JOUR 4370 – Advanced Reporting – Spring 2005

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Reporting research tools

Basic reference sources for journalists

The following sources are located either in Reference (REF) or Government Documents (DOCS) in the University Library. In many cases, earlier Reference editions are shelved in the General Stacks and earlier Government Document editions are shelved in the Document Stacks in the east basement. Here are 26 reference resources grouped into four major categories based on the kind of information you wish to gather.

Government | Business | Popular Press | General Reference

    Government Information

  1. Congressional Staff Directory. 2004. Location: REF JK1012 .C65 – Information on the staff of congresspersons, the makeup of committees and subcommittees and staff biographies.
  2. United States Government Manual. 2003-2004. Location: REF DESK JK421 .A3 | DOCS DESK AE 2.108/2 – A description of federal government branches and departments, their functions, and the individuals currently occupying key posts.
  3. Congressional Quarterly's Politics in America: 1998, the 105th Congress . Location: REF JK1010 .P64 1997 – Brief descriptions of each member of Congress, their districts, and voting records. For updated information, visit:
  4. State Yellow Book. Spring. 2004. Location: REF DESK JK2679 L84 – Contains the names and addresses of all state legislators and state agencies, arranged by branch, then by state.

    Business Information | Top

  5. Directory of Texas Manufacturers. 1999. Location: REF HD9727 .T4 D5 (The last published edition). See alternate title below. – This two volume set aims to include all manufacturing plants. Arranged geographically, indexed by SIC code, company name, and product category. (Alternate title) Harris Texas Manufacturers Directory. 2003. Location: REF HF5065 .T4 H37
  6. Mergent's Industrial Manual. 2003. Location: REF INDEX TABLE HG4961 .M72 – Older issues in Stacks and on microfiche in the East Basement. Basic financial information on major companies. Index is on blue pages in the front of each volume.
  7. Encyclopedia of Associations. 2004. Location: REF DESK AS15 .G3 Associations Unlimited – is the online version. Access is restricted to TTU students/faculty only.
    A guide to more than 158,000 organizations of all types. Has names, keyword, executive and geographic indexes. Cover local, state, regional, national, and international organizations.
  8. Directory of Corporate Affiliations. 2003. Location: REF INDEX TABLE HD2740.5 .D59 – Subtitled Who Owns Whom, this volume shows the “family trees” of major American and international corporations and lists mergers, acquisitions, and name changes since 1976.
  9. Commercial Atlas and Marketing Guide. 2004. Location: REF MAP CASE G1036 .R1 Detailed general and topical maps of the United States , along with a variety of statistical tables. Older editions in Maps section in east basement.

    Popular Press | Top

  10. New York Times Index. 1851-current. Location: Current Periodicals (Basement) AI21 .N44 – Lists entries in chronological order under each subject heading, thus enabling you to follow the course of a story over time.
  11. Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. Location: STACKS AI3 .R48 (Subscription cancelled in 2001) Periodical Abstracts is the online version at http://library.ttu.edu/ul/databases/. Access is restricted to TTU students/faculty. Basic index to articles published in general interest, usually non-scholarly periodicals.
  12. Business Periodicals Index. Location: STACKS HF5001 .B9 (Subscription cancelled in 2001). Wilson Business Abstracts is the online version at http://library.ttu.edu/ul/databases/. Access is restricted to TTU students/faculty. Basic index for finding periodical articles on business topics. Has same format as Reader's Guide.

    General Reference | Top

  13. Encyclopedia Americana. 2004. Location: REF AE5 .E333 Britannica Online is another encyclopedia that is available online at http://library.ttu.edu/ul/databases/. Access is restricted to TTU students/faculty. A good general encyclopedia. In addition to simply looking up articles by their titles, you can also use the Index volume to locate specific information.
  14. American Statistics Index. 1974-Current Location: DOC INDEX TABLE HA2 .A685 Statistical Universe is the online version at http://library.ttu.edu/ul/databases/. Access is restricted to TTU students/faculty. Index to statistical information in U.S. government documents. Two parts: Index and Abstracts. Use the index to find the right accession number, then locate and review the abstract. Some of the documents themselves will be in paper copy, others on microfiche.
  15. State and Metropolitan Area Data Book 1997-98 Location: DOCS HA202 .S4 Adobe Acrobat (PDF) version available at http://www.census.gov/statab/www/smadb.html. Census-based demographic and other data for states and metropolitan areas.
  16. Statistical Abstract of the United States. 2003. Location: REF DESK HA202 | DOCS DESK C3.134: Online version available at the Census Bureau Web site. Through the University Library databases you also have access to Statistical Universe. Access is restricted to TTU students/faculty only. Basic one-volume sourcebook for statistics from the federal government. Statistics on all subjects, with original sources indicated. Detailed index.
  17. County and City Data Book. 2000. Location: DOCS C 3.134/2:C 83/2/DATE. Adobe Acrobat (PDF) version available through the Census Bureau Web site. Similar to State and Metropolitan Area Data Book listed above #15, but arranged by counties and cities.
  18. CIS Annual. 2003 Location: DOCS INDEX TABLE KF49 .C62 Congressional Universe is the online version available through the University Library at http://library.ttu.edu/ul/databases/. Access is restricted to TTU students/faculty only. Indexes information on publications of the Congress (not the Executive Branch). Two parts: Index and Abstracts. Indexed by title of publication; number of a bill, report, or document; and the name of a committee or sub-committee chairperson. Many documents from recent years are on microfiche. Also check the online version.
  19. Biography and Genealogy Master Index. Location: STACKS CT100 .B471 1981-85, 1996-2005 | CD-ROM 1980-1994. Available online at http://library.ttu.edu/ul/databases/. Access is restricted to TTU students/faculty.A multi-part index to biographical sketches in a wide variety of Who's Who books and biographical dictionaries. Use it to find the correct biographical source(s) for a particular individual.
  20. World Almanac and Book of Facts. 2004. Location: REF DESK AY67 .N5 W7 | DOCS DESK AY67 .N5 W7 World Almanac is available online at http://library.ttu.edu/ul/databases/ Access is restricted to TTU students/faculty only. One of several one-volume compendia of miscellaneous facts and figures on all topics. Start by using the index.
  21. Internships / Peterson's Internships. 2004. Location: REF CSW HD4881 .I5 A guide to nearly 50,000 paid and unpaid on-the-job training opportunities for college students and adults. Indexed by name and location. Find also other career-related resources in the Career, Scholarship, and Writing Resource Collection (CSWRC) in the library.
  22. Europa World Year Book. 2004. Location: REF DESK D2 .E83 A two-volume compilation of facts and figures on all countries of the world and major international organizations. Also includes directory information on various government agencies and media in each country.
  23. Acronyms, Initialisms, and Abbreviations Dictionary. 2004. Location: REF DESK P365.G3 | DOCS DESKP365 .G3 – Arranged alphabetically by acronym, initialism, or abbreviation. (See the introduction for distinction among these terms!)
  24. Chase's Calendar of Events. 2003. Location: Stacks D11.5 .C48 Day by day listings of scheduled events, celebrity birthdays, and other items of general interest.
  25. Facts on File. 2004. Location: REF D410 .F2 Detailed listings of news events. Cumulates weekly issues.
  26. The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion. 2002. Location: REF HN90 .P8 G3 An annual series that summarizes the results of the Gallup polls. It dates back to 1935.

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