Vendor Information

Guidelines for yearly trials of Web-based databases

Developed by the Statewide Database Licensing Committee, March 1999.
Revised February 2007.

  1. The trials are only intended for web-based products.
  2. The trial period will run for approximately eight weeks. Vendors will work with staff from the Washington State Library to make their products accessible from the State Library's web site. Products that can not be accessed via the web by means of authentication via password and logon or automatic entry will not be considered. We are unable to provide vendors with IP address ranges for trial access.
  3. The trials will be publicized only to the library community in Washington State and will be advertised as being intended for staff of Washington libraries. In some cases, library staff may seek input from their end users.
  4. The intention of the trials is to introduce new products or significant upgrades to existing products. There will be no limit to the frequency with which a vendor can offer products for trial.
  5. Staff from the Statewide Database Licensing Project (SDL) reserve the right to recruit or solicit vendors for trials of specialized products, e.g. for trials of online encyclopedias or of national newspaper databases. All efforts will be made to be inclusive in seeking vendors with suitable products for such focused trials.
  6. SDL staff will widely publicize the trials to library staff. Vendors are also encouraged to assist with publicity efforts.

How to participate in the trials

Washington State Library (WSL) staff will issue invitations at least a month before the trial period begins. Invitations are sent via e-mail to representatives of vendors of online databases. The list is developed based on recommendations from staff of Washington libraries.

Vendors must reply to a series of questions. Vendors' answers to these questions will be posted on the SDL website. A link will be established into the database(s), using either a CGI script or by posting the password information on the WSL Web site. For an 8 week period following, staff from libraries will be able to preview the databases and indicate their interest to the WSL. When the trial period is over, vendors will learn how many libraries are interested, and a coordinator from the Statewide Database Licensing committee will help coordinate any group pricing that may be available. Vendors may always receive information about the libraries and contact people that express interest in their product, even if the number is not large enough for a group discount.

Vendor Questions

  1. Describe the database product(s). If you want us to link to more than one product, provide a unique description for each product. If there are special hardware or software requirements, please make sure you include them in the description.

  2. Is remote access included in the subscription price? If there are additional charges or requirements in order to offer remote access, please describe them. What methods of remote access are supported? If applicable, please discuss any methods or assistance you offer regarding remote access patron verification and authentication.

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

  4. What customer and technical support is provided, including hours of operation? In your reply, please include contact names (if applicable) or name of department, the phone numbers and e-mail addresses for your support services. If you have toll-free access to these support centers, please make sure they are available here.

  5. Please describe the statistics you provide, and discuss whether your statistical reporting complies in part or in whole with the guidelines developed by the International Coalition of Library Consortia found at or the COUNTER Code of Practice found at

  6. Describe your pricing structure or formula for the product. (I.e. we want to know what your prices are and how they are calculated: Based on FTEs? On buildings? On a combination, or on something else?)

    If you cannot provide a standard price that would enable each library to understand their cost to subscribe, then for each product tell us the price that you would charge these hypothetical libraries if they subscribed to your product as a result of these trials.

    1. Library A: A high school library with 750 students in grades 9-12
    2. Library B: A public library that serves a population of 100,000 and has two branches
    3. Library C: A public library that serves a population of 20,000 and has only one building, no branches
    4. Library D: A community college or four-year academic library serving 5,000 full-time equivalent students
    5. Library E: A hospital library serving a hospital that employees 1,000 staff plus has 200 doctors attached to the hospital
  7. Please provide the name and contact information (toll-free telephone number, e-mail address, hours, etc.) for libraries to make further inquires. (Sales representatives for our area are preferred.)

How to contact libraries in Washington

A directory of Washington Libraries is available online at

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