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How to use Corporate Critic

Quick searches
Companies
Company information page
Company stories page
View abstracts page
Stories
Search for stories
Advanced Searches
Browsing markets
Customise scores
Portfolios
Your account

Corporate Critic is designed to be easily explored for information without specialist knowledge. Many search result lines - such as company names - are live links which change colour when your mouse hovers over them.

Clicking on these links will help you to discover more information about that company or subject. Elsewhere 'tick boxes' allow users to view selected data.

Like Google, a search should return the most relevant information first. Also like Google, putting search terms with more than one word in inverted commas will search for just this phrase. Searching for parts of words will return whole words.

So if you are unsure of the spelling of a word it may be worth using part of a word. For example, a search for 'Nestl' returns more Nestle companies than a search for 'Nestle'. We abbreviate company names without full stops (BP and not B.P) and use '&' instead of 'and' (Procter & Gamble).

No companies found?

If you can find no information on a particular company and have tried typing the company name into the stories search too, it is likely that we hold no data on the company in question. This means that its ethical rating is likely to be OK, but may be worth further research (see Research and Ratings).

Search results pages have blue up/down arrows at the top of each column. Stories are normally displayed in date order with the most recent first. Companies are normally displayed alphabetically. However, clicking on the blue up or down arrows allows you to sort the search results by the contents of different columns.

At present Corporate Critic will log you out if it detects 20 minutes of inactivity. Using the Home button on the top menu bar takes you back to the Subscriber Login Page to re-enter your details.


Quick Searches

Once you have logged in to the Subscriber Home Page, a 'Search for:' box on the right of the page allows you to type in the name of a company or a subject area.


Companies

If the database contains information on the company you have entered, the search results page lists all the companies matching your search criteria with details (where available) on:

Company Name Ownership Turnover Ethiscore
Clicking on a company name (or company name in the ownership column) will take you to a Company Information page. It should be noted that, because the database rates company groups, clicking on a subsidiary company at this stage will take you to the Company Information page for its parent.


Company Information page

This page contains details such as address and market information where available, and a link to a complete listing of all the stories relating to the company group you have selected. Clicking on this link takes you straight to a Company Stories page. Below this basic company information appears an active list of Category Scores summarising the areas in which the database holds information for this company.
Next to each Category Name is a 'Table Score' which is a quick visual indicator of the seriousness of a criticism or collection of criticisms. A 'Whole Circle' indicates a more serious criticism and a 'Quarter' the least significant criticism (Half Circle and Three Quarters sit between these two). More information on the Circle ratings appears in the discussion of Categories. Clicking on 'View Stories' takes you to a Company Stories page.
It should be noted that 'View Stories' will only show 'scoring stories' (i.e. stories reported in the last five years). 'Stories - A Complete Listing...' will show all stories - potentially going back to 1991.

Company Stories page
Each line summarises the stories for a company or within a category. Each line shows for each story:
Date Ownership Company Category Story summary Tick box to view abstracts

Selecting the stories required and pressing the View Abstracts button takes the user to a...

View Abstracts page

This page provides the detailed information on which rating decisions were made. Each story will have a Primary Reference containing an abstract from a named and dated publication explaining a rating decision or summarising an incident, listing or criticism. Where more than one abstract exists referring to the same incident (such as a pollution event) or type of report (environmental report), they will be grouped together under the same story. The Primary Reference is usually the most recent or detailed criticism. Other abstracts will be called simply Reference or in some cases Historic Reference, Negating Reference or Corporate Response.
Each abstracts page only displays ten stories. To view the next ten abstracts, use the back button on your browser to return to the search results page. Click on 'next 10' from above the View Abstracts button.


Stories

The stories search looks in the text of all the abstracts in the database and is intended to be used to search subject areas such as Senegal or Landmines.

Search for Stories
If the database contains information on the subject you have entered it will return a list of stories under the following headings:
Date Ownership Company Category Story summary Tick box to view abstracts
Selecting the stories required and pressing the View Abstracts button takes the user to a View Abstracts page.

