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Appendix: Evaluation Checklist


  • Does this publication support the research and teaching activities of the University of Maryland?
  • Is this publication peer reviewed? Does it have an authoritative sponsor or producer? Are there any other indicators of quality?
  • What content is covered by the subscription or purchase? Are there any gaps in coverage? How many issues overall does the publisher plan to make available online? Are past years of online content made available with an online subscription?
  • If there is a print counterpart, is it consistent with the electronic version? Are any articles, chapters, essays, illustrations, reviews, graphs, tables or references omitted?
  • Can the publication be purchased separately or must a package be purchased? If the journal must be purchased as part of a package, what other titles are included?
  • How often is the site updated? How quickly are recent issues made available?
  • Does the publisher remove back issues from the site after a certain period of time?


  • What is the vendor's pricing model?
  • Is institutional pricing available?
  • Does the vendor require a substantial payment initially? How much is it? Are there any periodic payments? How much are the payments? When do they have to be paid?
  • Are there separate payments for access to the online service and for the content of the publication?
  • Is there a non-cancellation clause?
  • Will there be any transaction charges?
  • Is the price an introductory price? How much will the price increase after the introductory period?
  • Is there a yearly renewable subscription available? Does it include all available years of content?
  • When does access start? When does access end? For how long must access be maintained? How many payments must be made before termination or cancellation?
  • Does the price vary by institution size or type? Which category fits the University of Maryland?
  • How many users may access the publication at the same time? Is the number adequate? How much will it cost to allow for additional simultaneous users?
  • Does the product offer campus site-licensing?
  • Are backfiles included in the price? If not, are they available? How much will it cost to include them?
  • Can the publication be purchased by itself? If not, what other publications must be included? Are those publications suitable for selection?
  • Is consortial purchasing available?
  • Is the cost of an electronic subscription tied to the print subscription?
  • Is it necessary to purchase both the print and electronic versions to get an electronic subscription?

Use and Functionality

  • Is the interface easy to use?
  • How powerful and user-friendly is the search engine? Is there full-text searching? Index browsing?
  • What are the options for printing and downloading? Are there any restrictions or additional fees? How difficult is it for the user to print or download?
  • Are there any additional features such as multimedia and hyperlinks?
  • Is there a discrete URL for each title so that a title may be accessed directly from the University of Maryland web pages or the OPAC?


  • Is IP address validation available? Are passwords or other methods of registration or authentication required?
  • How many users can access the publication or service simultaneously? Is the number adequate? If not, is it possible to add more users? How much will each additional user cost?
  • From which locations will a user be able to access the publication?
  • Is the website stable and reliable?
  • What methods are used to enforce access? How flexible and open are the methods?


  • Is there a commitment to keep the electronic publications available on a permanent basis?
  • What content will the vendor archive? In what form will the content be kept?
  • Is there a separate archiving fee?
  • Are there restrictions on archiving, monitoring or copying files?
  • Is there a provision for migrating files to a new generation of technology?
  • What happens to the archive if Maryland cancels its subscription? What happens to the archive if the vendor goes out of business?
  • What measures has the publisher or vendor taken to ensure uninterrupted access?
  • Is the vendor willing to put any promise to maintain an archive in writing? Does the license contain a promise to maintain an archive?

Duplication and Substitution

  • Are there any circumstances that suggest that both print and electronic subscriptions should be maintained?
  • Does the electronic publication offer any value-added enhancement over the print publication?
  • Is there a need for a permanent format?
  • Has the publisher committed to providing the material on a permanent basis?
  • Will the Libraries have the right to access any archive upon cancellation of the subscription?
  • Is the publisher able to ensure uninterrupted access to the publication?
  • How reliable is the technology for the electronic format?
  • What are the needs of the different groups which access the resource?
  • How does the print version compare to the electronic version? Are the photographs and figures in the electronic version of a quality equivalent to those found in the print version?

Licensing Terms and Conditions

  • What is the work covered by the license?
  • Who will the publisher allow to access the publication? What is the definition of "authorized user"? Does it encompass faculty, students, and staff as well as any on-site users? How many simultaneous users are permitted?
  • In what manner can the publication be accessed? Are there geographic restrictions? Are only a few computers allowed access?
  • How much must the Libraries pay to access the publication? How does this compare with the other information on the site?
  • What is the term of the agreement? What are the penalties for cancellation? How does renewal occur?
  • Is there a non-cancellation clause? How does it restrict future decisions the Libraries may need to make?
  • Does the license provide for the purchase of access rights or permanent rights to the publication? If permanent, what happens if the Libraries change vendors? How is the perpetual availability of this content guaranteed?
  • Are there any restrictions on interlibrary loan? Course packs? Electronic reserves?
  • Are there any restrictions on viewing, downloading, or printing?
  • Are there any restrictions on the Library's right to reformat data? Provide links to other holdings?