THFD: Free Lunch for Researchers

image It is widely acknowledge for the researchers on finance and accounting as well as related fields that the access to the data for their researches are undoubtedly essential. Unlike the traditional research framework that our predecessors did in 1950s and earlier, when narrative researches are mainstreams, the research nowadays, defined as contemporary researches in most literatures, are taking great preference on analytical methods and quantitative analysis. For researchers in China, especially for the fields of accounting and finance, empirical research is very popular these days. While, the data for these researchers who are conducting empirical researches means a lot, because they can directly decide the availability of a proposed research.

For most researchers that are employed in top institutions, the access to these data would not be a problem since they are mainly purchased by the library, clients within the certain IP range would be permitted for their visits. But for the graduate students and some researchers who are not in the top institution, the access would be a problem since the library of their institution would not will to, or without sufficient financial ability to afford, to purchase such service. Thus for them, doing contemporary research and publish their papers in top journals would be a nightmare. In fact, due to the lack on access to COMPUSTAT and CRSP, most researchers in China can hardly keep pace with the scholars in US and Europe for top researches, though that does not matter much since we can still do the research within China. Frankly speaking, the market of China itself can be regarded as a good example of emerging markets.

However, for those researchers and graduate students who even do not have adequate access to the data in China, it would be a nightmare. Without sufficient data and strong support for the conclusions (anticipated) in a manner that is based on strict statistical analysis, the research would be regarded of little value and credibility. In the old days, including me, I would use a VPN connection to some other top universities in China, acquiring the data from their databases, especially when I am taking my vacation off campus. Since the VPN service is only available for the faulty in my school.

But now, thanks to the carefulness of Junmei, it is her hard working and strong interest in research that eventually lead to the finding of the THFD, a free solution for the data access for most researchers in China, which is hard to believe in but is indeed the fact. According to the instruction on its site, this database is free to all the researchers who are interested in the China related questions. To start use this service, you shall visit its official site, and you will see the following site. Clicking the registration button would lead you to the site for a free registration.  In fact, the interface for this database is quite similar to the Julin, a paid database provider in China. PS: A later test find that the Julin is also the provider of the data in THFD.

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After registration, log in with your own username and password, you will be redirected to the main page, where you can start your data collection intermediately.

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In an integrated site, you can conveniently collect various types of data in a single sheet and export it as Excel spreadsheet. But the structure for this spreadsheet would be two dimensional, you would need to transfer it into a long structure, which is more beneficial for most analysis. Such operation is quite simple in professional packages like Stata and R.

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Considering that the potential readers for this post would be current and potential researchers who are at least, of some familiarity to the usage of such data, and this post is not intended to be an user guide, the details for the usage is not provided. For details and information, please refer to the help center provided in this database.

For users who are using Windows Vista / 7 and Internet Explorer 7/8, please turn your Compatibility View on. And, Internet Explorer is preferred. I have tried to visit this site with Chrome, but some unexpected errors occurred.

Please intuitively follow the copyright law in both China and the country of your residence when using this service.  There is no English interface, which may bring you some trouble if you are not good at Chinese.

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