Getting Started with CQ Researcher

CQ Researcher shines a bright light on the significance and impact of current-day issues. 

The “CQ” in their name stands for “Congressional Quarterly” which began as Editorial Research Reports in 1923, co-founded by Richard M. Boeckel and Bertram Benedict. It was primarily for the benefit of journalists and editorial writers, covering the U.S. Congress after World War I. Boeckel realized how little he and his fellow reporters knew about the background of the issues they were following on Capitol Hill, so they formed a publication. It has evolved into CQ Researcher today, and reaches a very broad online audience. It’s a library favorite.    

CQ Researcher offers excellent insight into current events and always links to rich additional readings such as government reports, meeting minutes, articles, and news. Users most frequently work with CQ Researcher for assignments in global studies, comparative government, history, and expository writing. Here is a small sample of the questions that CQ Researcher answered for users in Fall 2019: 

Q: I’m doing immigration and I want to compare U.S. to another nation.

Q: What are the pros and cons of prison rehabilitation programs?

Q: Who voted for and against the Whistleblowers protection act of 1989 when it was a bill?

CQ Researcher offers three types of reports: short, “hot topics” and long (12,000 words). Each report is on a single theme. 

“Hot Topics,” CQ’s most popular research topics

Sample search: Electoral college

Enter the keyword phrase “Electoral college” in the input box to fetch 43 pieces, including a well-developed, recent account of the issues surrounding state representation, popular vote, and first-past-the-post method to elect a U.S. President. CQ Researcher impressed us with its depth, thoroughness, and fact-checking in this report.

CQ Researcher does not contain reports on consumer segmentation or market demographics. It will, however, provide demographic information in the context of a larger report, for example, from the electoral college long report:  

“Current demographic trends likely will exacerbate this issue as more Americans move into urban and suburban areas  … That means, 30 percent of Americans will select 70 percent of the senators  … Such demographic shifts will make ‘misfire’ presidential elections more likely.”

Price, T. (2019, August 30). The Electoral College. CQ Researcher, 29, 1-57. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/

To select and pursue a subject

When a user is seeking a topic, we recommend the “Browse topics” feature highly. CQ Researcher has a main ribbon that enables users to navigate contents easily; activate the pull down menu under “Browse Topics” to display a list of 30+ topics. 

“Browse topics” menu display

If you already have a topic or your idea does not appear under their pre-made categories, use the input box at top right of the home page. In the case of cybersecurity, which is found under Science & technology > Computers > cybersecurity, we found it best to search CYBER directly in this input box, rather than looking at several sub-menus.

CQ Researcher provides visually strong, easy-to-interpret, images and charts. Notice they have high resolution photographs, as well.

Strong chart quality, using explanatory text about its intent, and clear legend at the bottom.

Structured arguments

Users can expect to read well-documented arguments written by seasoned journalists. Debaters will love reading talking points in the Pro/Con section, and for any who want to form research questions, the predictions in each long report’s “Outlook” section are especially helpful.  

Pro-con section of a long report on the EU.

In each report, embedded links direct the user to more readings, making the discovery process efficient and highly relevant. References listed in CQ Researcher are reliably on-topic and useful. Reports are available to download in PDF format.

Connect to the Database

Visit the library’s Databases A-Z page, activate the CQ Researcher link, and begin!


Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to a useful website or Library database, highlighting key features you should know about. If you would like more information about this resource (or any of the library’s databases), please contact us for research assistance. If you would like a demonstration of this resource for a class, please schedule a research instruction class using the instruction request form.

Database of the Month: CQ Researcher

Getting started with CQ Researcher

CQ Researcher shines a bright light on the significance and legacy of the events and issues of the day. Use CQ Researcher for assignments in global studies, comparative government, and expository writing classes. Its strengths are international affairs, health, social trends, criminal justice, education, the environment, technology and the economy.  

