apply however, every institution has purchasing processes to follow. It is best for all parties within the library to be clear on these processes prior to talking with the vendor. When negotiating with vendors typical of those selling small data, the requesting faculty need to know that a successful negotiation depends upon the vendor agreeing to terms and processes that might be beyond the library’s control. In the best case, this means long delays in the purchase process at the worst, the vendor may not be able to or wish to comply with local purchasing requirements. When: Given the complications of the procurement process, it should not be surprising that acquisitions can be complex and require an extended amount of time. Knowledge of this is not, however, uniform among patrons, and communication about the realities of negotiating these types of acquisitions is critical. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, key partners in the purchase process met to review the program and the list of data sets approved for potential purchase. These individuals reviewed each order in detail to ensure an accurate understanding of the request, completeness of vendor contact information, and accuracy of the researcher’s contact information. These personnel then held conference calls with each vendor to determine the seller’s requirements and whether they could comply with local procurement processes. The calls sought to answer a list of questions, and library personnel made extensive notes of the conversations and made follow-up calls as needed. Initiated with the prior understanding that negotiations may not be successful in either obtaining what was needed or in securing permission to make the data publically accessible, these calls included the library’s Head of Acquisitions, E-Resources Librarian, and Data Services Librarian. As a pilot program, the chance to explore and possibly fail to obtain the ideal situation was accepted as a necessary step in building a program that would eventually work. Lessons Learned For the pilot project, applicants were asked to describe access restrictions for the data they requested. Not surprisingly, what an individual applicant described as a purchase with campus-wide access was not always data to which the University Library could provide broad, IP-authenticated access. Some data providers only worked with individual researchers and possessed no pricing or RLI 276 16 Collecting Small Data ( C O N T I N U E D ) SEPTEMBER 2011 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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