LIS 640 - General information


Software Evaluation.

Calendar description

Further experience with currently available software packages suitable for use in library and information environments. Criteria that may be employed in the selection of such software packages and the usefulness of various sources of information.


Tim Craven, MC 272, Tel. 661-2111 ext. 88497.

Time and place

2002 Winter term, Thursday mornings, 9-11:50, MC 15a.


3 reports due January 16 and 23 and March 6 @9% 27%
2 elective general reviews or focused reports @18% 36%
Final general review or focused report due April 17 18%
Oral participation 19%
Total 100%

Students are reminded that attendance at all seminars, except for reasons of family emergency, serious illness, or religious obligation, is required.

General reviews and focused reports

It is suggested that you do at least one general review and at least one focused report.

General reviews or focused reports are to be submitted for 2 of the following 4 choices:

  1. A database management or IR package (Inmagic DB/TextWorks or Microsoft Access if a general review) (due February 6).
  2. A graphics or presentations package (PowerPoint or Corel Presentations if a general review) (due February 20).
  3. An HTML-related package (HTML editing capabilities of Corel WordPerfect 9 or Netscape Composer if a general review) (due March 20).
  4. A spreadsheet package (Microsoft Excel or Quattro Pro if a general review) (due April 3)

A third general review or focused report (due April 17) is to be submitted for another software package not extensively discussed in the course prior to the final class. In addition to the printed submission, the full text, or a one-page précis if preferred, is to be submitted as an HTML file to be placed on one or more of the University's Web sites.

A general review should be about 1200 words and should touch at least on the following points:

Apart from this, suit the content to your own experience and judgment. Try for a review that is informative, clear, and free from errors. Provide key factual information, but do not swamp the reader with detail.

A focused report should be about 1400 words and should follow the general structure of a scientific report. The following elements should be included:

(Some sample focused reports and general reviews from previous offerings of the course are available on the Web.)


(The timing of some events is subject to change.)

  1. January 10. Introduction to the course. General criteria for software evaluation.
  2. January 17. Discussion of criteria for selection of specific types of software. Initial problems with terminology.
  3. January 24. Initial discussion of the type of package to be recommended for acquisition. Discussion of sources of information on software packages.
  4. January 31. Demonstration and lab on DB/TextWorks.
  5. February 7. Further discussion of database management and IR packages, including points raised in reports. Preliminary discussion of package to be recommended for acquisition.
  6. February 14. Demonstration and lab on PowerPoint.
  7. February 21. Further discussion of graphics and presentation packages, including points raised in reports.
  8. March 7. Determination of package to be recommended for acquisition and of packages to be weeded.
  9. March 14. Demonstration and lab on HTML editing capabilities of Corel WordPerfect 9.
  10. March 21. Further discussion of HTML-related packages, including points raised in reports.
  11. March 28. Demonstration and lab on Microsoft Excel.
  12. April 4. Further discussion of spreadsheet software, including points raised in reports.
  13. April 11. John Fracasso on the FIMS LAN. Installation of, and experimentation with, package selected for acquisition, if available.
  14. April 18. Discussion of packages considered in final reports.


Last updated January 17, 2002.
This page maintained by Prof. Tim Craven
E-mail (text/plain only):
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
University of Western Ontario,
London, Ontario
Canada, N6A 5B7