Advanced Searches

Choosing Find Companies from the menu on the left of the screen on the Subscriber Home page takes you to a 'Search for Companies' page.
Below the Search Terms box is an arrow: 'show advanced search options'. Clicking on this phrase brings up three boxes headed:
ALL MARKETS ANY TURNOVER ALL CATEGORIES

Scrolling down these boxes and clicking on an area of specific interest allows you to narrow searches to these areas only. It is not necessary to enter any terms in the Search Terms box for a search selected within these boxes to work. It is therefore possible to search for such things as all the companies with turnovers of more than £100m with criticisms under the Nuclear Power category. Choosing Find Stories from the menu on the left of the screen on the Subscriber Home page takes you to a 'Search for Stories' page.
Below the Search Terms box is an arrow: 'show advanced search options'. Clicking on this phrase brings up three boxes headed:
ALL CATEGORIES ALL MARKETS ALL YEARS

Scrolling down these boxes and clicking on an area of specific interest allows you to narrow searches to these area only. It is not necessary to enter any terms in the Search Terms box for a search selected within these boxes to work. It is therefore possible to search for such things as all the Irresponsible Marketing stories which took place in 2004.

Browsing Markets

Choosing Browse Markets from the menu on the left of the screen on the Subscriber Home page takes you to a 'Markets and Sectors' page.

Clicking on a market will take you to the page for that market which shows whether there are further sub sectors which may be selected. Below these sub sectors, the first ten companies (alphabetically by name) in this sector will be displayed under the following headings:

Company Ownership Turnover Ethiscore Portfolio

Clicking on the ethiscore heading (down arrow - sort by ethiscore descending) will display the best scoring companies on the database in that sector. The ethiscore can be amended to reflect specific organisational priorities by selecting Modify Ethiscore.
Where there is a detailed scores table comparing all the companies on all the issues there will be a link 'View Detailed Scores Table...' which appears below the sub sector listings.

Customise Scores

Choosing Customise Scores from the menu on the left of the screen on the Subscriber Home page takes you to a 'Category Weighting' page. You can see more detail about how each Category is scored by clicking on its name in the Category column. In the 'Your Weighting' column, you can choose to give each category one of the following weightings:
ignore low normal high

If you only want to take environmental issues into account for example, you just need to tick in the ignore column for all the other categories. It is necessary to click on the Save Weightings button when the selection is complete for subsequent ethiscores to be altered by this weighting.
Modified ethiscores will appear in the Company Information pages and in the Market Sectors pages but not on the Detailed Scores Tables.

Portfolios

Choosing Portfolios from the menu on the left of the screen on the Subscriber Home page takes you to the 'Portfolios' page.
Standard subscribers and daily access customers may view existing Corporate Critic portfolios. At present this only includes the FTSE100. Clicking on FTSE100 displays the FTSE100 page and a listing of companies under the following headings:
Company Ownership Turnover Ethiscore

Clicking on the column heading permits the search to be ordered by this heading. There is also a link to 'View Detailed Scores Table...' on this page. This table permits comparison across all the categories.
Portfolios for Premium customers
Portfolios are also a feature for Premium customers, enabling them to group together companies they want to observe in detail and watch on an ongoing basis.
New portfolios can be created from the Portfolios page. Choose Create New Portfolio and give the portfolio a name (and optional description) of your choice then press Create. Companies may now be added to this portfolio from the following pages:
  • Company Search Results Page
  • Market Sectors Page
  • In the Search Results or Market Sectors pages, use the drop down arrow in the Add to Portfolio box next to the company of your choice to locate and click on the portfolio you have named.
    Premium customers may also choose an 'email me' function if there are rating changes for companies in their 'my portfolio' option - to help them keep track of company performance on an ongoing basis. To find the email me updates check box, go the the portfolios page and click on your portfolio. Then choose View Detailed Scores Table, where the 'Email me if the scores in this table change...' check box will appear. To remove a company from your portfolio, go the the portfolios page and click on your portfolio. Click on the Remove button next to the company you wish to remove.

    Your Account

    Choosing Your Account from the menu on the left of the screen on the Subscriber Home page takes you to the 'Your Account' page. This allows you to change your password or contact details. It also permits you to extend your subscription.

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