VALA2000 Session 14 Woodcroft

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Establishing guidelines for the effective evaluation of web-based periodical bibliographic and full-text databases search interfaces.

VALA 2000 CONCURRENT SESSION 14: Information Delivery
Friday 18 February 2000, 14:00 – 14:30

Michelle Woodcroft

University Liaison Librarian, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour Education Campus

Janet Fletcher

Network Services Librarian, Southern Cross University

VALA Peer Reviewed Paper

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With the web fast becoming the common platform for access to periodical bibliographic and full-text databases, it is vital that librarians recommending the purchase of these databases evaluate not only their content, but also the search interface and search functionality. This paper describes a set of evaluation criteria for librarians to apply when reviewing the web interfaces of periodical databases. Criteria considered include; logon and logoff procedures, search functionality, flexibility and usability, advanced and novice search modes, on-screen help usefulness, error messages, record marking management, print, saving and e-mail capabilities, truncation and boolean operators, SDI facilities, command language capabilities, visual design and icon function recognition, library holdings features, and the availability and versatility of customisable front ends.