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Principles for Overlapping Access Periods When Changing Database Providers

As databases transition from one vendor to another, it is important to provide a period of overlapping access to:

  1. Ensure that access to the new vendor is working properly for all campuses including via proxy servers.
  2. Allow Resource Liaisons to review and recommend any customization options.
  3. Establish critical services with the new vendor (see below).
  4. Schedule any needed vendor training for librarians and library staff.
  5. Provide time for librarians to develop or revise instructional materials.
  6. Prepare for changing access paths (URLs) in web sites, Shared Cataloging, etc.

Minimum Overlap Period

In general, the minimum overlap should be three months. If either the vendor or CDL needs to do significant work to accomplish the above service levels, a longer period may be desirable.


Ideally, changes should occur during July and late December/early January. If possible, transitions should be avoided during the winter/spring term because of the differences in campus schedules for semester and quarter breaks.


Certain key services must be in place before making a new database available to users. The intent is first to ensure that users do not experience a loss of any services that were available in the previous version of the database, and second, to achieve the goal of extending services across all databases.

  • Link Resolver: Since establishing linking services may take time depending on negotiations with the vendor for the desired levels of metadata for various services, it is possible that services may be phased in. The minimum level of services may vary depending on the nature of the database, but in general, the following principles apply:
    • Any services that were available in the previous version should be available in the new version prior to making it public.
    • Links to electronic full text must be available for the key content covered by the database. The importance of links from special publication types that may require more effort should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
    • Links to Request do not have to be in place for public release if: 1) the service was not available in the previous version; and 2) links to electronic content are substantial.
    • Update/Alerts: If this service was available in the previous version, it should be available in the new version so that users do not experience a gap in monitoring their areas of interest.