Information for DOCLINE participants


  1. Protect the system from unauthorized access and use.
  2. Provide and maintain all data for an accurate institution record in DOCLINE.
  3. Log in to DOCLINE a minimum two days per week to receipt requests or update the status of loan requests. Maintain awareness of the DOCLINE system-applied time limits for receipts and updates.
  4. Create and maintain an appropriate routing table in DOCLINE, and review it annually.
  5. Maintain and update holdings in Serial Holdings and review them at least annually.
  6. Submit new serial titles to be added to Locator Plus to NLM.
  7. Notify the DOCLINE Coordinator of any changes in status (closings/mergers, consortia membership changes, etc.).
  8. Subscribe to NLM's DOCLINE-L email discussion list, as well as CANMEDLIB and/or RQBS (in French only) to receive communications about DOCLINE.
  9. Resources owned and provided by Canadian participants to other participants within DOCLINE must be used in accordance with the Canadian Copyright Act. Canadian participants working within DOCLINE are responsible for ensuring that their ILL policies and practices conform to Canadian Copyright law at all times. If a Canadian participant is providing access to their resources to an international party, these resources must be used in accordance with Canadian law.

Training resources

DOCLINE training manual

The complete NLM DOCLINE training manual is available on the NLM website:

A shorter version (available in both English and French), prepared specifically for DOCLINE's Canadian users, is regularly updated by Canada's DOCLINE Coordinator. To get your PDF copy, please contact the DOCLINE Coordinator.

Learning DOCLINE

DOCLINE itself includes online documentation, which can be found in the help section of the main menu. FAQs can be found at the NNLM Website. For more information about available documentation, contact the DOCLINE Coordinator.

Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS)

The Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS) is a transaction-based electronic billing system for interlibrary-loan (ILL) and document delivery used by health sciences libraries.

Helping you streamline your billing process

  • EFTS virtually eliminates the need to create invoices and write cheques for reimbursement for interlibrary loans and document delivery between EFTS members.
  • Other advantages include detailed transaction reports, and the ability to: handle charges for rush or fax service; vary charges to members of special groups; and handle non-DOCLINE transactions.

Although all deposits and transactions in EFTS are handled in US currency, the introduction of currency conversion allows Canadian libraries to bill and to collect payment from each other in Canadian dollars.

What it costs

There are no fees if you are only using the system to pay for interlibrary loan charges. If you use the EFTS system to collect interlibrary loan fees from borrowing libraries, you are charged 5% of the fees you collect.

How it works

When you borrow from a charging EFTS library, your account is debited for the cost of that ILL by the supplier.

If you are a big library, you can upload a batch of ILL charges. DOCLINE provides all the necessary details for EFTS charges generated in DOCLINE and allows you to create a file for easy upload to EFTS.

The EFTS system then charges the borrowing libraries and that amount – less 3% - is deposited back into the EFTS account of the supplier.

How to join EFTS

Fill out the application form, sign the Memorandum of Agreement and make a deposit (by cheque or credit card) of $US 100.00 (or more). You can use a credit card to make payment, or you can download an invoice from the web site. All charges are deducted from your deposits. All forms can be found on the EFTS web site.

A joint initiative

EFTS is a joint effort between the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM),and the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC), which manages and maintains the system. NRC's National Science Library (formerly CISTI) is the EFTS coordinator for Canada and provides technical assistance, answers questions, and disseminates information about the system.

For further information, explore the EFTS web site.

Frequently asked questions

Question 1

How do I temporarily deactivate my DOCLINE account?

Answer to question 1:

Libraries can prevent requests from routing to them due to staff absences or special circumstances by completing the Out of Office form in DOCLINE. This will set their institution to Temporarily Inactive.

Place your request by following these steps:

  1. Select Institutions from the DOCLINE main menu.
  2. Select Update <LIBID> where <LIBID> is your institution's LIBID.
  3. Click Out of Office on the institution navigation bar.
  4. Enter the beginning date when requests should not route to your library. (format must be MM-DD-YYYY)
  5. Enter the date when requests should resume routing to your library.
  6. Click Request Approval.

