Resource Reviews

Resource Reviews in the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) provide critical appraisals of electronic resources, software, web services, and other technology tools that assist health sciences library staff in making collection development and technology implementation decisions. Reviewed resources can include databases and catalogs, electronic collections, research and reference tools, library management systems, educational instruments, commercial and open source software, and web-based productivity tools. Resources should be readily accessible and clearly useful to users and/or staff of health sciences libraries.

Comparative reviews are welcome, but larger-scale studies with objective evaluation methods should be submitted as Original Investigations rather than Resource Reviews.

Resource Reviews Author Guidelines

The main text should comprise no more than 2,000 words. Up to 2 figures and/or tables can be included in the main text.

Resource Reviews should include a general description of the resource, the intended audience, and its good and bad points. The reviewer should include sufficient description to give others a clear idea of the purpose of the resource, its major features, its accessibility and usability, and the quality of the accompanying documentation. Below are some of the items to consider when writing reviews; not all items may be appropriate for all resources.

  • purpose 
  • general description 
  • content 
  • intended audience and types of users who would benefit from using the tool 
  • technical requirements 
  • major features 
  • ease of implementation
  • accessibility 
  • usability 
  • advantages over other formats of the same item, if any 
  • deficiencies and disadvantages, if any 
  • technological administration issues, including staff time and expertise required to install, configure, and maintain the resource 
  • quality of content: timeliness, accuracy, completeness, usefulness 
  • brief comparison to other similar products 
  • pricing levels and purchase options 
  • value for the cost 

The following elements (when available or applicable) should be included in the bibliographic information at the beginning of the resource review:

  • resource title (including version number) 
  • date of publication  
  • ISBN, ISSN, and/or URL 
  • author or editor (last name, first name, and/or initials) 
  • publisher with electronic and postal contact information 
  • price (or pricing structure) 
  • technical requirements 


Turning Research Into Practice (TRIP). Jon Brassey, TRIP Database, 12 Llansannor Drive, Cardiff, United Kingdom, CF10 4AW;;; free.

Evidence Matters. Evidence Matters, 78 St-Joseph West #209, Montreal, QC, H2T 2P4, Canada; 866.843.0756;;; institutional subscriptions only, contact for pricing.

Submission and Review Process

If you would like to suggest a product for review and/or write a review, please contact the resource review section editors. After approval from the section editors, an author starts the submission process by submitting the manuscript through the JMLA’s online submission system. The section editors reserve the right to make editorial changes for style and clarity; substantive changes will be discussed with reviewers. The section editors also reserve the right to reject reviews that are deemed unsatisfactory in quality.