How to evaluate and check the quality of library databases? This is a question that comes to many librarians, especially those responsible for electronic resources.
A partial answer to that question and many others is in the recently published Reference 2009 supplement by Library Journal, which contains the E-Reference Ratings, a master database evaluation list for librarians with 180 subscription-based electronic resources. ( When you open the link, make sure to pick a category from the hyperlinked menu on the right)
E-Reference Ratings encompases
14 categories including General Reference, Biography, Arts, History, Sciences, Social Science, and much more evaluated by LJ’s cadre of experts, who determine the quality of each product’s scope, writing, design, bells & whistles, ease of use, and linking. The product will be updated quarterly, with new databases added and previous listings revised on a rotating basis.
Here is how to read the star ratings: * poor/insufficient ;
** satisfactory/sufficient ; ***good/plentiful ; **** excellent/comprehensive.
In addition to that librarians can take a look at the print LJ's Reference 2009 to compare a "list of 800 recent and forthcoming reference works from nearly 200 publishers, organized by category"
The E-Reference Ratings is very useful and practical guide for libraries. Another product that I am aware of for evaluation of online resources for libraries is The Charleston Advisor.( $295 per year). Take a look here.
Via: Library Journal