Credo Reference

Review by the CCL-EAR Committee

Credo Reference (CR) is an online reference library, providing access to the full text of 463 highly regarded and popular titles. Among these are Marquis Who’s Who, CIA Factbook, Cambridge Guide to Literature in English, Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, and the McGraw Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms. The database includes dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, thesauri, encyclopedias, quotations and atlases, and a wide range of subject-specific titles covering everything from accounting to zoology. To date this database contains over 3.2 million entries.

Download the PDF Document containing the full text of the committee’s review with detailed screenshots.

Committee’s Overall Assessment:

Committee’s Standard Evaluation Chart:

Database Content
Search Interface
User Support Services
Accessibility/Availability of Service


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Visitor rating
Rating: 3.0/4 (3 votes cast)

If you have any experience with Credo Reference, please leave a comment and rate its appropriateness for use in community colleges.

Credo Reference3.043

5 Responses to “Credo Reference”

  1. Brian Greene's rating and/or comments:

    We recently started our subscription and have come across a number of issues with the MARC records provided by Credo that I think are worth sharing:

    1) Credo Reference is incorrectly listed as the primary author on a number of records. For example, the CIA World Factbook lists Credo as the author and not the Central Intelligence Agency .

    2) The subject headings associated with the records could be improved. Again using the CIA World Factbook as an example, ‘Geography’ is the sole subject term listed even though several others are relevant.

    3) Many of the call numbers inconsistently include EB after the date. Many have both (EB), some have one or the other, and a few don’t have either. In addition, sometimes there is a space between the year and the EB and sometimes there isn’t. My institution uses the EB and would prefer they be included on all records, but regardless the records should be consistent.

    4) It is unclear if Credo has an elegant process in place to update old records as new titles are added to the subscription.

    To their credit, the folks at Credo have been responsive to our concerns and have stated they plan to hire a cataloger to fix at least some of the problems.

    Unrelated to the MARC records, it is also worth pointing out (particularly to California libraries) that there is some overlap between the Credo titles and the titles in the NetLibrary eBook collections.

  2. Patricia Woodwoth's rating and/or comments:

    The use of Credo Reference on our campus is overwhelming. We consider it as our reference collection. As much as possible we make sure that students understand what some of the problems may be, but overall a very credible product at a reasonable cost.

  3. Brian Greene's rating and/or comments:

    Here’s a follow-up to my previous comment:

    An important concern about the database that I did not mention in my earlier comment involves the shortcomings of the search algorithm. For example, a search for ‘math’ does NOT return the topic page for mathematics. Indeed, the first page of results are all only loosely related to the subject of math.

    On the positive side, Credo has made substantial progress on most of the concerns I raised last year:

    1) The problem of listing Credo as the primary author seems to have been corrected and no longer occurs in new records.

    2) The quantity and quality of subject headings provided with the MARC records is better than it was last summer but could still be improved.

    3) The EBs in call numbers are now consistent in new records.

    4) New (i.e. recently available) MARC records are now more obvious in the administrative module, but there still does not appear to be an elegant way to identify and then replace MARC records for older editions when a new edition is made available.

    Finally, Credo has continued to solicit input from our library and I greatly appreciate their responsive customer service.

  4. Lorrita Ford's rating and/or comments:

    There’s a lot to like with Credo but I have an issue with is EasyBib’s adds
    and the lack of our ability to substitute a tool we already pay for (Noddle Bib)
    or the eliminate the EasyBib option all together.

    It may be a deal breaker for us.

  5. Jean Smith's rating and/or comments:

    I’ll second Lorrita’s comment about EasyBib. Not only is it full of ads, some of them have sound and you don’t have the option to stop them or remove the link to EasyBib.

    Another problem we ran into is the listing of books from our catalog on the topic pages. They do not have a way (at least in our Horizon system) to pull titles by date so, for example, a search on the term “genetics”, shows 3 books from our catalog from the 1980’s!

    To their credit, the customer support has been great but the product needs more work, especially if you choose the 100 title option.

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