Short term research database subscriptions

Answered By: Lucy Clifford
Last Updated: 01 Jul 2024 Views: 28

The following are designed as guidelines for faculty who are considering using alternative funding methods (such as research grant funding) to subscribe to a database for research purposes for a fixed period of time.

Please note that Library Services are unable to support the purchase, management or use of databases which are not funded from Library budgets.

  1. Before considering a new database subscription, the library Databases A-Z list and relevant Subject Librarian should be consulted to ensure research needs cannot be met from existing library database subscriptions. Please note that library resources are licensed for educational use only. You may need an additional or separate licence agreement depending on how you plan to access and use any library subscribed data.
  2. Where a proposed database subscription is available from an existing library supplier, Library Services may be able to provide contact details and in some cases obtain a quote.
  3. All University financial regulations should be adhered to when purchasing database subscriptions.
  4. Where alternative funding has been secured and a database subscription is being negotiated by a member of faculty, the following should be considered:
    • Confirm access methods with the vendor:
      • Is it possible to provide access to an individual or small group or is access only available on a university-wide basis?
      • Licences which provide only University-wide access (for example, via WRDS) have licence compliance implications. Entering into a university-wide licence would render the contract signatory responsible for ensuring compliance with the contractual terms and conditions aceoss the institution and for dealing with any potential licence breaches.
      • If you intend to collaborate with people who are external to City, check that this is allowed within your agreement.
      • How will access be authenticated? Access authentication refers to the method by which a user logs in to a subscription database which identifies them as an authorised user of that resource.
      • How will access be managed, ensuring only authorised users have access?
      • How will all access be closed down once the contract terminates?
      • Check privacy terms and accessibility of content are appropriate for your needs.
    • Confirm the licence period requirement is feasible. Most suppliers have a minimum contractual period of 12 months.
    • If the data in the database is owned by more than one entity there may be more than one licence and/or copyright agreement to consider regarding use, sharing, publishing, or any other re-use of the source data.
    • Understand what the licence allows you to do and how you may do it, and what it does not allow. Check this aligns with your intended research methodology and planned use for the data.
    • Confirm costs with the vendor (including whether VAT needs to be addes) and check whether this is a time limited offer.
    • Share the contract with Procurement before signing and seek their advice. Look for any restrictions on usage (such as downloading) and associated liabilities. Clarify whether the contract contains any stipulations about the deletion of downloaded data once the contract has terminated.
    • Should the agreement go ahead, ensure that all users of the database are aware of the licence terms and conditions and undertake to abide by them.
    • Ensure Library Services are made aware of any contracts which are entered into with existing or new suppliers. Please use the contacts listed in our Online Resource Policy.
    • Note that the budget holder or contract signatory will be responsible for ensuring the timely payment of invoices and dealing with any related issues.


Jacqui Gaul, Head of Business Library Services May 2024

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