Using wikis for collaborative company research

The following post originated on my Business Blog.

The Ford Library at the Duke University Fuqua School of Business has a very cool tool called “One-Click Company Intelligence.” It’s an A to Z list of companies that are recruiting on the Duke campus. For each company there is a link to the company’s web site, a stock quote in Yahoo! Finance, a general company search in Proquest newspapers, a company profile search in Business Source Premier, and analyst reports in Investext Plus.

I can imagine that the page is fairly difficult to maintain, as URLs have a tendency to change quite a bit for subscription databases. I think a wiki could be a good tool to use for such a resource. Just imagine how large the One-Click Company Intelligence list could be if it were in a wiki format that anyone could contribute to. Any faculty, staff, or student researcher could add a company to the list, allowing future researchers quick and easy access to the information. Community editing would also allow for more up-to-date content, as the burden of creating and maintaining the content would be shared by more than one person. I can even see multiple libraries/organizations sharing the same Company Intelligence Wiki, particularly if they all have access to similar resources. This type of scenario would be ideal for business libraries in a consortia such as OhioLINK, as members of consortia may have many of the same resources. Librarians from around the state or region could work together on creating a resource that could be shared by all.

With MediaWiki, (the same software that runs the Wikipedia and the Biz Wiki) the list of companies could be organized by category as well as by an A to Z list. Companies could be categorized by industry, employee size, total revenues, location, etc., which could help business researchers in finding not only the company they are looking for, but information about similar companies as well. I know there would be some issues with off-campus access and proxy servers, as well as deciding on a common list of resources, but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea. Anyone else interested?

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