Which online library is worth paying for?
July 26, 2007 4:41 PM   Subscribe

Which online library is worth paying for?

I'm interested in joining Questia, but I want to know if there are others like it. 99 bucks a year is nice, and I am willing to pay it for research, but I want to know if its worth it and, if not, what alternatives are there? (I cannot use Wikis for research due to their nature).
posted by enriquem to Education (5 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you look at this thread, you'll find that many public libraries have online access to things like JSTOR and the OED, and the biggest - like the NYPL ($100 for out-of-staters) and the LAPL (free to everyone!) - don't have local residence requirements.
posted by mdonley at 5:10 PM on July 26, 2007


LAPL = Los Angeles Public Library
NYPL = New York Public Library
posted by mdonley at 5:10 PM on July 26, 2007


BookRags has a lot targeted to students, HighBeam is more for journals, and of course your local library is the best (since its free) if they have what you need.
posted by lubujackson at 5:40 PM on July 26, 2007


like the NYPL ($100 for out-of-staters) and the LAPL (free to everyone!) - don't have local residence requirements.

LA Public Library has some lousy databases that are free to the general public. Then there are some that are accessible remotely with your library card number. Finally, most of them must be accessed at one of the library branches.
posted by HotPatatta at 9:04 PM on July 26, 2007


I last used Questia in about 2001. I was not impressed with the search interface but that was a long time ago. Taking a look at their website I get a bit nervous when they list lots of journals but don't indicate any date range and whether they are full text. I saw several journal titles on their list that I know are available full text in only 1 index and its not Questia.

It probably really depends on your research. The Questia title list leans heavily towards the Humanities and Social Sciences.

My own personal and professional biases say that you would be better off seeing if you can get a free card at one of the larger public library systems around you (King CO. or Seattle) and making use of their online resources. Again depending on the subject area, their indexes plus their Interlibrary loans department may be just as useful to you.

You may also want to see about going in person to UW in Tacoma. I am pretty sure they would offer guest access to many of their databases on campus. A quick look at the UW Library web site says that visitor cards do not allow for off-campus database access though.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 11:20 PM on July 26, 2007


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