Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Why do I have to subscribe?

As a first time visitor you are unknown to us. As we welcome Your input to this site (e.g. news in the field of Reference Materials), we need to know who you are, so that we can approach you for questions or more detailed information. You can register at two levels: 1. Registered Subscriber Registered Subscribers have full access to the VIRM website. They can use all of its features and services, like the various searchable databases, including the database on reference materials. They can receive the electronic VIRM Newsletter, and can make use of the VIRM Help Desk services, including scientific advice and open Forums. Subscribers are encouraged to actively participate in VIRM, e.g. by submitting new information. 2. Subscribers pay an annual subscription fee (see overview of fees). Registered User Registered users have access to a limited area of the VIRM website. They can use only some of its features (use the Library, search for Events or Links, submit new information); they can make use (only) of the technical - website related - HelpDesk services. Users are encouraged to submit on-line new information. Registered 'Users' pay no fee.

How can I change from User to Subscriber?

Upgrade your registration You want to enjoy the full set of services of www.VIRM.net? Become a registered Subscriber. If you are currently a registered User (it shall read 'User' in the top right hand corner of the home page) you can upgrade to registered Subscriber. Click the button "Upgrade to subscriber" next to the word User; You are requested to confirm. After your confirmation you will be asked to pay the small annual fee. After your annual fee has been received by VIRM your status will be set to registered Subscriber. From then on you can search the web-site, experience all services (including scientific advice from VIRM via the Help Desk).

What does it cost me?

Subscribers pay an annual subscribers' fee of EUR 150 + VAT. For new subscriptions entered after 1 July, a discount fee of EUR 100 + VAT applies until the end of that first subscription year. For larger numbers of registered Subscribers from the same Institution a 'Corporate Subscription' may be interesting (at EUR 1,200 + VAT/year). For new subscriptions entered after 1 July, a discount fee of EUR 800 applies until the end of that first subscription year. Subscribers will be granted full access to the VIRM website only when payment of the subscription fee has been received by VIRM. See Subscription fee rates. Registered Users pay no fee but can make limited use of the site.

I forgot my log-in name/password. What to do?

When you registered you identified yourself with your e-mail address. This e-mail address is used as your 'Login name'. If necessary you can change this e-mail address: Login, click on your name on top of the page, and edit your registration details. Don't forget to click 'Update'. The VIRM website administrators or the Help Desk have no access to your password, and the Help Desk therefore cannot send you your current password. In case you forgot your password, a new password needs to be generated. Have a look at the login page, where you find instructions how to act. Your new password (always linked to your e-mail address as 'Login name') is generated automatically, and is sent to you by e-mail. Then, after log-in with your e-mail address and the new password, click on 'my account' on top of the page (or click 'Register' -> 'Edit registration'). Enter a different password of your choice (twice), and click 'Update password'. Next time you log-in use this updated password, created by you.

How to change from Subscriber to User?

Downgrade from Subscriber to User If you want to lower your registration from registered Subscriber to registered User, please send an e-mail to the VIRM Secretariat using this Form. You will, after the change has been made effective, have only limited access to the website. Note that Subscribers will have full access to the VIRM website only after the fee has been received by VIRM. Renewal of the subscription is automatic, in January, unless you send an e-mail before 1st December to the Help Desk (Form) to indicate that you want to end your subscription.

What is the status of VIRM?

VIRM stands for 'Virtual Institute for Reference Materials'. After the EC funded project (01/01/2003 to 31/12/2005) and VIRM asbl (29/10/2004-1/12/2007), QualityConsult (Rome, IT) took over the assets of VIRM asbl, being the web site and the data bases contained. Objective was and is to maintain the VIRM website, expand its data bases, and to develop VIRM into a sustainable activity. QualityConsult promotes the implementation of fit-for-purpose quality control/quality assurance (QC/QA) tools in public, research and private laboratories. It is a Proficiency Testing provider and organises training courses and workshops on quality related subjects. It also offers support for the establishment of laboratory control charts suitable for long-term performance assessment, and consultancy to achieve and maintain laboratory accreditation. Mermayde consultancy (Bergen, NL), together with QualityConsult, took care of the development and maintenance of the VIRM website during the VIRM project and for VIRM asbl. QualityConsult has formed a strategic alliance with Mermayde to maintain and expand VIRM, its data bases and website, and explore new ways to further develop VIRM into a sustainable activity. VIRM is open to all stakeholders in the field of reference materials, from producers to users, from science to industry. Subscribers are welcomed to register at the website.

How can I submit news for the Newsletter?

For the VIRM Newsletter we rely also on You to submit news related to the field or reference materials. We welcome your input! The only requirement is that you are registered as 'User' or 'Subscriber', which is only to have a possibility to reach you in case of questions. The news shall be in the English language. How to enter News: 1. 'Log-in' if you have not done yet. 2. Go to the VIRM home page. 3. Click the button 'VIRM Newsletter', then 'Submit news to the VIRM Newsletter' 4. Fill in the information: - 'Information Title': this is a short line of text for the running title in the newsletter; - 'Link to further information': this can be (e.g. in case you want to bring news about a conference) the website of the conference secretariat; however, this field is not obligatory. - 'Information': this is a free (short text) describing the News; copy/paste will work. - 'Submit file': this feature allows you to send information in electronic format (not obligatory); it may be text (either in MS-Word or .pdf format), pictures (JPEG format, about 300 KB size), or other common file types (including .xls); submission of files > 1 MB is discouraged; however, the Editor may be contacted in such an event. 5. You will find that the lower two boxes have been automatically filled in with your e-mail address and name (but you may edit). 6. Push the button 'Submit', wait for the transfer being completed: done! 7. You will get a reply message that the submission has been successful (and a suggestion to submit another news item).

