Style Guidelines for Database Descriptions

The RUL Indexes & Databases page includes a link for information about each database. In order to standardize the process of getting new databases up as quickly as possible, WAC is asking the selector of a database to supply information for the following form. Please provide all the information you can reasonably verify.

This template needs to be filled out after filling out one of the following forms:

To see an overview of this process see Making Additions to Our Web Pages .

A blank template for MSWord is available here.

Instructions for filling out the Database Description Template

Your Name:
For reference, in the event that questions arise now or in the future.

Today's Date:
For record and file maintenance.

Database Title:
The name that will be displayed at the top of the description page and wherever the database is listed or linked.

Alternate Title(s) (if any):
Used when a database needs to be listed under variant titles [e.g., ATLA Religion Database and Religion Database (ATLA)]

Sorting Title:
Seldom used, but applicable to databases like L'Année Philologique. The sorting title would be  Année  Philologique  (filed among the titles beginning with the letter A). The display title would remain L'Année Philologique.

URL (if known):
URLs for subscription databases are normally provided by the Networked Resources Coordinator. If this is a free database, provide the URL that should be linked from the Connect button on the description page.

Would you be willing to review this database annually? (Yes/No):
To facilitate regular review and updating of the database description.

Access (i.e., Is the database restricted to Rutgers users?) (Yes/No):
If this resource is 'free' and is delivered by one of our existing vendors as part of a package, it probably still needs to be proxied and is still 'restricted'. Examples of truly unrestricted databases are the government versions of ERIC and Agricola or a true open access product like the Alcohol Studies Database.

Connection Note:
For prominent notes required in order to use the resource. eg. Online Career Library has one since it requires registration.

Browser Required:
Necessary only if the vendor specifies minimum browser requirements (i.e., a specific browser or a specific version of a browser). If in doubt, copy the text from the vendor's site.

Plug-ins Required:
___ Adobe Acrobat Reader
___ Adobe Flash Player
___ DjVu
___ Microsoft Excel
___ Microsoft Word
___ QuickTime
___ RealVideo
___ Unzip software
___ Windows Media Player
___ Other (please specify) ___________________________________

Description of the Database:
This should be a one or two paragraph description of the database highlighting what it is and what it does. Keep in mind that undergraduates, as well as graduate students and faculty, will use this description to decide whether the database is appropriate for their needs. Include topical keywords, but try to avoid using too much hype copied from the marketing material. Mention the most unique features, and try to be as clear and concise as possible. Include examples of types of searches, or information retrieval, that this database makes possible. Adding hard numbers may mean that the description will need frequent updates. Using language such as 'more than 5,500 titles' helps make the description more 'durable'.


Display "Finding Article" Link (Yes/No):
If Yes, "For help using these indexes see: How do I find an article on my topic?" will display as the last line in the help section. It is generally appropriate for databases that provide bibliographic information on articles, but not for databases that only provide statistical data, etc.

User Tools and Features:
List any special features that are included such as Table of contents alerts, Daily/weekly email alerts, Saved search alerts, Visual search, or compatibility with RefWorks.

Dates Covered:
Give date ranges, by type of coverage, when possible (e.g., indexing with abstracts 1971+, full-text 1988+, full- image 1995+; or Book reviews 1994+, dissertations 1987+, Abstracts of working papers 1984+).

Updating Frequency:
Indicate the frequency with which the database is updated, if known (e.g., annually, monthly, weekly, or hourly).

List the types of material covered by the database (e.g., newspapers, journals, dissertations, government publications, etc.).

List the database of which this is a sub-set. There are, for example, many sub-files of "Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management Index" that are listed independently of ESPM. NOTE: A super-collection is only listed if RUL subscribes to it.

List the databases that are sub-sets of this one. This is only necessary if separate descriptions will be written for each sub-set (as with Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management Index and its sub-sets). NOTE: The vendor must be able to provide a direct URL to each sub-collection.

Type of Coverage:
Indicate the format of the database content (e.g., indexing with citations only, abstracts, full-text, full-image, etc.).

Print Counterpart or Related Resources:
List specific titles with locations and call numbers, suggest a search of IRIS to locate equivalent print holdings, or otherwise indicate significant materials that are outside the database. NOTE: This will not apply to all databases.

Producer/Content Provider:
e.g., for EconLit, this is American Economic Association

Vendor/Electronic Presentation Provider:
e.g., for EconLit, this is Ovid Technologies or SilverPlatter

Under what subjects should the database be listed on the RUL Indexes & Databases pages?:
Provide a list to indicate where the database should appear within the subcategories on the Arts and Humanities; Business; General and Multidisciplinary; Health Sciences; Law; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; and Social Sciences subject pages. For each sub-category, please also indicate whether it is core, related, or supplementary for that subcategory.

e.g. using ACCESSMedicine
Medicine and Public Health (core)
Nursing (supplementary)
Pharmaceutical Sciences (core)
Biology/Botany/Zoology (related)

General definitions/guidelines for the terms:
Core = Preferred databases for searching literature or data in the field.
Related = Significant databases for searching literature or data in the field.
Supplementary = Less significant, but contains useful information/data

Last Updated October 22, 2008; April 13, 2009; April 2010 (sub-category labels); April 2010 (Connection note)
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