Saturday, November 04, 2006

Questia Review is a Shonda

The August, 2006 School Library Journal contains a scathing review of Questia. Shonda Brisco from Forth Worth Country Day School in Texas obviously hasn't done a trial with students researching social issues. She basically trashes the service because of limited journal (496) and magazine (98) holdings. She dismisses the print book sources as too outdated. Brisco reports that "Questia offers very little for school libraries in content, currency, or coverage of common high school research topics." She grades it as a "D" because of its lack of breadth, depth and currency. In Yiddish, this is really a "shonda" .....the Yiddush term shonda means "a shame" or "a pity". It's a shonda that high school librarians will believe this review. It appears that Shonda merely attempted a few searches herself and didn't try it with a real research project of any substance with large numbers of students. Please see the Questia review and rebuttal from General Reference Center Gold:

Make a difference with databases: online resources can enhance learning, but choose well.(Digital Resources). Shonda Brisco. School Library Journal 52.8 (August 2006): p67(2).

Questia review: all wrong.(Letters)(Letter to the editor).
Nancy Buchanan.
School Library Journal 52.10 (Oct 2006): p14(1).

1 comment:

Maggie Schmude said...

I also saw the Questia review and had the same reaction. The writer is correct in that some of the material is older. This is the reason why I don't think it's particularly good for science or medical issues. On the other hand, as we discovered last year, for history, literature and social issues, it's excellent. The tools in Questia are great, and the search engine forces both the kids (and those of us teaching them) to really focus on coming up with good key words.