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Re: Decision-making for acquiring databases for library collections

Dear Lisa:  thank you for this most helpful list of essential 

Now I have more questions for you and for our other readers and 
lurkers.  The questions are:

1.Do all the criteria have to be met, or are some more essential 
than others?

2.How does one evaluate criteria such as "demand," "quality of 
content," "usability?"  What process is followed in each of these 

3.How much of this evaluating can one realistically do before 
making an acquisition or even subscribing to such a database?

Many thanks, Ann Okerson

On Mon, 10 Oct 2011, Lisa Peddey wrote:

> We have purchased several online historical archives over the 
> past 6 years.
> There are a number of essential criteria that informs our 
> decision to purchase quality full text and archival databases:
> *User demand for this type of online content and current gaps 
> in our collections.
> *The quality of the archive content and usability of the search 
> interface.
> *The licence terms allow our remote registered users to use the 
> archive.
> *The subject area fits within our Collection and Resources 
> Development Policy and relates to our collection strengths
> *Our previous experience with the vendor, including acceptable 
> licensing terms and conditions; they are flexible about 
> renegotiating licences when required; and reliability of 
> service. The vendor's reputation with other libraries in our 
> consortium is also considered.
> *The availability of funds to make an outright purchase and the 
> level of the annual hosting fees
> *Our cost benefit analysis has demonstrated that an outright 
> purchase (plus an annual hosting fee) will result in less net 
> cost than a subscription to the same/similar content over the 
> longer term.
> Of increasing significance in our decisions is the 
> interoperability of these eresources with federated searching, 
> A-Z list and the availability of quality MARC records. We 
> purchased a couple of archival databases 5-6 years ago that 
> have very limited interoperability and they have been poorly 
> used.  We are unlikely to make that type purchasing decision 
> again as we are not getting value for money from them.
> Regards
> Lisa Peddey
> Electronic Acquisitions Team Leader
> State Library of Victoria
> Melbourne Victoria 3000 Australia
> http://www.slv.vic.gov.au