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This paper presents an efficient scheme for eliminating conflicts between distributed read-only transactions and distributed update transactions, thereby reducing synchronization delays. The scheme makes use of a multiversion mechanism in order to guarantee that distributed read-only transactions see semantically consistent snap-shots of the database, that they never have to be rolled-back due to their late arrival at retrieval sites, and that they inflict minimal synchronization delays on concurrent update transactions. Proof that the presented scheme guarantees semantic consistency is provided. Two important by-products of this scheme are that the recovery from transaction and system failures is greatly simplified and the taking of database dumps also can be accommodated while leaving the database on-line.