Here is a small sample of the questions that CQ Researcher has answered for users recently: 

Q: I need sources on affirmative action and need more of the “Con” argument.

Q: Should college athletes be paid?

Q: I have a paper for expository writing on Texas Campus Carry Law and gun control, can you help me?

Q: Where can I find federal and local policies regarding legalization of marijuana?

Q: Can you help me find information on prison reform; I am trying to find two sides to the issue.

Q: I am having trouble choosing a topic for an upcoming research paper!

CQ Researcher offers short reports, long reports of 12,000 words, and “hot topics” which are constellations of all reports CQ Researcher has published on that particular topic, historic or current. Each report has one theme. Entering a search term such as “Brexit” fetches 50+ pieces, including a detailed and current account of the issue containing photographs, charts, and references.

Reports take care to balance the discussion. CQ Researcher is not peer-reviewed, but it is powerful because of its depth of discussion and thorough fact-checking. Embedded in each report are links to the bibliography and several additional readings, making the discovery process efficient and highly relevant.

Hot Topics section
“Hot Topics” are CQ’s most popular research topics

Select and pursue a subject

CQ Researcher displays a list of 30+ topics in the pull down menu under “Browse Topics”. We recommend this section to someone seeking a topic to study. 

Browse topics menu
Rich “browse topics” menu

For topics not immediately displayed under the broad categories, there is a search box at the top of the page and a link to an Advanced Search form.

To search for cybersecurity, your options include:

  • Browse Topics for Science & Technology > Computers > Cybersecurity
  • Enter cybersecurity in the search box
  • Use the Advanced Search form to apply additional search filters and limiters

CQ Researcher is not focused on consumer goods nor industry profiles, but will provide demographic information in the context of a larger report, for example, the number of Europeans who see value in EU leadership in the years 2007- 2018.  

EU Membership chart
Charts and graphs used in CQ Researcher always advance the discussion

Structured arguments

Users can expect to hear the voices of seasoned journalists presenting well-developed arguments in each entry. Debaters will love the valuable talking points in the Pro/Con section, and for users who want to form research questions, the forward- looking statements in each long report’s “outlook” section are especially helpful.  

pro/con essays
Figure showing pro-con section

Their backstory

CQ Researcher has a strong visual aesthetic, reflecting its origins as Editorial Research Reports, a print publication begun in 1923. Co-founded by Richard M. Boeckel and Bertram Benedict, their publication was primarily for the benefit of editorial writers. As a young Capitol Hill correspondent for the New York Tribune covering the League of Nations debate after World War I, Boeckel realized how little he and his fellow reporters knew about the background of the issues they were following, so they formed a publication. It has evolved and changed names twice: first in 1956 to Congressional Quarterly and again in 1991 to CQ Researcher, its current name. Sage Publishing owns CQ Researcher today.

Awards

CQ Researcher has been recognized for excellence by the Society Of Professional Journalists and by the American Bar Association (Silver Gavel, 2002) for a nine-part series on liberty and justice issues.  

Connect to the Database

Visit the library’s Databases A-Z page and select CQ Researcher. This database is also displayed in the subject lists for General Topics, Education, History, News, and Politics and Government.


Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to a useful website or Library database, highlighting key features you should know about. If you would like more information about this resource (or any of the library’s databases), please contact us for research assistance. If you would like a demonstration of this resource for a class, please schedule a research instruction class using the instruction request form.

On Display - Garbage: Don't Trash the Earth

This display was inspired (cynically) by Earth Day. Earth Day (April 22) reminds us that we need to care for the planet. The items on display deal with themes of waste, contamination, toxicity, or pollution. These are all non-fiction DVDs and books selected on the sad subject of degrading the environment or trashing the earth, in some form or another.

Saving the environment is a persistent topic in the literature. Many of the voices in this display analyze specific garbage problems, propose solutions, or raise alarms about the unsustainable ways humans use planet. Collectively, humans continue to turn away from the planet’s garbage problem, but these materials inform us of ways to address it responsibly, soon.

The phrase “Don’t trash the earth” takes on new meaning when we see the proportion of damage being done to the Earth’s environment, as humans are obviously NOT caring for the planet well enough, and ought to strive to honor Earth Day, every day.

Stop by the library from April 1 – May 12 to browse and borrow.

Database of the Month: Sports Market Analytics (SMA)

Answering questions about sports as a business and analyzing consumer information relevant to sports are easy and fun tasks with Sports Market Analytics. Formerly called SBRNet, Sports Market Analytics (SMA) delivers industry news, summaries, metrics, articles and statistics about sports through a user-friendly and well-developed site.

SMA organizes its demographic information into 2 spheres:

A. single sports (athletes who play sports)
B. fan markets (spectators)

Both types of consumers are called participants.

Sample 1: Hockey Skates
We can search SMA for the demographic information about skate purchases. We suggest searching the “single sport” menu, sorted alphabetically by sport on the front page. This consumer information will help our hypothetical business to advertise a new line of skate laces to people who buy hockey equipment.

Main page navigation areas for participants as athletes
Main page navigation areas for participants as athletes

The HOCKEY link directs us to information (Table 1) on ages of people who buy hockey skates.

Table 1. The largest age group for hockey skate market is 14-17 years old
Table 1. The largest age group for hockey skate market is 14-17 years old

Sample 2: Preferred Vehicles

Participants from the fan market enjoying professional hockey also have metrics in SMA. A notional company seeks to showcase a widget for vehicle owners. For this search, use the “Fan Markets” menu from the front page (circled below).

Main page navigation for fan market participants.
Main page navigation for fan market participants.

Selecting NHL on the fan market menu leads us to a page with National Hockey League participant information. There is data on their most frequently purchased soft drinks, cars, running shoes, etc. Table 2 shows that the preferred car brand of National Hockey League participants has evolved from Ford to Toyota in recent years.

Table 2: NHL fans’ preferred car brands
Table 2: NHL fans’ preferred car brands

The business of sports is big and so is SMA!

SMA is versatile also. Sample questions that SMA has answered:

  • Demographics: Average household income for fantasy football participants
  • Industry info: Revenue for U.S. women’s college basketball in 2015
  • Market segments: Number of people belonging to fitness clubs between ages X and Y
  • Marketing agencies: Competitive cyclist in need of an agent/representative
  • Sports sponsorship: Social media most frequently used by adult MLB fans
  • Venue data: Attendance numbers at NFL arenas vs. online, mobile, or TV

Users seeking very granular fan market information will love the “Detailed Cross-tab Statistics” feature, a downloadable Excel spreadsheet which captures SMA tables from the screen and allows the user to sort, search, and manage data about fan markets.

Table 3: The Detailed Cross-tab Statistics spreadsheet
Table 3: The Detailed Cross-tab Statistics spreadsheet is sorted by tabs promisingly labeled as fan activity total, watch by demo, attendance, mobile usage, and the like.

SMA sources its information from trade publications and trade groups (i.e. National Sporting Goods Association); government agencies (U.S. Department of Commerce); school and college programs; market research; and its own in-house research team called SBRNet.

Articles from trade publications carry current date stamps.
Articles from trade publications carry current date stamps.

SMA is the perfect resource for students of sports management, sports communication, demographics, or marketing, and for entrepreneurs starting a business related to sports.

Be sure to include Sports Market Analytics early in the research phase in any demographic, market share, or industry-related project. SMA goes head to head very well against other industry e-resources such as IBISWorld, Business Insights Essentials, Richard K. Miller, Business Source Complete, and Mediamark. SMA is a strong example of a niche resource with depth and unique content without much overlap.

Connect to Sports Market Analytics

Visit our Databases A-Z page and select Sports Market Analytics (SMA).

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Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to useful library databases, highlighting key features you should know about. If you would like more information about this resource (or any of the library’s databases), please contact us for research assistance. If you would like a demonstration of these resources for a class, please schedule a research instruction class using the instruction request form.

Database of the Month: Statistical Abstract of the United States

9 Reasons to Love the Statistical Abstract of the United States (“StatAbs”):

  1. It’s the best-known statistical reference concerning the United States and serves as an authoritative source and guide to statistical information. It’s ideal for building arguments, fact-checking, and researching U.S.- based questions.
  2. StatAbs addresses patterns of business, patterns of people, organizations, government activity and more; it does not address individual companies or consumer goods. For example, a trend in the telecommunications industry is illustrated in Table 1165, Landline and Wireless Telephone Status of Households, where the numbers tell the story of adult users who purchased both landlines and cellphones over the course of 6 years. According to this table, 26.6% of households in 2010 had wireless only (no landline) and 49.3% of households in 2016 had wireless only (no landline). This year over year comparison suggests a strong trend for users to stop purchasing telephones, and producers of telephones may shift in favor of mobile phone production in response. StatAbs and does not name phone carriers.

    Statistical Abstract table 1165
    Click to view larger image.
  3. StatAbs is online, updated monthly, and well-populated with over 1,400 tables.
  4. It serves as the official federal summary of statistics and is broken down into 30 sections, each section containing up to 40 tables.
  5. StatAbs is hosted by ProQuest, which makes the interface feel smooth and efficient to navigate. See StatAbs in action with a sample question:

    Q: In U.S. Presidential elections, what was the popular vote count, by party, in the 2016 election?

    There are two ways to find the answer to this question! You can keyword search by entering the word “vote” in the search box, or browse the table of contents on the left, choosing Section 7: “Elections” .

    Statistical Abstract interface
    Click to view larger image.

    A: Table 435. Vote Cast for President by Major Political Party: 1948 – 2016.  In the 2016 presidential election 136,787,000 people voted and the popular vote was 65,677,000 democratic and 62,692,000 republican.

    Statistical Abstract Table
    Click to view larger image.
  6. The Statistical Abstract of the United States began in 1878 with 18 sources and now draws from 250 sources.
  7. StatAbs affords easy pearl-growing opportunities. At the bottom of each table and the opening of each section statisticians explain their sources, which is convenient for the pursuit of ideas. This table about representation of minority women in congress is attributed to the Brookings Institute and a link to the website is given.

    Statistical Abstract table 2
    Click to view larger image.
  8. StatAbs tables can be downloaded in Excel or PDF format.

    Statistical Abstract download options
    Click to view larger image.
  9. StatAbs is easy to cite. APA Style and MLA Style citations are provided for each table. For additional citation help, contact the Reference Desk or the Writing Center.

Use Statistical Abstract of the United States as the go-to resource for benchmarking measurements about imports, exports, public finance, shipping, gross national product, population, drug usage, day care arrangements, and more.

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Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to a useful website or Library database, highlighting key features you should know about. If you would like more information about this resource (or any of the library’s databases), please contact us for research assistance. If you would like a demonstration of this resource for a class, please schedule a research instruction class using the instruction request form.

Black History Month Book and Film Display

“To my children, for whom I dream that one day soon they will no longer be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr., dedication in front of his book “Why We Can’t Wait” 

 

View 150 books and DVDs in the library’s front hall for Black History Month starting now! Hear the voices of  past and present African American leaders and rediscover their accomplishments, both in the United States and South Africa. With this display, find works on the people who intensely pursued the rights for blacks to vote and meet advocates for the underserved. Refresh your knowledge of the history and events in this important subject area. Reflect on the work of African American desegregation martyrs. Also browse for beautiful works such as Eyes on the Prize or take home inspirational speeches by outstanding orators on DVD. Check out stirring primary documents such as The Ferguson Report or the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to evaluate exactly what was written that has become so symbolic.

Key events and strong figures from the civil rights movement of the 1960’s

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Medgar Evers
  • Malcolm X
  • Nelson Mandela

and the leaders of today

  • Angela Davis
  • Barack Obama
  • Henry Louis Gates
  • John Lewis

Mostly non-fiction, this display brings together multiple materials about positive, dynamic leaders and their successes. The Bentley Library is well-stocked with books on history of civil rights and successful African Americans and we limited the array to bring you the best materials. Racism, African American arts, literature, and athletes are minimally represented here, as those are entire areas which could merit their own displays and space was limited. We invite you to explore those topics in our catalog.

The 2017 Black History Month display is intended as a showcase of works by and about great African American figures throughout history, and the gains we have made with their leadership. Although the origins of Black History Month began in 1926 as Negro History Week, the topic has blossomed in scope and the conversation happily continues in many directions well past the month of February every year.

“To the committed supporters of the civil rights movement, Negro and white, whose steadfastness amid confusions and setbacks gives assurance that brotherhood will be the condition of man, not the dream of man.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr., dedication in the front of his book “Where Do We Go From Here?

Database of the Month: PrivCo

Organizations that are family owned or private are typically hard to gather information on. PrivCo serves up private company metrics which would formerly have taken hours to accumulate.  It taps multiple reference sources, articles, and industry info.

PrivCo connects the user to company directory information, financial data on private companies, and investors involved in private company activity.

Who can use it? Who benefits?

Eligible users include Bentley students, faculty, staff, community users.  Beneficiaries are most likely participants in GB 320 who are assigned company research, and any future venture capitalists who will appreciate the due diligence that can be performed with this e-resource.

What’s inside?

Private company profiles and deals about them, laid out in tables. Find:

  • description and history of a business
  • known investors (for example, Uber Technologies’ largest stakeholder is Fidelity with 2.5 %)
  • revenue model
  • competitors
  • court documents

Why use it?

  1. Merger and acquisition information
  2. Venture Capital activity
  3. Private Equity deals
  4. Pre-search for an internship
  5. General private company searching

Sample search for venture capital information:

Imagine an entrepreneur seeking new sources for his next VC deal. He wants to identify companies and view activity within a specific geographic location (Massachusetts) and a certain dollar amount ($50K – $1M). He logs in to his PrivCo account and begins a search so he can analyze who has funded whom, for how much.

  1. In the screenshot below you’ll see the opening page to a PrivCo account. Note VC funding tab pointed out on left of the dashboard. Arrow on right displays log-in name within the profile (we recommend establishing a profile).

    PrivCo search screen
    Click to view larger image.
  2. Input parameters: for the venture capital transactions in question, he wants rounds in the range of $50,000 – $1M in Massachusetts in the last 5 years.

    PrivCo search screen - funding parameters
    Click to view larger image
  3. There are 343 results for venture capitalist activity which meet the criteria of $50K-$1M, located in Massachusetts. The link labeled “deal details” is the heart of the search. See screen shot below.

    PrivCo search results screen
    Click to view larger image
  4. Within the “Deal Details” of the first result for Weave Visual Analytics, Inc., it says this company received $750,00 in funds from Breton Capital. Weave was in its 2nd year of business at the time of the transaction, June 2016.

Where does PrivCo get its material?

Company information is gleaned from public documents such as regulatory documents, court proceedings, reference materials, industry information, and articles in the news.

What sets it apart?

  • Private company information with many links between companies reduces search time
  • Profile data can be exported to an excel spreadsheet, or exported as a PDF
  • Watchlists. I think this is PrivCo’s biggest contribution, an alert system which can connect to your email, for company activity
  • Well organized and has an easy interface to learn
  • Built with redundant navigation making it accessible to many learning styles

PrivCo company watchlist
Watchlist adds value to this database. Above: Uber’s company profile, with “Add to watchlist” circled.
Click to view larger image.

Locating PrivCo

Well-developed Self-help

  • PrivCo lets you export company profiles as an excel spreadsheet or PDF
  • Rich dictionary of terms
  • 85 page PDF of the entire Knowledge bank (FAQ’s) can be down loaded for further exploration

One last thing

Create a PrivCo profile and accumulate previous searches in one place; it will save time and allow a user to pick up an idea where they left off last. This makes research feel easy.

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Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to a useful website or Library database, highlighting key features you should know about. If you would like more information about this free web resource (or any of the library’s databases), please contact us for research assistance. If you would like a demonstration of this resource for a class, please schedule a research instruction class using this form.

Database of the Month: ReferenceUSA

ReferenceUSA is a strong, reliable database filled with directory information on businesses and people. It is most popularly used for getting detailed company information or to create a list of competitors in a specific industry. It contains private and public company information and is updated monthly.

Who can use it?

ReferenceUSA is available online to all Bentley community users with active Bentley coordinates; find it on Bentley Library’s Databases A-Z page.

Students of GB320 are the most likely users of this resource, especially for company research assignments. Other typical projects informed by ReferenceUSA are business intelligence or research for an upcoming interview.

Our sample search today is research for an upcoming interview (see below).

What’s inside?

ReferenceUSA generates data in the form of addresses, phone numbers, and URLs, without narrative comment or storyline. The ReferenceUSA search interface guides users to select parameters and the database dynamically generates this list.

Sample search for potential internship places

The sample search that follows is preparation for an upcoming interview.  In this scenario, the goal is to identify organizations and inquire about internships. We will look for small organizations specializing in disaster relief work in the south of the United States.

  1. On the ReferenceUSA landing page, choose to search “U.S. Businesses”, then select the “Advanced Search” tab for best results.

    ReferenceUSA Advanced Search
    Click to view larger image.
  2. On the “Advanced Search” screen, identify search parameters:

    ReferenceUSA Search Parameters
    Click to view larger image.

    • Under Business Type, select to do a “Keyword SIC/NAICS” search, which will search within SIC or NAICS industry classification codes. A keyword search for “disaster” within SIC Codes results in several options. We will choose “832290 Disaster Contractors” and three related industries which look good for our future internship.
    • Additional parameters chosen for this search – “Geography” (state),  “Phone” (business phone) and “Business Size” (Number of Employees = less than 100). Note that in the screenshot above, “Sales Volume” is not checked as a parameter, reasoning that disaster relief organizations may not have metrics in this area.
  3. Click “Update Count” when finished selecting parameters.
  4. Click “View Results” to view 28 results in this search for disaster relief agencies located in 10 southern states of the US, with 100 or fewer employees. Drill into each record for granular information on that organization.

    ReferenceUSA Search Results
    Click to view larger image.
  5. Download this list of 28 to a laptop in .xlsx format for easy sorting and saving. Note that the number of downloads is limited to 500 hits.

You’re done! These are leads to pursue for a future internship.

What sets it apart?

ReferenceUSA prioritizes accuracy very highly and fact-checks everything by telephone calls. ReferenceUSA culls its information from the US White page telephone directories, the U.S. Census Bureau, and from publicly filed records. It has estimated 44 million US businesses, 1.5 million of them closed and 4.5 of them newly established, making historical analysis or projections possible.

Other goodies:

  • Links under the “Job Help” tab connect users to outside sources such as CareerOneStop.org and Marketwatch.com , a reflection of ReferenceUSA’s origins in 1992 when it began as a search tool for students, job seekers and researchers.

For self-help, ReferenceUSA provides user-contributed how-to videos under the “Take a Tour” tab, each of these recordings explain the search process in under 5 minutes.

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Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to a database available from the Library’s website, highlighting key features of the database that you should know about. If you would like more information about this database (or any of the library’s databases), please contact us for research assistance. If you would like a demonstration of this database for a class, please schedule a research instruction class using this form.