The following are selection criteria that are often employed by the Library when choosing databases, journals, e-books and other electronic resources for purchase or subscription. Not all of these criteria are used for every e-resource acquisition.
- Quality and uniqueness of content
- Relevancy and currency of content
- If overlap with other e-resources, is it warranted?
- Relationship with Library’s print holdings
- Frequency of updating
- Target audience
- License must allow
- appropriate fair use by authorized users for educational, teaching, research and non-commercial purposes
- appropriate use in ILL, course reserves, course packs, document delivery, etc.
- unlimited viewing, printing, and downloading
- License must provide perpetual rights to information that has been paid for in case the contract is discontinued
- License must specify limit, if any, on number of simultaneous users
- Response time
- User-friendliness of the resource
- Quality of graphic materials
- Saving, downloading, printing, e-mailing
- Help screens that are clearly written and easily navigated
- Exportable capability to such bibliographic management systems as RefWorks, Endnote etc.
- The Library prefers web versions of e-resources
- Accessibility through IP address and EZ-proxy preferred to usernames and passwords
- Preference for resource to work with all browsers
- Vendor/Publisher considerations
- Ability and ease of linking libraries' holdings to the e-resource
- Online, toll-free telephone, etc.
- Track record of support
- Response time
- Is support free or are fees charged?
- Vendor/publisher reputation
- Are usage statistics provided? COUNTER compliant preferable