BEST Liz Mazzella 07 Feb 1994 12:30 EST

I was on the way out to a meeting and had to cut my last note short.

We looked into best a few months back based on some second hand information
we had received that participation was useful in increasing collaborations
for investigators.   In my initial conversations with others in the field,
there always appeared to be some confusion over whether BEST charged
participating institutions for their services. The confusion stemmed
from the fact that just as I was starting my investigations into BEST,
BEST approached several of their current subscribers with the idea
of instituting a fee.

I called BEST (Cartermill, Inc) directly and found that they had in fact
decided to institute a fee for participating institutions to list
their faculty profiles.  (The other service they provide, listing of
available technologies for license, remains free of charge).  They
based their decision to go forward with a fee on "informal feedback" they
received from participants that the fee would be acceptable.  However,
when this issue was discussed on Techno-l; the majority of respondants
indicated that they would probably NOT continue listing their faculty
profiles if a $6,000 - $7,500 annual fee were involved.  Most could
not point to specific collaborations or funded research that arose
from their participation.

A representative of BEST explained to me that the fee was intended to
support Internet access to BEST for all investigators at participating
institutions (currently access is direct  and only through a designated
office --usually Sponsored Programs. They also state that they have
become so large a database that they experience significant delays in
getting new faculty profiles on the database --the fee is intended to
help fund provision of better service in this area --to give a guaranteed
turnaround for input, etc...

Corporate users of BEST, will continue to pay for the service, and will
not be issued internet access capability.

BEST has not approached me since we expressed initial interest and we
have not signed up yet based on the lukewarm reviews we have seen.  I would
be interested in knowing if anyone on RESADM-L has had experience with
BEST that would support the fee.

Finally - I think the "CEO" reference in the initial note that
started this tome referred to a new Chief Exec. Officer at BEST.

* Elizabeth (Liz) Mazzella             xxxxxx@ALBNYDH2.BITNET  *
* Asst. Dir. Technology Transfer & Sponsored Pgms.            *
* Health Research, Inc. 66 Hackett Blvd. Albany NY 12209      *
* Voice: (518) 431-1200                    Fax: (518)431-1234 *