Database Selection Criteria Guidelines (CIRM)

OhioLINK Cooperative Information Resources Management Committee
Criteria for Selecting Electronic Resources for Central Site
[Draft, April 6, 1993]

Using the following criteria, the Cooperative Information Resources Management Committee identifies and/or evaluates resources related to the information needs of the OhioLINK libraries. The following is not intended to be a checklist; not all criteria apply in every instance.

    Subject coverage.
    Provide resources the support OhioLINK Institutions' curricular and research needs.

    1.1 Emphasis identifying a group of resources that are multi-disciplinary in nature or that help to achieve a multi-disciplinary balance
    1.2 Select resources with wide coverage and/or multi-campus applicability to achieve cost- effective information delivery.

    Scope and type of information provided.

    2.1 Consider resources covering all types of information, for example, bibliographic, numeric, full-text, images, and audio.
    2.2 Evaluate depth, breadth, and intellectual level of information provided by each resource in order to achieve a balance between basic and specialized resources.
    2.3 Consider update frequency.
    2.4 Forward to the OhioLINK User Services Committee concerns about technological characteristics of the resource, including (but not limited to) user-friendliness of interfaces, flexibility of data output, functionality, and the extent to which the resource must be prepared and/or modified to be mounted centrally.
    2.5 Consider the use-assistance tools included in the resource, such as thesauri and controlled vocabulary.

    Primary clientele.

    3.1 Consider information needs of students, faculty, staff, and other authorized users.
    3.2 Provide sources that are anticipated to have greater volume of use.
    3.3 Consider limitations of licensing agreements

    Cost Considerations.

    4.1 Consider resources whose pricing structures are favorable to consortia
    4.2 Attempt to achieve a cost-effective balance between levels of cost and predicted levels of use.

    Information access efficacy (i.e., best alternative for delivery of the information.

    Consider the best means of delivering specific information resources. This could be print, CD-Rom, tape, and so forth. For example, consideration should be given to the fact that it may not be practical to mount high-use CD-Rom databases at the central site because that technology does not support high use. Other materials are more logically presented in print and so would be held by individual sites.