Friday, May 1, 2015

RTRA questions

We have some questions regarding RTRA. A lot of the questions below reflect the concerns of smaller institutions which are concerned with equity of access to these data regardless of university size and budget.
1. How much does it cost for a university to subscribe?

Minimum $5K, attached word document explains the set up!

2. Can two universities partner together for a RTRA subscription (similar to a RDC / Branch RDC model)?
We could probably work out a scenario where this would work but there would be several constraints. The RTRA service has 2 contracts, the first with institution that pays for the service, the other is with the individual user. For a partnership to work there would have to be some documentation between the institution that pays for the service and the users from the partner institution. This could get complicated though.

3. How many “seats” for RTRA users are acquired for this payment (one “hub/focal point” and how many “floating” licenses)?

Details in the word document

4. Is it possible to get fewer “seats” for a reduced payment?

No, it really isn’t feasible for us to lower the cost of the RTRA. Even if we managed to sign up more institutions with a lower cost, we wouldn’t be able to support the users or the IT infrastructure. Essentially we would be shooting ourselves in the foot.

5. How is billing done (e.g., fiscal year billing, calendar year billing, billing from time of subscription to next year, prorated billing to end of fiscal year, etc.)?

Fiscal year billing, however, we will prorate the cost of the RTRA for institutions signing up later in the year.

6. Is there any reduction in subsequent years, since the “hub/focal point” would presumably remain constant?

No, the cost of the service will not be lowered in subsequent years.

Other questions unrelated to pricing:

1. I don’t recall hearing about a research application process in the past. How would that work for a library focal point which wished to support and fulfill data requests from graduate or undergraduate students, or from faculty or staff (e.g., university institutional planning or president’s office) who simply wanted tables produced for them?

There is no research application process. We ask each of the RTRA users to let us know why they need access to the system and data but there is no evaluation process or criteria. The application form is used to collect information about the user so that we can create their account.

2. We were told that users needed to specify which datasets they intended to access. One of the selling points in a presentation was that a user didn’t need to do so – having obtained access to RTRA, they were free to use whatever files they needed. Has this changed (and why, as it makes the service far less attractive)?

In the user application we ask the RTRA user to be precise in terms of which data sets they would like to access. They can indicate all available if they choose. There is no change in price if users choose to access one or all of the data sets in the RTRA.