DB Trials 2010: ProQuest

These trials expired April 30, 2010.

All access and pricing information has been removed.For more information use the sidebar to find current statewide database trials or to contact the trials manager.

View complete product descriptions, pricing, and vendors answers below:

1. Describe the database product(s). If you want us to link to more than one product, provide a unique description for each product. If there are special hardware or software requirements, please make sure you include them in the description.

SIRS Issues Researcher
When it comes to helping researchers make sense of the major issues of the day, SIRS® Issues Researcher makes the grade by offering only the very best article selections from more than 1,600 sources—exploring social, scientific, health, historic, economic, political, and global issues.

Articles and graphics in SIRS Issues Researcher are carefully selected according to strict SIRS criteria for content reliability, relevance, and age-appropriateness. Titles include: American History, The Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Affairs, Global Viewpoint, Maclean’s, National Geographic, New Internationalist, Newsweek, Science News, and Time.

Users can easily retrieve information by subject heading, topic browse, and keyword searches. The articles are indexed according to Library of Congress-derived subject headings to ensure the best results can be printed, saved, and emailed.

New state and national standards search helps educators locate standards-aligned articles and other resources, which saves teachers time in the lesson planning process, and ensures that library resources are correlated directly to learning benchmarks.

Lexile Reading Levels have also been integrated into the product. Lexile scores match reader ability and text difficulty, allowing individualized monitoring of student progress.

SIRS Issues Researcher is available online through SIRS Knowledge Source®. Researcher content is as broad as it is diverse:

  • Leading Issues provides instant access to information on nearly 100 of the most-researched social issues. Students and educators can easily access focused information on the major issues of the day, including editor-written background information, viewpoints within the issue, as well as numerous articles and graphics providing supporting information and context for the user.
  • The World Almanac Excerpts contains information from The World Almanac and Book of Facts. Articles focus on world history, nations of the world, major international organizations, and all 50 United States.
  • Focus on Terrorism connects students to the latest information on terrorism issues affecting the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, the U.S., and beyond. It includes articles, photos, websites, video and audio clips, and Flash animation.
  • Maps of the World offers hundreds of full-color current, historical, and outline maps in an online reference almanac.
  • Suggested Research Topics includessample keywords, subject headings, and topic browse paths linking directly to coverage of timely issues, providing ideas for research topics and increasing awareness of detailed subject headings. Also available in this section are Challenge Quests, presented monthly, which pose insightful questions with answers in the form of pathfinders, to encourage student research.
  • Spotlight of the Month and ChallengeQuests presents a sampling of articles to encourage research and awareness of monthly topics, chosen for their timeliness and high interest.
  • Top News Stories of the Day—the top national and global headline news stories are dynamically updated, delivering up-to-the-minute breaking news without leaving the security of SKS.

SIRS Interactive Citizenship Bundle
SIRS Interactive Citizenship is an online program that combines cutting-edge content with state-of-the-art technology, creating an educational resource that emphasizes reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Utilizing interactive electronic books that users can easily employ as either a stand-alone or as a supplement to textbooks it dynamically links to websites carefully selected and monitored by SIRS' staff, articles and documents on SIRS databases. This innovative product, aligned to national and state standards, provides continuously updated content, an Educator's Guide, a User's Guide, email capabilities and more. The interactive books are available in both printer-friendly (PDF) and Internet-friendly (HTML) formats, enabling students to assimilate their research within each interactive book. This personal archive becomes a diary of the user's educational experience. Users will learn about every facet of government and the philosophies and concepts underlying world affairs.

CultureGrams™ is a leading reference for concise and reliable cultural information on the countries of the world. With world events increasingly affecting our lives, it's more important than ever to educate students about the world around them, and for college students and businesspeople to stay up-to-date.

The dynamic changes occurring every day--such as the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Asia, or China's explosive growth and influence--make it essential to have country information that is accurate and timely, no matter your age.

CultureGrams provides country reports that go beyond mere facts and figures to deliver a one-of-a-kind perspective on daily life and culture, including the background, customs, and lifestyles of the world's people.

Individual reports covering 200+ countries, all 50 United States, and the Canadian Provinces, are written and reviewed by in-country experts and are updated several times each year, so you can be sure you're offering only the very best information to staff and students.

