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.

  • Prospero - Prospero is an open source Internet Document Delivery (IDD) system. It allows libraries to send and receive documents in electronic format from Prospero or Ariel® workstations.

  • 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

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.

  • See also NLM's "FAQ: DOCLINE -- Select Libraries that Deliver Documents Electronically" for information on finding libraries that provide electronic delivery to add to your routing table.

Electronic Delivery for DOCLINE and Loansome Doc Users

  • FAQ: DOCLINE -- Viewing Documents sent Electronically - explains in more detail how the Loansome Doc user may view articles sent by Ariel or NLM's Relais System, plus general information about viewing files in PDF, TIFF, or BMP formats.

  • Loansome Doc Delivery Methods - explains delivery options to the Loansome Doc user. Includes electronic document delivery options in addition to traditional delivery methods.