This article takes the form of a checklist of the problems and pitfalls that can arise in setting up an online retrieval facility. The problems of both users and vendors are considered. Physical, economic, technical and social constraints are analyzed in the case of the vendor and each component in the chain — database producer, online vendor and telecommunication network — is considered separately. The user's problems are analyzed from the viewpoints of both the intermediary and the end user, and the effect of the changeover to a new system is considered.
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