  • CultureGrams Online Database links you to all CultureGrams editions, including World, Kids, Provinces, and States material, in an engaging interface that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. It includes unlimited printing rights, along with exclusive online features: worldwide photo gallery, slideshows, video clips, famous people collection, and a unique recipe collection that offers five homegrown recipes from all countries in the database. Plus, sortable (create-your-own) data tables help put dozens of facts into perspective.
  • World Edition contains reports on more than 200 countries and cultures, focusing on 25 categories including history, personal appearance, gestures, family, economy, and more. Statistical tables and an extensive glossary make the World Edition perfect for student projects, research, and more. (The World Edition is available as part of the CultureGrams Online Database, or in standalone printed sets.)
  • Kids Edition is a collection of country reports that teaches upper elementary-aged children more about the world around them. Each report is an indispensable resource of up-to-date, engaging cultural information, complete with images, historical timeline, fun facts, and sections on history, population, "life as a kid," and more. (Available only as part of the CultureGrams Online Database.)
  • States Edition features colorful, easy-to-read state reports that help upper elementary-aged students understand the diversity and history of each U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Each report includes maps, flags, state symbols, plus sections on history, economy, geography, population, and more. (Available only as part of the CultureGrams Online Database.)
  • Provinces Edition contains kid-friendly reports on all 13 Canadian provinces and territories. Each report includes images, maps, flags, symbols, plus sections on history, economy, geography, population, and much more.
  • Individual World Reports All World Edition reports are sold individually. Each four-page report, written at a high school level, offers an affordable, in-depth view of a single country or territory. (Available as PDFs, they can only be ordered directly at www.culturegrams.com.)

World Conflicts Today
Insight into the human, political, and physical landscapes that shape our world.

From the editors of CultureGrams comes a new way for students to understand the world around us: World Conflicts Today.

World Conflicts Today explores protracted, unresolved world conflicts, occurring in:

  • Afghanistan
  • Basque country (Spain and France)
  • Chechnya
  • Colombia
  • Darfur (Sudan)
  • Iraq
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • Korean Peninsula
  • Northern Ireland
  • Palestinian Territories

Clear, concise, and thorough materials synthesize volumes of news articles, primary sources, books, and opinion pieces generated by each conflict over the years--giving students access to digestible quantities of in-depth information for analysis, further research, or debate.

The newly updated interface offers a mouse-over map of the world with brief summaries of each conflict, along with easy links to the reports and fresh, up-to-date PowerPoint slideshows.

Researched and produced by CultureGrams editors and reviewed by regional content experts, World Conflicts Today provides unbiased, high-quality coverage.

Why do teachers and schools need World Conflicts Today? Learners and educators cannot get this kind of quality, up-to-date information from:

  • News Articles (no context or continuity)
  • Encyclopedias (dated content, not updated, few photos, written to an older audience)
  • Web (overwhelming, biased, no context)
  • Other Resource Providers (unique resource with no alternative source)

2. Is remote access included in the subscription price? If there are additional charges or requirements in order to offer remote access, please describe them. What methods of remote access are supported? If applicable, please discuss any methods or assistance you offer regarding remote access patron verification and authentication.


There are no additional charges, and no requirements other than for the current networking and workstations.

3. What customer training is provided, and at what cost? Please include "freebies" such as Web-based tutorials, end-user documentation tents, cheat-sheets, etc.

Customer Education and Training

The primary focus for the Customer Education and Training department is to conduct post-sales training for ProQuest customers. The goal is to facilitate successful searching and encourage usage, thereby maximizing the library’s investment in ProQuest products.

Training can be delivered in various ways.

  1. Onsite at the customer’s location. This is customized according to the subscription and the stated needs of the requestor, usually the librarian. The style is presentational with (depending on the equipment and facilities available) the capability to incorporate hands-on practice time. This type of training is the most interactive, and is best suited for those new to database searching or to the products, who like to learn by doing, and that may be training others. Sessions vary in length, but last a minimum of ninety minutes. We are responsible for preparation of training materials and for travel and accommodations costs for our staff. The host organization is responsible for inviting and organizing the trainees, reserving the training room or laboratory, and ensuring that suitable equipment is available.
  2. Online via a web conferencing tool such as WebEx or LiveMeeting. This is also a custom presentation, with ample opportunity for participants to ask questions via online chat, speaker phone or voice-over IP. Online sessions rarely exceed ninety minutes.
  3. Online webinar. This is generally a presentation to multiple customers and is not usually customized. For those comfortable with the technology, webinars provide an excellent means of covering everything from an introductory overview to focused information about a new or updated feature. These webinars last from 30 to 60 minutes. The webinar schedule is posted at www.proquest.com/training.

There are three types of available training, all of which can be delivered by any of the means described above. Our trainers work with your librarians to establish what type of training is desired and to schedule sessions. Our training program is designed to be flexible and customizable to best serve the needs and expertise of each unique audience

4. What customer and technical support is provided, including hours of operation? In your reply, please include contact names (if applicable) or name of department, the phone numbers and e-mail addresses for your support services. If you have toll-free access to these support centers, please make sure they are available here.

We maintain an Electronic Technical Support Department with approximately fifteen staff that provides primary support for all ProQuest brand products (including ProQuest, eLibrary, SIRS, Chadwyck-Healey, and more). Our technicians have, on average, over four years of product experience and six years of technical/customer support experience. Our technicians are trained in PERL/HTML scripting, Windows and advanced browser support. Staff experience also includes various technical certifications and/or degrees in Computer Science or Information Systems.

Our team members are knowledgeable in many areas, including technical requirements and product setup. They resolve access issues, handle customer complaints, answer inquiries, and other account adjustments as needed. We also provide a dedicated team that specializes in creating tailored linking solutions to meet individual customer needs.

The goal of the Technical Support team is to resolve customer access issues immediately during the call. This reduces the downtime resulting from multiple transfers to other departments or callbacks. We utilize a call center hunt system that searches for available technicians as calls come in. This system helps to ensure that customers will speak to a technician without having to leave a message.      

We make team members available for ProQuest support with a toll-free phone number from 8:00 a.m. to midnight ET seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can also submit support requests or questions 24 hours a day via fax and e-mail; most often, we are able to respond the same day (depending on the time of day the request is sent).  

We also employ a master customer tracking database. While assisting customers, the Technical Support representative retrieves the appropriate customer record, and enters the issues presented by the customer. Our support staff uses this information to keep accurate call histories that can be accessed during a future call to help resolve an issue quickly, track trends, and log and submit to management customer enhancement requests.

In late 2008, we introduced a new online ProQuest Support Center (available at http://support.proquest.com). The site provides a wide range of information tailored to specific audiences (for example, students/patrons or library/IT staff), and can answer questions about a variety of topics, ranging from remote user login to establishing an XML Gateway. In addition to seamless searching and browsing of our support library, it offers FAQs for quick answers to common questions, a Problem Solver decision tree for step-by-step diagnoses and fixes, and easy access to our technical support contacts for more complex issues.

Our customers report a very high level of satisfaction with our support. To ensure that customers are satisfied with support received and that we continually improve, we survey customers that contact us for support. For 2008, over 1,500 customers returned surveys, rewarding us with an average score of 3.83 on a scale of four (with four representing “excellent”).

5. Please describe the statistics you provide, and discuss whether your statistical reporting complies in part or in whole with the guidelines developed by the International Coalition of Library Consortia found at http://www.library.yale.edu/consortia/webstats06.htm or the COUNTER Code of Practice found at http://www.projectcounter.org/code_practice.html.

We also develop reports functionality in compliance with leading library standards. Our reports are compliant with Release 2 of the COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources) Code of Practice, and we make all applicable COUNTER reports available to customers. We are also a voting member of COUNTER, and help to guide the standard's development.

In 2009, we will offer support for Standardized Usage Statistics Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI). SUSHI is an emerging NISO standard for a web services based method for automated retrieval and consolidation of COUNTER usage reports. It was created to facilitate aggregation of usage reports across content providers. ERM vendors will use SUSHI to enable libraries to easily gather, combine, and compare content usage across multiple providers. We plan to be fully compliant with COUNTER Code of Practice release 3, which includes SUSHI support, by the August 2009 deadline set by COUNTER.

Our reports are also compliant with all of the applicable guidelines of the 2001 ICOLC (International Coalition of Library Consortia) statistical measures of usage.  Additionally, we use the data dictionary provided in NISO Z39.7-2002 to define our usage reporting elements and categories.
All usage data is available for the past 36 months, in accordance with the 2001 ICOLC guidelines. Most reports can be run within the month/year date range of your choice.

ProQuest consortium customers can produce reports on any tier of multi-tiered accounts. For consortium accounts, it is possible to run the report at any tier in a multi-tiered account and to have the report reflect the breakouts of all the sub-tiers and sub-accounts below that tier. This allows a consortium to run one report and receive the usage totals for the whole consortium, breakouts of the sub-tiers for library types (academic, public, K12, etc.), and the usage totals for the individual library members.

7. Please provide the name and contact information (toll-free telephone number, e-mail address, hours, etc.) for libraries to make further inquires. (Sales representatives for our area are preferred.)

Victor Castellanos
Account Manager
ProQuest, LLC
Everett, WA
Phone: 425-338-4471
Cell: 425-293-3727

Feedback We encourage your feedback. If you have comments or suggestions, please use our feedback form.

Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).