Can I send hard copy News to the Editor?

No. The VIRM is a Virtual Institute, and the flow of information shall be by electronic means via the website. You, as registered User/Subscriber are part of this virtual institute, and we prefer that you enter the information yourself, on line, on the site. It's not difficult, just try! Input for the Newsletter sent directly to the Editor, such as materials on paper (documents, leaflets) or by e-mail will usually be ignored as transcription is usually too time consuming. Of course, the VIRM HelpDesk is readily available to answer to your questions!

What happens after my submission of News?

Your information ('News') is collected by the VIRM Newsletter editor, who will check on suitability and conformity with VIRM policy, edit where necessary, and enter the news in a new issue of the VIRM Newsletter. When a new (draft) Newsletter issue is ready, it shall be approved by the editorial board (2 staff members of VIRM). Once approved, the VIRM Newsletter is sent out automatically at a preset date by e-mail to all registered Subscribers and Users (who have indicated that they want to receive the Newsletter). Note: VIRM reserves the right to edit the information submitted and to refuse entering the information in the Newsletter or on the website without reasoning.

How do I get my ‘Conference’ on the site?

We rely on You to receive new information related to reference materials. The VIRM website has several data bases (including Newsletter, Services (Events, Library, Glossary, Projects, Links) and Reference Materials). The only requirement is that you are registered as 'User' or 'Subscriber', which is to have the possibility to reach you again in case of questions. As example, if you want to enter info on an upcoming 'Conference': 1. 'Log in' if you have not alreday done. 2. Go to the VIRM home page. 3. Click on 'Services' -> 'Events' -> 'Submit information on a new event'. 4. Complete all fields you find necessary (obligatory fields are marked by asterisk). 5. You will see that your e-mail address and name have been entered automatically. 6. Push the 'Submit' button. 7. Wait for the transmission is completed, Done! 8. You get a reply message that the submission has been successful.

Can’t the HelpDesk enter my information?

No. VIRM asbl is a Virtual Institute, and the flow of information shall be by electronic means. You, as registered User/Subscriber are part of this virtual institute, and can enter the information yourself in seconds (copy/paste). It's not difficult, just try! Submission of input for the website database directly to the Helpdesk, such as materials on paper (documents, leaflets) or by e-mail will probably not taken into account. Of course, the Helpdesk is readily available to answer to your questions!

I have submitted info. Why is it not on the site?

After your successful submission of information the Helpdesk is automatically notified that a new entry has arrived. It is VIRM policy that all information that is submitted has to pass a justification step (usually by the Helpdesk). Only information that is not in conflict with VIRM policy passes this justification. Please allow a few working days to complete this process. Note: VIRM reserves the right to edit the information submitted and to refuse entering the information on the website without question.

I intend to register. How does the payment work?

Payment of new subscriptions Go to: www.VIRM.net, and Click: Registration -> Register Complete the 'Subscription Form' (‘Subscriber’, Institute, Personal details, e-mail address & password); click: submit -> (registration number: yyyymmddnnn & registration date: ddmmmyy will be generated by the site). A reply is returned: ‘Please, Complete Invoice Form’ Click the button -> a 'Request for Payment' is generated. Here most details are already presented. You may change the invoice address and invoice e-mail (if required), and you will have to select a method of Payment. Select payment method, either: 1. PayPal (direct credit card payment via secure procedure), or 2. Bank transfer (you agree that you will pay <30 days by bank transfer). Alternatively, if you decide to have a corporate subscription select: ‘send Corporate Request for Payment’. Print the Request for Payment and Submit. Bank details QualityConsult srl Via Giovanni Bettolo 4 00195 Rome - Italy Account holder: QualityConsult Account address: Via Giovanni Bettolo 4, 00195 Rome - Italy Bank name: RASBANK SpA Bank address: Piazza Erculea 15, 20122 Milan – Italy IBAN: IT88Z 03589 01600 01057 02405 33 BIC/SWIFT: BKRAITMM QualityConsult VAT nr: IT 06927791001

What are the bank account details of VIRM?

Bank details of VIRM: Account holder: QualityConsult Account address: Via Giovanni Bettolo 4, 00195 Rome - Italy Bank name: RASBANK SpA Bank address: Piazza Erculea 15, 20122 Milan – Italy IBAN: IT88Z 03589 01600 01057 02405 33 BIC/SWIFT: BKRAITMM QualityConsult VAT nr: IT 06927791001 QualityConsult Legal registration nr: 2004 61 01988 Dr. Angelo Bortoli, Director QualityConsult When paying, please provide as Reference: Registration number and Subscriber's name

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