Requesting Database Trials

MSU Library is happy to work with MSU students, faculty, and staff to arrange trials to resources that we do not subscribe to in order to see if the resource meets the needs of our users and adds value to our collection. Only requests from current MSU students, faculty, and staff submitted through our ‘Trial Request’ form will be considered. After reviewing and approving requests, the Library will work directly with vendors to arrange and coordinate trial access. MSU Library does not support repeated trials of resources for instructional or personal use.


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Acquisition of Trial Resources

MSU Library does not discourage resource trials, but given funding constraints, most trials will not result in the purchase of a resource unless we find them to be of considerable value to our users. If MSU Library does move forward with a purchase, it will typically result in a one-year subscription with no commitment to renew the resource after the one-year period is over.

Evaluation of Trials

MSU Library values your feedback and would appreciate your comments on the resources we have access to on a trial basis. Your responses will help us determine how to allocate our resources for future electronic resource purchases. If you would like to provide feedback about a database trial, please submit an online evaluation form.

Trial Guidelines for Vendors

MSU Library asks that if you speak individually with our students, faculty, or staff, that you encourage them to use our appropriate channel for requesting trial access to your resources by filling out the online trial request form.

Common Questions about Trials

Why did my trial request get denied?

  • A trial request could be denied for a number of reasons. For example, some vendors do not offer trial access to their resource; the Library did not find the resource relevant to a broad number of users; the cost of the resource is unreasonable; the Library’s preferred method of authentication and access is unavailable or restrictive. If your request is denied, the Electronic Resources Librarian will send you an email stating the reason(s) why.

How long does it take before I have access to the trial?

  • This depends on how responsive the vendor is to our request for a trial. Typically, if we have worked with a company before, we are able to obtain trial access much more quickly than if we are working with a company for the first time. However, we are usually able to have most trials set up within 1-2 weeks of receiving a request.

How long does trial access usually last?

  • Most vendors will allow 30 day trials to their resources. In some cases, we can negotiate access for a longer period of time, while in other cases, the trial period will be less than 30 days. For example, a one week trial is not uncommon.

Will I be notified when trial access has been implemented?

  • Yes, you will receive an email from the Electronic Resources Librarian with pertinent details about the trial, including instructions on how to access the trial.

How can I provide feedback about a trial?

  • Your feedback is important to us! Please use our online trial evaluation form to submit your feedback about any of the resources we are trialing. If you were the primary requestor of a trial, you will be asked to complete the form when the trial period has ended.  

Will the Library arrange personal trials or only campus-wide trials?

  • We prefer to enable trials that can be utilized campus-wide through our preferred methods of authentication. In certain cases, we may be able to negotiate personal or departmental level trials.

If you have questions regarding database trials, please contact Hannah McKelvey ( or Rachelle McLain (