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 Site Review: Questia



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Content:  Questia bills itself as the first online library that provides 24/7 access to the world's largest online collection of books and journal articles in the humanities and social sciences, plus magazine and newspaper articles.

Design:  This is a no-frills site, but that is the nature of this type of resource. The goal here is to provide a research tool, so there really is no need for a lot of dramatic imagery or Flash-based graphics. Users are looking for text-based answers to questions, and that is exactly what they’ll find here.

Review:  Students can search each and every word of all of the books and journal articles in Questia’s collection and read every title cover to cover. The questiacontent is all selected by professional librarians and is not available anywhere else on the Internet.

To complement the library, Questia offers a range of search, note-taking and writing tools. These tools help students locate the most relevant information on their topics quickly, quote and cite correctly, and automatically create properly formatted footnotes and bibliographies.

There is a fee required to use Questia ($99.95 per year or $19.95 per month for an individual subscription). Pricing information is not readily available until users begin the sign-up process, but it appears that volume subscriptions are available, where schools can purchase a large number of subscriptions for their student bodies.

Questia’s cost can be justified by the tools to which the subscriber gets access. These include:

  • The world's largest online collection of complete books, journals and articles, searchable by word, phrase, title, author, or subject;
  • Tools to write notes in the margins and highlight passages, as if the user were working with physical books; and
  • Hyperlinking of footnotes and bibliographies across titles for instant access to other related titles.

Bottom Line:  It comes at a cost, but Questia does offer a comprehensive research environment to meet students' academic needs.


Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
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