EDGAR survey

Today's brief post is by way of follow-up to a post last month touching on the merits and limits of the SEC's online storehouse of company filings, EDGAR.

I visited EDGAR this morning in search of any endorsement contract that any company might have filed, as a material contract, between it and Lance Armstrong. Thought it might be interesting to see what kind of rep and indemnity provisions such a deal might involve, now that the stories are flying about insurance companies and sponsors that want their money back and/or damages.

Edgar feedback survey partialNo luck on that search.

But the session prompted a request that I take a survey to rate the utility of the EDGAR site. And I did so. Pictured is an excerpt of the ratings I submitted.

Actually, the survey may have been seeking feedback on http://sec.gov more generally, though I answered it pretty much with EDGAR in mind. Which is fair: EDGAR is its own thing, having to do with disclosures.

EDGAR is necessarily backward looking, whereas the utility of the rest of the sec.gov domain is forward looking, to be consulted for clues on changing policy.

But the feedback for either "site" is the same: highly useful; very poorly organized.

It should be possible for searching to be as easy and as satisfying as that of Google Scholar. Instead, for EDGAR, you have to have the skills of an experience paralegal to use it effectively. And for the SEC site linking to policy initiative and proposed rules, you have to be lucky or bookmark important pages when you trip over them.

To be fair, there is some full text search capability on EDGAR that I should try to make more use of.

But it's hard not to expect that the information at http://sec.gov, backward and forward looking both, be as accessible as Google makes the wider web.

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