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Electronic Document Delivery News

Susan Barnes’ article discusses the growing use of electronic document delivery, available funding for assistance with electronic document delivery, and compatibility between Ariel versions.

by Susan Barnes, Resource Sharing Coordinator
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region

EDD Use Is Growing
Recently, NLM shared some summary delivery statistics for copy requests filled during the last 40 days of 2004. The statistics are shown by Delivery Method, then the percentage filled by the Network and then by NLM:

Ariel — 23.06% — 30.37%
Email (PDF) — 23.13% — 52.32.%
Email (TIFF) — 0.72% — 0.50%
Fax — 11.06% — 1.32%
Mail — 41.15% — 4.09%
Web (PDF) — 0.87% — 11.16%
Web (TIFF) — 0.01% — 0.24%

Since MLA 2003, delivery by mail has dropped from 64% to 41%. Currently DOCLINE has more than 1,000 libraries who state they can deliver via email or the web. NLM hopes to see an increase in the number of libraries delivering electronically in the coming year as well as an increase in the number of documents delivered electronically. Please remember to update your “Send by” delivery methods and delivery addresses in your institution record (Institutions / Update / DOCLINE Options / Delivery Methods) so borrowers can find partners and DOCLINE can route requests accurately.

NLM will be working on several enhancements to DOCLINE this year which should improve the requesting and routing of requests for electronic delivery.
As a reminder, NLM’s preferred document delivery method is web or email. Libraries can set the default value for the NLM Delivery Method in their institution record (Institutions / Update / DOCLINE Options / Borrowing Preferences).

Funding Available
Reminder that applications from DOCLINE libraries for Electronic Document Delivery funding are due by January 31 st! Funding of up to $2,000 can be used to support purchase of scanner; upgrade to multifunction machine that can copy, fax, scan and send; upgrade of networking capabilities; acquisition of software for creation and transmission of copies—basically, any technology that will help your library begin or improve EDD services. You can even use the funding to pay for some of the staff costs of installing hardware and software!
For more information, see the full description of the award or contact Susan Barnes at or 1-800-338-7657 (from Pacific Northwest states). To apply, use the brief online application form. Note: Links to outdated information have been removed.

Ariel Version 4.0 Compatibility
Information presented by Infotrieve to the ILL-L and ARIE-L email discussion lists has highlighted the fact that Ariel 4.0 is fundamentally different from Ariel 2.x and 3.x and therefore will not be compatible with older versions of Ariel. Ariel 4.0 will be compatible with a free enhanced version of Ariel 3.4.
According to a message from Infotrieve’s Bing Gin, sent to the ARIE-L list on January 3 2005,

“We have developed a ‘compatibility’ patch that allows Ariel 3.4 to communicate with Ariel 4.0. However once this patch is applied, Ariel 3.4 can only communicate with Ariel 4.0 and other patched versions of Ariel 3.4. All Ariel 3.x users are eligible for a free upgrade to Ariel 3.4. All Ariel 3.4 users are eligible for the FREE compatibility patch.
“To prevent a scenario where some institutions upgrade to Ariel 4.0, but others don’t, and thus are unable to send and receive from each other, and to ensure uninterrupted interlibrary loan in the United States and around the world, Infotrieve is finalizing a global Ariel 4.0 upgrade schedule. This is based on geographic zones. The goal is for all institutions within a geographic zone to upgrade to Ariel 4.0 or the free ‘compatibility’ version of Ariel 3.4 during a pre-set period of time. This will minimize ILL disruption, because consortia and other frequent lending partners in each time zone will be compatible at the same time. We are currently finalizing this schedule. We will post the schedule on our website in Mid-January.
“Customers who participated in Infotrieve’s pre-release sale and have already received a CD of Ariel 4.0 may choose whether they want to upgrade immediately or wait until the suggested scheduled upgrade date. Importantly, customers who upgrade immediately will have relatively few compatible institutions.
“Thus, Infotrieve recommends you upgrade during the suggested timeframe. For those who will not be upgrading to Ariel 4.0, we urge you to upgrade to Ariel 3.4 immediately. Then when your geographic region upgrades to Ariel 4.0 you need only apply the compatibility patch.”

If your libary uses Ariel, it is probably a good idea to have someone monitor the ARIE-L list or Infotrieve’s Ariel Web site during this transition period.

Late-breaking news about Ariel 4.0 from NLM!
Read the press release sent from NLM’s Ariel Version 4.0 plans in PNRNews archives.

Ariel Compatibility Resolution
Infotrieve has announced that it will release an update to Ariel Version 4.0 to make it compatible with earlier versions. Read details in Infotrieve’s announcement from February 9, 2005.

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