6: The WWW and Other Sources of Information:
Section 3 of 4, SHOW AND TELL, page 1 of 3.
SHOW AND TELL
The Internet is an excellent source of corporate information, especially for publicly traded companies.
A good place to look for company information is the Securities Exchange Commission, the SEC.
How do you know to look at the SEC? Ask your instructor, ask a librarian.
How do you find the SEC?
Should you ask Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the WWW? No, but Tim does offer this advice on what to do before you e-mail him, "If you need someone to find something for you about some arbitrary subject (travel agents, or parakeets or whatever), don't ask me, but try the Virtual Library for example, or your favorite search engine."
Let's try the Google search engine, http://www.google.com.
With search engines, as with databases, it is a good habit not to capitalize. We could search on the term securities exchange commission, or just the initials sec.
Another way to find it would be by searching http://www.usa.gov, The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal (you can learn about sites like that by using the Thomas database, linked from the Library's databases page).
No matter how you look, the uniform resource locator (URL) ... Internet address ... of the SEC is http://www.sec.gov.
If you look around the site, or ask a librarian or the instructor of a business class, you will learn that EDGAR is the place on the SEC site to go to look for filings and forms (information regarding the company and its operations).
Snapshot from the SEC's EDGAR search interface.
Company Web sites are also good sources of primary information.
This time let's use the Open Directory search engine, http://www.dmoz.org, a category search engine.
Close up image of a portion of Open Directory.
The home page for the company should be easy to locate, it is http://www.harley-davidson.com. Pictured below. Take a look at the section labeled, Company.
There is a great deal of information about the company; there is even a section marked Student Center. Many companies know that students will be using their sites for research, and they happily provide information.
Image of the Student Center.
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