Special Types of Information
Human Resources home > Special Types of Information
- Government Information
- Professional Associations
- Legal Information
- Theses and Dissertations
In addition to the background information you find in books and videos, and the research you locate in periodical literature, other excellent sources of human resources information exist. The following list explains where you can find special types of information that might enhance your research project.
Note: Access to the online subscription databases listed throughout this document is limited to currently registered students, faculty, and staff of Webster University. Complete lists of the databases available through the library's Web site, are available by following the link to Articles / Databases on the home page.
Note: Call numbers for print materials in Webster University Library are provided in parentheses. Extended campus students may wish to check the catalog of your local library to see if the resource is available and where it is shelved.
A number of U.S. government agencies collect information and statistics of value to research in the area of human resources and the workplace.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Labor statistics and information from the federal government. Part of the U.S. Department of Labor.
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Information about the activities of the agency that enforces federal anti-discrimination laws that apply to employment. Various fact sheets are provided. Convenient source for the text of major legislation in this area.
- Provides links to federal agencies which produce statistics of interest to the public.
There are a number of organizations for HR professionals that collect and publish information of interest to their members. You may read or hear that an association has released a study in which you're interested. While access to much of it may be "controlled" ( i.e. only available to members), some associations distribute basic information to the public through their Web sites. Some association publications may be offered full-text in our databases (eg. HR Magazine published by SHRM-Society for Human Resources Management is available in several of our databases: ABI/Inform, Business & Company Resource Center, and Academic Universe). See the section of this guide which covers Finding Articles for more information.
Here are some organizations of interest to the human resource professional:
- American Management Association
- AMA is a leading membership based management development organization that offers business education and management development programs for individuals and organizations.
- American Society for Training & Development
- Provides information on the organization's activities and products. Features include a job bank, selected articles from the Society's publications, various reports, bibliographies, and policy papers, etc. Some features for members only.
- SHRM Online Society for Human Resource Management
- Website of the largest professional HR association. Links to selected full-text articles in HR Magazine. Provides news updates of HR topics, resources for professional development, a job databank, and HR links to internet sites. Some features for members only.
- Calls itself "The Professional Association for Compensation, Benefits and Total Rewards." Main features of interest include a job bank, a resource library with links to related Web sites, various search engines to human resources materials, and information on association activities. Some features for members only.
How can I locate other organizations?
- Encyclopedia of Associations REF AS 22 .E5
- A standard print reference set available in many libraries. It is available in the reference section of Webster University Library
- Business Insights: Essentials (formerly Business and Company Resource Center)
- Contains directory listings, including the URL for the Web site if available, for associations in all disciplines. (Hint: Search the association's name in the "company name" box.)
- Internet directories/search engines
- Directories and search engines, e.g. ipl2 - Internet Public Library & Librarians' Internet Index and Yahoo!, often provide links to directories of associations under the "Organizations" category.
There are a number of our databases that cover the legal aspects of the workplace and personnel management.
- LEXIS-NEXIS Academic
- An excellent source for legal, government, political, business, medical, and general information. The database has full-text of federal cases and statutes that involve labor and employment issues. When you connect to the database, choose the "Legal Research" area and then select to search "Area of Law by Topic". The search form allows you to specify "Labor Law" in the topic field of the form. The legal research file has full-text for federal cases and statutes concerned with labor issues. Here is a sample search:
- CCH IntelliConnect (formerly CCH Internet Research NetWork)
- Another excellent database for legal information, CCH provides current news, practices, guidelines, cases, laws, and regulations regarding human resource management, employment and health law, occupational safety, pension, payroll, benefits, etc. For help using this database, check out the IntelliConnect Quick Reference card (PDF) on the publiher's website.
Governments and their agencies are excellent sources of business and demographic statistics. The US Government Printing Office is the largest publisher in the United States. US state and local governments collect all kinds of information, e.g. state transportation departments compile traffic statistics for major highways, and city governments keep records of business licenses. Foreign governments may also be rich sources of information about the country and its trading partners. With the advent of the Internet, much federal information is now distributed online. Passport's Government page links to international, US, state, and local government web pages.
Information collected by governments and many associations is not always free. For example, the US Department of Commerce (http://www.commerce.gov) publishes some business statistics (e.g. the latest economic indicators) and reports on its Web site for free. The Library pays for a subscription to a database called Stat-USA which is produced by the Department of Commerce. Through Stat-USA students can access a much greater variety of information including both current and historical statistics and reports.
|"Lies, damn lies, and statistics"*
If you intend to use and/or quote statistics in your research, be very careful--especially if you are using someone else's interpretation of the numbers and their significance. It is often best to find the original source of the statistics to make sure the statistical analysis is logical and is not taken out of context. Statistics can often be interpreted in different ways depending on one's point-of-view.
*Quote attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of England
Many universities require the preparation of a master's thesis or a doctoral dissertation for completion of an advanced degree. Any theses and dissertations given to the library are cataloged in the library's online catalog. Note that not all programs require a formal thesis or dissertation and not all programs submit these documents to the library. You may need to contact your department to see if copies are available in their office instead. To learn how to search for such items, see our Webster/Eden Theses or Dissertations page.
If you find one in our catalog you'd like to see, St Louis area students may visit the library to look at a copy. Extended campus students may request a copy using the library's Document Delivery Service.
Dissertations & Theses @ Webster University contains Webster doctoral dissertations and masters level theses submitted summer, 2005 to the present. Webster faculty, staff, and students may view the full text for free (pdf files require the Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
Dissertation Abstracts Online (a FirstSearch database) indexes dissertations and theses accepted at accredited U.S institutions since 1861. It selectively covers masters theses, Canadian dissertations, and British and other European dissertations. As the name implies, you can only find an abstract of the document on this database. Abstracts are often sufficient to explore what research is currently being done in your field. Usually only the library affiliated with the institution that granted the degree will hold a copy of the dissertation.
Note: Unless you are working on an extensive research project, it may not be necessary to consult theses or dissertations. It is recommended that you exhaust other options for research first (i.e. library catalogs, databases, research handbooks, etc.).