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DOCLINE® Privacy Policy

DOCLINE, an interlibrary loan request system, is provided as a service to libraries by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Most DOCLINE users are members of the Network of the National Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), whose mission is to provide equal access to biomedical information to all U.S. health professionals in order to advance the progress of medicine and to improve the public health. The NNLM is also dedicated to improving the public's access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.

Type of Information Collected

Serial holdings data and transaction information created by participating libraries in DOCLINE is private. The National Library of Medicine stores all interlibrary loan transactions made on the system for 26 months. This data is made available to participating libraries and to the Regional Medical Libraries (RMLs) through DOCLINE in order to perform the system functions of interlibrary loan, and through system-supplied reports. NLM uses this data to invoice clients for interlibrary loan services. Data is also used for analysis of national and international trends in interlibrary loan. Institution directory information that is publically available is accessible from the Network of the National Library of Medicine Members Directory.

When NLM receives an inquiry via e-mail, the question and the e-mail address are stored so that we can respond electronically. Unless otherwise required by statute, we do not identify publicly who sends questions or comments to DOCLINE.

Similar to when you visit any web site, DOCLINE can collect information about your visit to our site. NLM automatically collects and temporarily stores the following type of information about your visit:

  • Internet address and domain from which you visited the NLM Web site
  • Information about the operating system and browser used
  • Date and time of the visit
  • Pages visited
  • Internet address of the Web site that connected you to the NLM Web site

This information is used to measure the number of visitors to the various sections of our site and improve organization, coverage, system performance or problem areas.


The DOCLINE system requires that users' browsers accept cookies from and to function. DOCLINE uses persistent cookies to identify the institution performing various system functions (borrow, lending, updating holdings, etc.). As the user moves from page to page in DOCLINE, cookies allow his/her own specific institution record, serial holdings, and transaction records to be retrieved.

When you visit any Web site, it may place a small text file, known as a "cookie" on your computer. The cookie allows the Web site to "remember" specific information about your visit while you are connected or when you return to that site. The Office of Management and Budget Memo M-10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies, (PDF*, 1.03MB), 6/25/10, allows Federal agencies to use session and persistent cookies, defined below.

The cookie makes it easier for you to use the dynamic features of Web pages. Cookies from NLM Web pages only collect information about your browser's visit to the site; they do not collect personal information about you. While visiting certain NLM sites, you may occasionally encounter a Web page that automatically employs cookies to make it easier to use the dynamic features of these Web pages.

NLM Web sites may use either single session (temporary) or multi-session (persistent) cookies. Session cookies last only as long as your Web browser is open. Once you close your browser, the cookie disappears. Persistent cookies are stored on your computer for longer periods.

Session Cookies: We use session cookies for technical purposes such as to enable better navigation through our site. The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of session cookies as "Usage Tier 1 -- Single Session." This tier encompasses any use of single session Web measurement and customization technologies.

Persistent Cookies: NLM uses persistent cookies to enhance the Web experience for our users. Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to NLM until they expire. The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of persistent cookies as "Usage Tier 2 -- Multi-session without Personally Identifiable Information" (PII.) This tier encompasses any use of multi-session Web measurement and customization technologies when no PII is collected.

For information about NLM's overall privacy policy, see //


You are entering a United States Government Web site. For security purposes, your use may be monitored, recorded, and audited. We may disclose unauthorized or improper use to law enforcement personnel investigating or prosecuting a violation of civil or criminal law and to officials of domestic and foreign agencies. Your use of this Web site is your consent to these activities.  Unauthorized or improper use may result in civil and criminal penalties.

Last Reviewed: August 17, 2020