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Princeton University Order Division Documentation

General Acquisitions Workflow


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Especially for Collection Development

General Workflow

Searching and placing orders    Vendors     Receiving     Invoicing     Approval plans   Rush Orders     Serials


Searching and placing orders

You may submit order requests in paper format or electronically. We will accept almost any format as long as it includes fund number and location information. The exception to this rule is serial standing order or subscription requests, which must be submitted on a "Serials Standing Order Recommendation" form.

The quality of the bibliographic citation will determine the speed with which the order request is handled. Full and reliable bibliographic information is treated as "Search and Order" and generally turned around within a few days. Incomplete citations (including prepublication information in any format) require full searching and take somewhat longer. Generally, printouts or screen shots from RLIN or OCLC or catalogs and slips from many of our US, western European, or Latin American vendors can be treated as Search and Order.

All order requests are searched by title and author in Voyager. Requests not already on order or in the collection are also searched in a bibliographic utility for copy import and verification purposes. Standing order checks are made in Vaoyger for any title that is part of a numbered monographic series, serial or bookset. Selectors are consulted for decisions on buying added copies, new editions, and the like. The more of this information that is provided up front, the faster the item can be ordered. For example, selectors may wish to indicate "this edition wanted", "want added copy", or something similar.

Order requests are also vetted against the dozens of approval plan profiles in effect to avoid unneccesary duplication. Orders are then placed in Voyager using RLIN or OCLC copy whenever available (about 80% of orders). This means that most items on order are searchable using subject headings, extensive keywords, etc. If no copy is available a brief record is created, including ISBN, author, title, series and imprint information.

Orders are placed either in print format or electronically. Currently about 1/2 of our firm orders are placed electronically. These are transmitted to our vendors within 24 hours. Since vendors can load these orders automatically in their databases, they are often invoiced and shipped within a few days of being placed.


We frequently place firm orders with our approval plan vendors, especially when an order request falls into a "gray area" of an approval profile. In so far as possible we try to maintain a good business relationship with a number of book vendors and serials subscription agencies so that we are not doing all of our business with a single vendor in any country. Vendor choice is made on a basis of many variables, including (but not limited to) prices, discounts, speed and quality of service, ability to supply out of print material, and ability to interface with us electronically. We reserve the right of refusal for any vendor who cannot meet our service and business requirements.