Presentation on theme: "Evaluation and Quality Of electronic journals and related information resources."— Presentation transcript:
Evaluation and Quality Of electronic journals and related information resources
Objectives To examine quality issues associated with electronic resources To compare quality of electronic publications –formal (e.g. established publishers) –informal (e.g. general online information) To provide insight as to the quality criteria and selection process needed for all electronic information sources
Review of Internet quality issues Nearly anyone can publish information online, so –academic journals sit next to comics –presidential speeches, next to idle gossip Need to think twice about online information
Internet quality issues cont... Internet resources are volatile –can be here today, gone tomorrow –might be useful one day and useless the next Resources are not always user-friendly –bad design can prohibit access –usability will vary Remember the quality evaluation lessons learnt from the Internet Detective –http://www.sosig.ac.uk/desire/internet-detective.html
Internet Detective shows that 1.Practical steps that can be taken to evaluate quality on the Internet Be clear about your purpose Define your information needs Know your orientation within an Internet site Use URLs as clues to quality –.ac indicates an academic web site Identifying the type of resource you are looking at
Internet Detective cont… 2.Quality criteria that can be used to evaluate an Internet resource, including criteria for Content - the information itself Form - the format of the resource Process - the systems that support the integrity of the resource over time
Content criteria Validity – is it reliable? Accuracy – is it accurate? Authority and reputation of the source Uniqueness – is it original? Completeness – is any info missing? Coverage – what depth does it go into? Timeliness – is it up-to-date?
Form criteria Navigation Features –The ease with which users can orientate themselves within a resource and find their way around it. User Support –The support that is offered to users to help them answer queries and problems that arise whilst using the resource. Appropriate Technologies
Process criteria Information Integrity –Value of the information content over timeusually relates to the work of the author or creator. Site Integrity –Stability of the site over time. This usually relates to the work of the site manager or Web master. System Integrity –Stability and accessibility of the server hosting the resource over time. This usually refers to the work of system administrators.
Internet quality issues and traditional content quality
Traditional quality criteria Evaluation of print materials –Accuracy –Authority –Objectivity –Currency –Coverage –Demand –Cost: value and budget
Electronic information resources When looking at formal electronic publications, then quality issues are often easier due to –established publishers –established reputations But additional quality issues arise, particularly related to the appropriateness of information and the selection criteria
Electronic resources and quality Subscriptions to electronic journals may significantly increase access to information –Bundling of titles = common practise Information management issues –Is it appropriate information? –Is it high quality? –What should be avoided?
Formal publication quality issues Even amongst established publishers standards can vary Appropriateness of information –A big influence on quality issues –How useful is access to 4000 full text journals that are inappropriate in terms of content? Publishers motives behind bundling –Remember that they have motives that might not match librarians needs!
Questions which are worth considering include How can the most effective and appropriate information be identified and promoted? –using resources that are familiar –identifying new resources that are now available How can appropriate new and unfamiliar resources be promoted and their use encouraged?
Summary Quality and evaluation is important when dealing with electronic resources Some materials will have known quality (e.g. online versions of paper subscriptions) Other, new resources will need to be assessed and evaluated against quality criteria Remember your existing librarian information evaluation and quality control skills New, high quality resources are still likely to require promotion and users encouraged to explore them