Aggregated interdisciplinary databases and the needs of undergraduate researchers

Barbara Fister, Julie Gilbert, Amy Ray Fry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


After seeing growing frustration among inexperienced undergraduate researchers searching a popular aggregated interdisciplinary database, the authors questioned whether the leading interdisciplinary databases are serving undergraduates’ needs. As a preliminary exploration of this question, the authors queried vendors, analyzed their marketing materials, surveyed librarians and students, and examined what titles were being downloaded at 14 liberal arts institutions. Although librarians are satisfied with these databases, and vendors intend to continue the trend of adding more content, actual usage patterns suggest that these databases are not serving the purpose one might expect. Librarians should learn more about user experiences in order to influence the development of these products.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-292
Number of pages20
JournalPortal: Libraries and the Academy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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