Research Database Vendors Should Know

Research database vendors - the ones who design the interfaces that the end users use - should know that data export is not a trivial addition. Rather it is an essential part of their product.

Over and over and over again, librarians complain about one interface that works one day and doesn't work the next. The one that doesn't output the DOI unless you select complete format. The one that all the sudden stopped exporting the journal name. The interfaces that don't work with any known citation manager. The ones that download a text file with 3 random fields instead of direct exporting the full citation and abstract.

But you blow us off and you act like it's not important.

Well. I was just talking to a faculty member at another institution - even though a particular database is most appropriate for her research area and she finds interesting papers there, she now refuses to use it because it doesn't export to EndNote right. She's tired of the frustration and she is tired of finding that she has to edit everything she's imported so she's just given it up.

Once again librarians are telling you something and you need to listen. Researchers and faculty are super busy. They will not keep using your product if it makes their life harder. If they don't use your product then we'll stop subscribing. That's all there is to it.

2 responses so far

  • Jen says:

    "a particular database is most appropriate for her research area and she finds interesting papers there, she now refuses to use it because it doesn't export to EndNote right."

    Which one? There might not be much I can do from the EndNote side, but I'll try.

    I definitely agree with the overall point that the data export is essential, thanks for a great post.

    • Christina Pikas says:

      It was Inspec - but I just looked yesterday to see which platform her home institution has it on, and they have since canceled it. She is an EndNote user and is very happy using Web of Science 🙂