Statewide Database Licensing Project - Fall 2000 Trials
Cambridge Scientific Abstracts

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(Note from the Washington State Library:  In order to participate in the Fall 2000 Washington State Databases Trial, each vendor was asked to address questions the Statewide Database Licensing Committee felt were most critical in order for library staff to evaluate products and vendors.  Please contact the vendor's representative, listed below, for additional information on this product.)

1. Describe the database product(s). Include information on subject scope, percentage of full-text, dates of coverage, target audience (including age ranges), and how often the contents are updated.

Cambridge Scientific Abstracts publishes a wide variety of databases covering all aspects of science and technology. Databases are delivered through the new Internet Database Service Version 5.0, featuring site-wide access with unlimited use. Other features include the Web Resources Database, which provides searchable links to Internet information sources in the sciences; Recent References Related to Your Search, a citation-only current-awareness service; and fulltext document acquisition features including Links-to-Fulltext and Link-to-Holdings modules.

Databases published by Cambridge Scientific Abstracts available through the service include:

Aerospace Database Aquatic Sciences & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) Database CSA Biological Sciences Database CSA Biotechnology & BioEngineering Database CSA Computer Information & Technology Collection Complete Cambridge Sciences Collection CSA Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management Database CSA Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts CSA Materials Science Collection with METADEX CSA Sociological Abstracts CSA Technology Collection

Databases by other publishers available through the service include:

AgeLine AGRICOLA API EnCompass: Environment API EnCompass:News Biology Digest Computer Abstracts International Database Corrosion Abstracts EconLit ERIC FINDEX GeoRef IPA (International Pharmaceutical Abstracts) LISA MEDLINE Microcomputer Abstracts NLM TOXLINE NTIS Database PAIS Paperbase Political Science Abstracts PsycINFO Rapra SOFTBASE WELDASEARCH Zoological Record Plus (ZR Plus)

For more information about the Internet Database Service and specific databases available, go to

2. What are the hardware and software requirements for using all the features of the product?

Using the Internet Database Service requires:

3. Is remote access included for the subscription price? If there are additional charges or requirements in order to offer remote access, please describe. What methods of remote access are supported?

CSA restricts access to Internet Database Service Accounts by IP address and username and password. Any user within the IP ranges of a subscriber are allowed access to the Internet Database Service at no extra charge. Remote access may be achieved through a proxy server which would be provided and maintained by the customer. As long as the proxy server is within the IP range specified, there would not be an additional charge. In some special cases where there are very few remote access users, an account can have an open IP restriction and achieve access with a username and password. Whether or not an additional charge will be assessed for remote access users depends on the number of remote access users.

4. Please discuss any methods or assistance you offer regarding remote access patron verification and authentication.

CSA restricts access to Internet Database Service Accounts by IP address and username and password. Proxy servers provided and maintained by the customer allow for access to the Internet Database Service by remote patrons. These proxy servers would have to have their own patron verification/authentication process. Outside of IP address authentication, CSA does not have the means to verify a patron. In some special cases, an account can have an open IP restriction with only username and password access to accommodate remote users.

5. What end user delivery options, such as printing, emailing or faxing results, are available beyond just viewing results on the computer monitor?

Search results can be viewed on screen, saved to a disk, printed, or sent via e-mail. Additionally, the Internet Database Service has an option to export records into bibliographic software such as Endnote, Reference Manager and Procite. While CSA does not provide a document delivery service itself, we link to document delivery services.

6. What customer training is provided, and at what cost? Please include "freebies" such as Web-based tutorials, end-user documentation tents, cheat-sheets, etc.

User guides, database fact sheets and quick reference cards are available from CSA. In addition, they will be available in PDF format on the web site. There are also help screens available from almost every screen of the interface. In some cases, Account Executives may be available to conduct training sessions.

7. What customer and technical support is provided, including hours of operation.

Live customer support is available from 8:30am to 6:00pm, EST or EDT, at 1-800-843-7751. Queries to [email protected]  are generally answered by the next business day.

8. Describe the statistics you provide, and discuss whether your statistical reporting complies with guidelines developed by the International Coalition of Library Consortia which may be found at .

CSA provides online usage statistics for all IDS accounts, which comply with the ICOLC guidelines. Each customer can access their own usage report. Access to these usage reports is restricted by IP address and username and password. The usage report summarizes monthly usage in three parts:

  1. 1.The first part reports the number of times your username and password were used to access the Internet Database Service each month. (Earliest available data is from September 1996)
  2. 2.The second part shows a count of the number of searches that were submitted by persons accessing with your username and password. (Earliest available data is from April 1997)
  3. 3.The third part reports the number of times each database was searched. Since it is possible to search more than one database with each submitted search, this count will be higher than the number of searches submitted. (Earliest available data is from September 1996). This information can also be expanded to show the number of times each database was searched each month within the date range specified.

9. Describe your pricing structure or formula for the product. If there are additional costs for retrieving full text, describe the pricing for this service.

CSA has a published Price List for all of the databases that are offered on the Internet Database Service. CSA bases its pricing on site license access with unlimited concurrent users which is restricted by IP address. The site license is intended to cover the building or group of buildings associated with a single location for an institution. CSA offers Small Institution Pricing for academic institutions with an FTE of 3,500 or less.

Each database is priced differently ranging from $555 to $10,500. CSA also offers pricing for database collections.

CSA has a Document Acquisition Feature which allows subscribers to link to their catalog if it is in web format, link to full text for e-journal subscriptions that the customer has, link to ILL, and link to document delivery. There is no fee for the Document Acquisition Module.

10. If a library subscribes to any of your products as a result of this trial, will their future subscription rates continue to reflect any savings or discount they may receive today?

Yes, the discount determined at the time of initial purchase will be honored for successive renewals provided the original requirements for receiving that discount are still met. I.e., number of participating institutions, or minimum purchase amount for a dollar-volume discount.

11. What is the minimum participation level (however you care to define it) that would be needed to allow participating libraries to receive a discount? What is the minimum discount for a group buy? Please clarify how you would treat existing library customers with regard to a group buy.

A dollar volume discount will be offered with a minimum of 5 new participating institutions (does not include existing customers). All participating institutions must have coinciding subscription cycles in order to be eligible for the group discount. The discount structure for the dollar-volume discount is as follows:

Amount of Purchase Discount

Discounts are NOT retroactive. The Discount Threshold established at time of initial purchase is the discount that will be extended to existing customers at time of renewal.

12. Please indicate whether libraries from Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and/or Hawaii are eligible to participate in the group buying process. Again, the fiscal and contracting relationship will be between each vendor and library. The Washington State Library will help determine if the criteria for a group discount has been met.

Yes, all of the states mentioned above are eligible to participate in the trial and in the group purchasing process.

13. Please provide name and contact information (toll-free telephone number, e-mail address, hours, etc.) should libraries wish to make further inquires.

Shannon Chamberlin
Account Executive
Phone: 303-322-6413
Fax: 303-322-5738
E-mail: [email protected]
Headquarters in Bethesda, MD toll-free phone: 800-843-7751