Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Database: SourceOECD Becomes OECD iLibrary

OECD, or the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development is a Paris-based group dedicated to "help its member countries to achieve sustainable economic growth and employment and to raise the standard of living in member countries while maintaining financial stability – all this in order to contribute to the development of the world economy." Although only 20 (developed) countries originally signed the Convention forming the OECD 1960, it has, in recent years, expanded both its scope and membership. OECD now "shares expertise and exchanges views with more than 100 other countries." And their membership is expanding. Chile became a member in May of 2010; Slovenia became a member in July; and Israel became a member in September of this year.

One of the group's strengths has always been its research and publishing. As they say of themselves: "For more than 40 years, OECD has been one of the world's largest and most reliable sources of comparable statistics and economic and social data. As well as collecting data, OECD monitors trends, analyses and forecasts of economic developments and researches social changes or evolving patterns in trade, environment, agriculture, technology, taxation and more."

Several years ago, we added the first version of their research database and ePublishing portal, SourceOECD. It was slow, awkward, but had a great deal of valuable data and information, not only about its wealthier member nations, but also about the developing world.

Now, SourceOECD has become the OECD iLibrary. It is now more user-friendly, with data that is easier to capture and manipulate. And the depth of resources and data are even greater than before. Content includes over 5,000 books covering anything from statistics to major policy topics. The specific Glossaries section contains a great many subject specific dictionaries, as well. You can also find over 2500 working papers, 300 datasets, and 5000 Excel tables in this database.

A few new publications are usually featured on the opening screen. And you can quickly jump to resources on a particular country, or to materials in major subject areas by opening the drop-down boxes mid-screen on the homepage. Note, too, the links in the top frame, which include the Statistics module. Here you can quickly get Tables from a mid-screen list or get to PDFs from OECD Factbook links to the right. To the left are links to actual data files that can be manipulated and/or exported to Excel. As with most databases, we do not have access to ALL materials here....but almost all! The one component you will not be able to access is the affiliated IEA (International Energy Agency) data sets. But the great wealth of OECD data and publications should be readily available to all CAS and SBS students and faculty through our link.

OECD material can be useful for everything from Economics to Business to Social Science research. Explore! And if you would like to see an overview two-sheet guide to the new platform, take a look at this PDF.

[FIND OECD iLibrary on the Business and Social Sciences pages of the "Database by Subject" lists.]

No comments: