National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Electronic Document Delivery

Service-oriented libraries have always been looking for ways to expedite delivery of documents to their users. One emerging solution is electronic delivery of interlibrary loans. Since 1998, the National Library of Medicine has been using electronic delivery to transmit documents and expedite requests (for background information, see Relais - An Interlibrary Loan Solution for the National Library of Medicine). Hospital libraries -- even those with minimal equipment and resources -- are finding electronic delivery a boon as well, for both sending and receiving. Many resource libraries now routinely offer electronic delivery. DOCUSER now includes information not only about PDF or TIFF delivery via email but via the Web as well.

Internet Document Transmission Systems

  • Ariel- owned and supported by Infotrieve, Inc. and originally developed by the Research Libraries Group. Used by many medical, research, government and university libraries throughout the world. With commercially available hardware and Ariel software, you can scan articles, photos, and other documents directly; transmit the electronic images to other Ariel workstations anywhere in the world, using either FTP or e-mail; and convert them to PDF for easy patron delivery.

  • eCopy - an imaging system that supports document scanning (into pdf, tiff, or ecopy format) and email transmission. Also supports faxing, printing to remote networked printers, and highlighting of sections within documents.

  • Relais - Relais is the electronic document delivery and ILL management system used by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. Relais International Inc. provides systems and software to automate and streamline operations in traditional ILL and Document Delivery services. Documents are scanned and automatically delivered by the system via the borrower's requested delivery method. Delivery options include Ariel, Email, Fax, Mail, and Web. Electronically delivered articles can be supplied in either PDF or TIFF format.

Electronic Document Viewing Systems

  • DocView is a product of document imaging research and development at the National Library of Medicine. From this site you may get up to date information on DocView and download both the DocView software and DocView User Manual. Additional information is available from the DocView Fact Sheet: Desktop Access to Documents via the Internet.

  • PDF - The Adobe Acrobat Reader software is used to open, view and print PDF (Portable Document Format) files. This format is frequently used on the Web.

  • TIFF - The Tagged Image File Format, with file extensions .tif. Click on the file name. TIFF viewers are included in Windows 98/NT/2000/XP and Macintosh OS9+.

How to Set up Your DOCUSER Record for Electronic Delivery

Log on to DOCLINE, click on the Institutions tab and the Update button, then select DOCLINE Options from the left-hand column and click on Delivery Methods. Check off the options that indicate how you wish to send and receive documents. Be sure to include address information, as requested.

Electronic Delivery for DOCLINE and Loansome Doc Users