Searching for Company Information
Both the Hesburgh Library and the Thomas Mahaffey Jr. Business Information Center (or the BIC) own many resources that can help you find information about companies. You have access to these resources, and many of the ones that will help you with your assignment about websites, ownership, and company relationships are listed below. The staff at the BIC are very familiar with these databases should you encounter any problems and they would be happy to help you with them should you need assistance.
Some media websites have links on them that can help you quickly ascertain what entity/company might actually own or sponsor the website. Look for links on the website that start with "About...," "About Us," etc. On occasion, you may also find links to a 'Corporate History' or to something that might list all the subsidiaries/networks/businesses one company owns.
If you cannot find this information from the website itself OR you want to supplement the information you find and round out your research, we recommend you take a look at some of the following library databases:
- ABI/Inform Global (includes Hoover's Company Records): Use this database to search for articles in academic and industry-oriented business periodical literature, with full text access to many publications. Coverage is from 1971-present. Use the name of your company and combine it with other terms (e.g. turner and advertising).
As an example, you could find an article in this database that contains this type of information: "But, as is often the case, Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp and BSkyB set the pace. Two weeks ago, Rupert Murdoch's group, which already owns 39.1% of BSkyB shares, offered 700p a share for the remaining stake in the company and complete control."
- Business and Company Resource Center: Enter in the name of a company (e.g. Turner Broadcasting), and find information such as an excellent company history, articles on topics such as products & services and sales & marketing, a listing of products the company owns, and more. Keep in mind that you won't be able to find the same type of information for every company you search for.
- Business Source Complete: A good database to search for articles of a business-related nature. Coverage goes back to 1886 on a few publications, so there are older articles included. This is a lot like the ABI/Inform Global database listed above.
- Factiva: This database has its strength in the press releases you can find in it. You can also search for articles from all kinds of business publications. The 'Discovery Pane' on the left side can be very helpful in narrowing down your results. Also has great company profile information (from 'Companies/Markets' tab), especially for public firms.
- LexisNexis Academic: This database is fantastic for looking at organization and structure of a company in the 'Parent & Subsidiaries' section. Do a search for the nameof a company in the 'Get Company Info' box on the main search page. Some information included on private companies.
Most websites have links on them that make it easy for you to discover who or what entity is behind the website, but sometimes it might be a bit tricky to figure out. The following website is good for discovering who is the registrant of the site, as well as some other interesting tidbits.
- Whois.net: This website is one of many that allows you to put in the name of a website (e.g. vogue.com) and find out information about ownership and location of Internet hostnames. You can see when the domain name was created (back in 1994 for Vogue!) and when it will expire.
Your best resources however may be the wonderful librarians at the BIC. Don't be afraid to head over there and ask them for help on locating information on your project. You can find their hours here, or don't hesitate to e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.