SLA Biomedical and Life Sciences Division

Online Database & E-resource Reviews

Compiled by Rose Nelson and posted to ERIL-L on September 26, 2007.

Charleston Advisor-print and online journal
(Subscription based journal, but does provide free reviews in every issue as well). Reviews are based on a scale of 1-5 stars. Can purchase an individual review for $35 Reviews are peer-reviewed by librarians Rating system: content (audience), searchability, price and contract options/ features. A Composite Score averaging these elements provides an "at a glance" rating which is prominently displayed near the top of each review. Doesn't review just online databases, it does other products-360 search (Serials Solutions federated search)
Some recent reviews: Children's Lit. Comprehensive Database January 2007 Teen Health and Wellness: Real Life, Real Answers-April 2007, pg 47-49

Choice Magazine (subscription required)
Reviews Academic databases. August issue is devoted to reviews. Buying Guide -includes short description of the product. This year they included the type of training and learning the vendor provides. They also include information about obtaining a trial and what they base their pricing on-FTE, Flat fee, concurrent users.
Some of the reviews in the August issue are Bowker, BioOne, Project Muse, ReferenceUSA, Taylor and Francis

Databases-Peter's Picks and Pans
Peter Jasco-Library and Information Sciences Program Professor, University of Hawaii Primarily scholarly databases, but does review some public library products such as the Gale Virtual Reference library.

Econtent Magazine
A good place to track industry news. Do a search on "database reviews." Research, reporting, news, and analysis in the commercial and enterprise realms. Some DB Reviews-Thomson Gale, Euromonitor, HW Wilson Children's Catalog.

Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Reviews of scientific databases. Each issues has an "electronic resources reviews' section.

Journal of the Medical Library Association
See: Electronic Resource Reviews. Medical Reviews-reviews include major sections such as: Purpose and General Description, Contents, Intended Audience, Accessibility, Searching, Working with Results, Getting Help, Bottom Line and References.

Library Journal
Lots of reviews and RSS feeds. Categories of reviews include books, computer/media, reference, magazines and Xpress Reviews. Easiest to find the reviews by searching for "database reviews." Cheryl LaGuardia provides lots of reviews of e-resources.

Library Media Connection (LMC) (subscription required)
Reviews include some online database products. Focus is on K-12 products.

Lista-Library Information Science and Technology Abstracts
Indexes nearly 600 periodicals, plus books, research reports, and proceedings.

LJ NetConnect
Another source for technology and online database reviews.

LJ MarketPlace Database
Provides an industry overview and future trends in online databases.

Reference Reviews (subscription required)
(Emerald Press) In depth reviews of reference works in topical areas such as philosophy & religion, social sciences, business, language and literature, area studies, arts and more. Does review some e-resources, but mainly reviews reference monographs.

Savvy Searching Column
by Péter Jacsó
Searching strategies; how search results are counted; relevancy ranking and order of results; in depth information on issues related to searching.

How Big is a Database Versus How a Database is Big
Great paper on understanding the difference between physical size, content, and accessibility of content.

School Library Journal
Columnist Shonda Brisco provides reviews of online products. Reviews include cost and grade level.

Teacher Reference Center
Indexes over 260 titles including trade journals, periodicals, and books. Also includes reviews of e-resources.

Wilson-Library Literature Index
Provides indexing for over 400 journals, Coverage is from 1980-current. There is also a full-text version which provides full text coverage from over 150 journals.

Other Resources

Online Database Evaluation Check List

Open Access Digital Library
A portal of free full text journals, is a great way to supplement your collection.

Rev. Sept 2007