Note: Out of Office requests require approval to ensure that Regional Medical Libraries (RML) are aware of the status of libraries in their regions. This helps them determine possible areas of need so they can offer assistance. When possible, please submit the Out of Office request in advance of closure.

The message "Out of Office request is awaiting RML approval" will appear in the "Activity and Status" area of the Home page. Once the RML approves the request, the message is cleared. Time-Triggered Actions will automatically change the library's status to "Temporarily Not Receiving Requests" once the beginning date is reached, and back to "active" status once the resume date is reached. If the RML approves the request on the same day as the begin date, the library's status is changed immediately.

Temporary deactivation prevents DOCLINE requests from routing to your library. However, Loansome Doc patrons can still place requests if a resume date is provided, although patrons are warned that their requests may not be acted upon until that date. If you do not provide a resume date, patrons will not be able to place Loansome Doc requests with your library.

Note: On the last day your library is active, please process as many requests as possible as 'Filled' or 'Not Filled'. At the end of the day, please receipt any new requests and process all outstanding requests as 'Not Filled' so they will immediately route on to the next potential lender.

Question 2

What happens when I make changes to my Routing Table?

Answer to question 2:

You may make changes to your routing table over a period of time without submitting them to your RML by clicking on the Save button on the "Routing Table" screen. Changes can be reviewed on the Compare tab of the Routing Table. When you click Save, the message "Click Request Approval to notify your RML to activate these proposed changes" appears.

When you are ready to submit your routing table changes to your RML, click on the Request Approval button. A message will be sent to your RML saying that your routing table needs to be approved. The message "Routing table is awaiting approval" will appear among your DOCLINE messages until the RML approves the changes.

Routing Table changes do not take effect until your RML approves them. Approval of a revised routing table may take a few days. The RML will contact your institution if there is a problem with the proposed changes. Please contact your RML if you have a question about the status of the proposed changes to your routing table.

Question 3

How does "routing to All Other Libraries" work?

Answer to question 3:

The route to All Other Libraries checkbox on the Routing Instructions page offers the option to have a request routinely route to an additional 20 libraries if NLM cannot fill it or if the borrower has not selected the NLM checkbox. All Other Libraries systematically checks Resource Libraries, then Primary Access Libraries, then a set of 4 specific special libraries, then "Other" DOCLINE libraries not in the borrower's routing table to create a list of up to 20 additional libraries to which to route the request.

The system first randomly selects up to 20 Primary Access Libraries that report owning either the volume or year of the title, match the routing instructions and provide the preferred delivery method.

If the system is unable to match 20 Primary Access Libraries by the preferred delivery method, then the system will try to match on one of the alternate delivery methods.

If the system has not matched a total of 20 libraries for routing, it then checks for “Other” libraries that reports owning either the volume or year of the title and that match the borrower's routing instructions and primary delivery method.

If the system does not match a total of 20 libraries for routing, then the system will try to match on one of the alternate delivery methods for "Other" libraries up to the maximum of 20 libraries for All Other Libraries.

Note: The request will not be re-routed to any library in your routing table that has already rejected it.

You can establish your preferred choice for the All Other Libraries option in the Borrowing Preferences section of the DOCLINE Options page of your library's Institution record.

This default option may be changed on the Routing Instructions page of each individual request.

Question 4

How do I cancel a "Borrow" request?

Answer to question 4:

To cancel your Borrow request(s)

  • Select Requests from the DOCLINE main menu.
  • Select Status/Cancel.
  • Retrieve your request by entering the request number, patron name or email address under Request # or Patron, and click SEARCH, or under Define Search Limits, enter the date range you wish to search within and click SEARCH.
  • Once the request(s) are displayed, select the checkbox(es) next to the request number for those you wish to cancel.
  • Click Cancel under Actions for Selected Requests.

Note: If the request has been received by a lender, the Cancel action will be marked "pending". If the lender updates the "pending cancellation" request as "Not Filled," the request will then be canceled.

Requests with the following statuses will be cancelled immediately:

  • New - new request entered by borrower, but not yet received by a lender.
  • Rerouted Online - request was not filled by first lender, and re-routed to the next potential lender.
  • Rerouted time-triggered actions (TTA) - re-routed because of DOCLINE time-triggered actions after first potential lender did not receipt or act upon the request.
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