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Library Administrative Manual

3.3 Online Reference Search Services: Classes Of Users, Fees, And Payment Methods

  1. Classes Of Users And Use Fees
  2. Payment Of Services
  3. Review Of Online Search Requests

As an extension of traditional reference services, computer-assisted literature searching is intended to enhance the capability of rapid information retrieval. However, unlike manual searching, each occasion or use generates its own direct cost based upon the complexity of individualized data files, telecommunication charges and, as required, the costs of off-line printouts. Considering the potential end-user population at San Francisco State University, it becomes impractical to fully support the direct cost of this service by fiscal resources currently allocated to the University Library. Accordingly, the following definition of user classes, fee schedules, and provisions for payment have been developed to assure the viability of online reference services.

I. Classes Of Users And Use Fees

  1. The San Francisco State University campus community user group comprises all currently enrolled students, (whether part or full time and including Extended Education students); temporary and permanent faculty (whether full or part-time); emeritus faculty; visiting scholars appointed by the University; closely-related classes; executive, administrative, and support staff (whether full or part-time); students of the American Language Institute, and staff of the San Francisco Foundation

    Individuals in this class of users will pay for full direct costs of online searching as they are determined by the following component charges for service:

    1. Computer connect time based upon prevailing hourly rate schedules for individual data files as established by the vendor.
    2. Telecommunication charges via the most appropriate access point: direct-dial, Tymshare, Telenet.
    3. Cost of off-line bibliographic records (printouts) as established by the vendor per citation in any given data file.
  2. CSUC Academic Community (excepting as noted above for SFSU)

    1. Online search services will be made available to students, faculty, staff and special program affiliates of other CSUC campuses when an individual from any of these groups of users does not have access to comparable online reference services on their home campuses, that is to say, that either online services have not yet been established at their home campus or specific data files are not accessible through a service from the CSUC Consortium will be included in this class of users.
    2. Costs for services to this class of CSUC users will be the same as those specified for SFSU users as noted in I.A.1-3 above. That is to say, full direct costs of access, telecommunications and off-line records will be charged.
    3. Users in this class will be accommodated within available time commitments and personnel resources, but not in advance of SFSU or CSUC academic users.
  3. Non-academic Community Users

    Because of its primary commitment to serve faculty, staff and students on campus, the Library will be unable to offer online search services to the non-academic community. Non-academic users including affiliates of businesses, corporations, and other public or private institutions will be referred to commercial or other online services established in the greater Bay Area (e.g. Information Store, public libraries, or private agencies having online search facilities).

II. Payment Of Services

  1. The requester is responsible for completion of such search request forms as may be required to initiate and complete an online search. Such search request form(s), when duly signed by the requester, shall authorize initiation of the search and shall constitute the requester's acceptance to pay for the full costs of such a search based on the fee schedule applicable to the requester's user status.
  2. Payment Mechanism
    1. Personal or cashier's check, money orders presented on site to the designated Reference Services staff member(s) upon delivery of search results or upon advisement that the search has been completed. Approved identification as established by the University Librarian may be required upon payment by these means.
    2. San Francisco State University cashier's receipt. An invoice, issued by the Reference Services Department to the requester for the costs of a completed search, will be paid and receipted at the office of the University cashier. The requester will then return the receipted invoice to Reference Services for the search results.
    3. Departmental re-charge and charges to established trust accounts. Costs of online search services may be paid by recharge to established departmental and special trust accounts when an individual authorized to incur such charges completes and signs a search request form in advance of searching. Applicable re-charge number(s) will be added to the search request form upon verification of account and authorization to re-charge.

III. Review Of Online Search Requests

The designated searcher shall exercise review of online search requests to determine the applicability of this service in meeting the requester's information needs and may suggest other approaches if they are more appropriate. Requesters may ask the Reference/Computer Assisted Search Services Coordinator to review a decision not to initiate a search when requesters have been advised that search strategies other than online may be more appropriate to their information needs.

Approved by: LDG
Date: 4/23/81 Revised: 11/10/88

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