ILL Committee Liaison Reports--National Library of Medicine

December 15, 2003

Kenneth Niles
Head, Collection Access Section
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
(301) 496-5511

Summary Highlights of Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery at the National Library of Medicine for FY 2004

Release of DOCLINE 2.0

NLM is pleased to report the release of DOCLINE 2.0 on December 8, 2003. The latest version of DOCLINE provides users with a redesigned institution record, formally called DOCUSER, and a fresh new appearance that provides improved usability and an enhanced help system. DOCLINE 2.0 consists of over 50 individual enhancements including the ability to request color copies, improved searching of institution records, overhaul of reporting ILL charges, and an alert message when users request material that is free at the producer's web site.

NLM plans to continue major improvements to DOCLINE with the focus shifting to the Requests and Serial Holdings (SERHOLD) modules. The design process will begin this coming spring. The primary goals are improved usability, addressing changes in ILL processes resulting from the increase use of e-journals and electronic delivery, and improved searching and tracking of ILL requests.


NLM continues to work with OCLC to provide data exchange of holdings records between DOCLINE and OCLC. NLM began exporting holdings records in July 2003 from SERHOLD to OCLC for libraries authorizing us to do so. This resulted in OCLC successfully updated 165,764 Local Data Records (LDRs) in WorldCat for 271 libraries. Holdings are provided from SERHOLD to OCLC each quarter (January, April, July, and October).

Libraries that share OCLC Codes are not able to use SERHOLD to OCLC batch update. As an alternative, these libraries may want to use the upcoming OCLC to SERHOLD Batch Update. On August 26, NLM successfully loaded 6,693 holdings records for our pilot library, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Additional work is needed to provide the functionality within DOCLINE. We plan to release OCLC to SERHOLD Batch Update capabilities early next year.

For DOCLINE Frequently Asked Questions on this topic, see or contact NLM Customer Service at

Billing – The Electronic Funds Transfer System (EFTS)

In July, NLM began participation in EFTS sending 3rd quarter billing statements to EFTS. For over a year the National Library of Medicine has been working with the University of Connecticut to implement the EFTS. NLM experienced only 4 rejected items of over 16,000 thousand billing transactions that were sent for the 3rd quarter. Subsequent billing transactions were sent for the 4th quarter with similar results.

The EFTS, available through the University of Connecticut, is used by health sciences libraries for payment of interlibrary loan transactions. It centralizes this activity by electronically billing system participants, thereby reducing the number of checks needed for invoice processing. Any international library may join EFTS as long as they can establish an account in U.S. currency. If they plan to send data to EFTS, then they must be able to create a file in U.S. currency.

If you wish to become an EFTS participant, please contact Colleen Giblin at the EFTS Office, 1-866-561-5045.

ILL ISO Protocol

NLM has reassessed the protocol and how to prioritize implementation with existing commercial ILL Systems. A result of a recent survey of DOCLINE resource libraries shows OCLC ILLiad as the most highly used ILL management system in addition to DOCLINE. NLM plans to begin testing interoperability between DOCLINE and ILLiad using the ISO ILL Protocol in January 2004. After NLM has completed the testing and implemented the ISO ILL Protocol in production with ILLiad, NLM will explore testing with other commercial ILL systems.

Electronic Delivery of ILL

Demand for electronic delivery continues to grow. In the 4th quarter of FY2003 NLM delivered 76% of ILLs electronically. Of the 268,827 annual requests filled by NLM in FY 2003, 39% were delivered via Ariel, 5% fax, 27% e-mail and 1% Web delivery. Other requests were 1% for pick-up, and 27 % mail delivery.

Document Delivery for Electronic Journals

In March 2003, NLM released DOCLINE 1.6 which provided DOCLINE and Loansome Doc users with a link to the full text article when the item being requested is available free in PubMed Central. As noted above in the new release of DOCLINE, this feature was enhanced to include a link to the full-text article when the material being requested is available free at the producer's web site.


There were 27,201 customer service requests completed during the 4th quarter of FY2003, an increase of 17% over the 4th quarter of FY2002. Twenty-nine percent (29%) are Reference questions. The increase might be attributed to a link to the customer service e-mail address when queries in MedlinePlus do not find associated Web pages, and to an increase of Spanish questions after the launch of MedlinePlus en espanol.

Siebel, NLM’s customer service software, and NativeMinds (called “Cosmo”) NLM’s virtual customer service representative were “integrated” when a new “Contact Customer Services” button was added to NativeMinds. If the user requests something that cannot be answered, this button will appear and link to the NLM Customer Service e-mail Form page. The user can then send in the question and have NLM staff answer it. NLM staff can now see the actual conversation that the user had with Cosmo to provide a better understanding of the question. Siebel can also be used to determine that the user was on the Cosmo page when they sent in the question.

PubMed Central and Scanning of Backfiles

On Wednesday November 5, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) released the full archives of the Bulletin of the Medical Library Association (BMLA) on the PubMed Central Web site. The BMLA archives go from v.1 n.1, 1911 through v.89 n.4, 2001. Then the title is available as Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) from v.90 n.1 2002 -.

The archives can be viewed directly at:

BMLA (v.1 1911 - v.89 n.4 2001);
JMLA (v.90 n.1 2002 - ).

NLM is in the process of scanning the backfiles of all of the titles in PubMed Central. With the exception of the BMLA, the plan is to release the archives in increments by decade from most current to earliest. The complete contents of the scanned issues will be available free in PMC. To read more about the scanning project, see: