|Type of site||Online digital library|
Questia is an online commercial digital library of books and articles with an academic orientation, with a particular emphasis on books and journal articles in the humanities and social sciences. The great majority of items are under copyright, for which Questia has paid a fee to the copyright owners. All the text in all the Questia books and articles is available to subscribers. The similar service Google Book Search has seven million books scanned in their library, but users can only see small parts of copyrighted books.
Questia offers some information for free, including several public domain works, publication information, tables of contents, the first page of every chapter, Boolean searches of the contents of the library, and short bibliographies of available books and articles on some 6500 topics.
Questia does not sell ownership to books or ebooks, but rather sells monthly or annual subscriptions that allows temporary online reading access to all 78,000+ books, and 9,000,000+ journal, magazine, and newspaper articles in their collection. The books have been selected by academic librarians as credible, authoritative works in their respective areas. The librarians have also compiled about 7000 reference bibliographies on frequently researched topics. The library is strongest in books and journal articles in the social sciences and humanities, with many older historical texts. Original pagination has been maintained, critical for those wishing to cite the materials. The Questia service also features tools to automatically create citations and bibliographies, helping writers to properly cite the materials.
A limitation to the Questia library is that new additions are available in a "beta" version only. Unlike Questia's earlier publications, these prevent the user from copying text directly from the cursor. A page from the publication can be printed for free. A charge is made for printing a range of pages.
Questia was criticized in 2005 by librarian Steven J. Bell for referring to itself as an academic library when it concentrates on the liberal arts and treats users as customers rather than students. Bell argues Questia does not employ academic librarians or faculty. Although some of its employees have advanced library degrees, they do not work or collaborate with faculty to develop collections that serve distinctive student populations.
Questia launched their Q&A blog on September 21, 2011. Q&A is divided into "Education news," "Student resources" and "Subjects" categories. "Subjects" is further broken down so readers can find specific content based on their academic needs.
- Questia home page