Chemical Prices - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
:: Here at the U of Alberta, we have a number of chemical engineering design classes, in which students work in groups for the duration of the course, designing chemical plants and products. Most often, they require chemical prices, among many other types of information.
Chemical Market Reporter is one of the best sources for weekly (US) prices. What I've discovered, however, is that the Prices & People section of each issue, which lists said chemical prices, is indexed inconsistently in ABI Inform and Business Source Premier (EBSCO). Each Prices & People section begins with the phrase, Week Ending, with the appropriate date. Sometimes the section is indexed as "prices & people", other times it is indexed as "week ending..." (The "&" will work as a search word.)
In Business Source Premier, to find this section, you must search the phrase: (prices and people) or (week ending). Even then, the results are inconsistent. The 2004 results, for example, return the Prices & People section for v265, #s 1-6, 8-9, and 11. Why #s 7 and 10 aren't there is a mystery. ABI/Inform is worse - the most recent Prices & People column available is November 24, 2003.
The most frustrating aspect is that these two databases are advertised as full-text. It's a mystery why neither fully indexes perhaps the most heavily used section of each issue of Chemical Market Reporter. (Props to Kevin Lindstrom at UBC for addition information. Word.)