Full-Length Paper

Using the Visualization Software Evaluation Rubric to explore six freely available visualization applications

  • Thea P Atwood (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • Rebecca Reznik-Zellen (University of Massachusetts Medical School)


Objective: As a variety of visualization tools become available to librarians and researchers, it can be challenging to select a tool that is robust and flexible enough to provide the desired visualization outcomes for work or personal use. In this article, the authors provide guidance on several freely available tools, and offer a rubric for use in evaluating visualization tools.

Methods: A rubric was generated to assist the authors in assessing the selected six freely available visualization tools. Each author analyzed three tools, and discussed the differences, similarities, challenges, and successes of each.

Results: Of the six visualization tools, two tools emerged with high marks. The authors found that the rubric was a successful evaluation tool, and facilitated discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of the six selected visualization pieces of software.

Conclusions: Of the six different visualization tools analyzed, all had different functions and features available to best meet the needs of users. In a situation where there are many options available, and it is difficult at first glance to determine a clear winner, a rubric can be useful in providing a method to quickly assess and communicate the effectiveness of a tool.

Keywords: visualization tool, rubric

How to Cite:

Atwood, T. P. & Reznik-Zellen, R., (2018) “Using the Visualization Software Evaluation Rubric to explore six freely available visualization applications”, Journal of eScience Librarianship 7(1): 3. doi: https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2018.1122

Rights: Copyright Atwood & Rebecca Reznik-Zellen © 2018

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Published on
22 Jan 2018