move information onto a spreadsheet (not all these options are available for all search results.)

The cost of this fee-based service starts at $129 a month. (And if you don't have $129 a month to spare, eMarketer offers a good daily newsletter for free. Read about it at http://www.emarketer.com/newsletters/.)
There's lots of information here and it's nicely organized. Absolutely worth a look.

Global Reports
Global Reports, at http://www.global-reports.com/grapp/index.jsp, is a database of annual reports of publicly traded companies in 40 countries. Search options include Quick, by entering a company name, or Advanced in which a query can be narrowed by selecting from the drop-down boxes by country, exchange, index, report year or report type. You can also browse the reports by company, country, exchange and index.

Company reports are listed by year, type, language and the format in which it is available. Document prices range from $10 to $25, but you can get a discount if you sign up on the site.

Note: This site could prove very useful for older annual reports, reports from other countries, or if you did not want the company to know of your interest. But I would be remiss in my responsibilities if I did not suggest that you might also try getting the report directly from the company, either by telephoning or
checking out their Web site.

Arizona @ Your Service
Arizona has an official new Web site at http://www.az.gov/. This portal opens enough information to fill a small canyon without appearing crowded or busy. Each of the categories on the left opens a navigation menu with additional options. As an example, Licensing and Permits has links to various options including Certification which leads to a guide to license requirements and a full list professions.

The center column features quick links to various resources such as a Trademark and Trade Name database that can be searched by filing number, applicant name or registered name. Speaking of searching, this site offers three different search options: legislative bills, Web sites of state agencies and keyword searching of the entire site.

But wait, there's MORE! Across the top are links to directories of state agencies, cities, counties and online services. There are also links to Arizona
events and news of interest to the state's residents. And there are more resources on the bottom of the page including information for new residents, what's happening in the state legislature and a link to the governor's homepage. This is a well organized informative site, definitely worth a look.

"Oil and Gas on the Internet" 4Q Released
Competitive Analysis Technologies has released the 4Q edition of "Oil and Gas on the Internet" database of Internet resources for the oil and gas industry. This edition contains over 3400 upstream sites and more than 2800 downstream profiles. The information is available as hard copy or electronic format. Get more information from the press release at
http://library.northernlight.com/FB20011204210000071.html.

Google Hoses One of My Favorite Search Tricks, Offers Feedback Option
One of my favorite Google tricks is -- WAS -- using a stopword as a wildcard in a phrase. Since Google doesn't support wildcards it was the only way to find
phrase variations; searching for "three of mice" would find three blind mice, three red mice, etc.

Google, drat it, has gone and fixed that. Now Google automatically enables stopwords in phrase searches -- searching for "three of mice" finds one result -- a page that contains the phrase "three of mice."

This trick came in incredibly handy; I'm sad Google fixed it -- unless this means that Google is going to enable actual wildcard searching. How about it, Google? Google? Oh, Gooooogle....

Update: A reader informs me that the stopcard-as-wildcard search still works if you use "the" as the stopcard. Thus, "three the mice" will find three blind
mice, three purple mice, etc. Using periods and an ampersand will also work, says another reader -- three.&.mice -- but I found this gave slightly different search results to some of the test queries I ran.

Just to make things interesting Google is also adding 21 stopwords in simplified and traditional Chinese. Next week they'll be adding 56 German stopwords.

If you're not satisfied with the results you get doing a Google search, Google's now offering you the chance to give some feedback. At the end of every search result you'll find a link which reads "Help us improve." Click on the link and you'll be taken a form that allows you to check reasons the search wasn't
helpful (off-topic, offensive, etc.) provide a link you expected to find in the search, or just make some general comments about the search. An interesting idea; I'd be afraid of getting overwhelmed with feedback, considering how popular Google is.