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New Guide Directs Researchers to Free, High-Quality Company and Industry Data on the Web
Written by a foremost expert in the field of online business research, The Skeptical Business Searcher also demonstrates critical evaluation strategies

December 13, 2004, Medford, NJ—Information Today, Inc. (ITI) announced the publication of Robert Berkman’s The Skeptical Business Searcher: The Information Advisor’s Guide to Evaluating Web Data, Sites, and Sources. In the new book, Berkman—editor of The Information Advisor newsletter and a leading expert on online business research—offers business Internet users effective strategies for identifying and evaluating no-cost Web information sources, emphasizing easy-to-use techniques for recognizing bias and misinformation.

“Free information from the Web isn’t always valid or from qualified sources, and this can be a problem for today’s business searcher,” according to author Berkman, who said he wrote The Skeptical Business Searcher as the antidote for this dilemma. He added that “the problem has been compounded by the exploding number and popularity of Weblogs. The credibility and affiliations of the bloggers who create these online commentaries are often impossible to determine.”

The book directs readers to trusted sources of company histories and overviews, corporate sales and earnings data, SEC filings and stockholder reports, public records, market research studies, competitive intelligence, industry analyses, staff directories, executive biographies, survey/poll data, press releases, news stories, and hard-to-find information about small businesses and niche markets. Leading investigative reporters interviewed by the author share their expertise in uncovering bias and misinformation at even the most slickly produced Web sites. In addition, a unique ten-point checklist provides a systematic method for evaluating Web site reliability.

As a reader bonus, the book is supported by “The Skeptical Business Searcher’s Web Page,” featuring links to sites and sources recommended in the book. Intended as a useful starting point for business searchers, the page is being periodically updated and expanded by the author.

About the Author

Robert Berkman has been a writer, editor, teacher, and speaker in the information industry for more than 20 years. In addition to serving as an editor at McGraw-Hill Inc., Ziff-Davis, and What to Buy for Business, he is the founder and editor of The Information Advisor, an international newsletter for business researchers published by Information Today, Inc. His previous books include Choosing and Using a News Alert Service (ITI, 2004); Find It Fast: How to Uncover Expert Information on Any Subject (5th ed., HarperCollins, 2000); The Art of Being Well Informed: What You Need to Know to Gain the Winning Edge in Business (with Andrew P. Garvin; 2nd ed., Avery Press, 1996); and Rethinking the Corporate Information Center (FIND/SVP, 1996). Berkman is on the faculty of the M.A., Media Studies program at New School University, and has an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Montana. He is a resident of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

The Skeptical Business Searcher (312 pp/softbound/$29.95/ISBN: 0-910965-66-8) is a CyberAge Book from Information Today, Inc. It is available in better bookstores everywhere through Chicago-based trade distributor Independent Publishers Group (IPG) or by calling the publisher at (800) 300-9868 [outside the U.S. call (609) 654-6266]; faxing (609) 654-4309; e-mailing; or logging on to the ITI Web site at


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