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DOCLINE® Participation Guidelines

What is DOCLINE?

DOCLINE is the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) interlibrary loan (ILL) request routing system. It was developed to increase the speed and efficiency of biomedical ILL by linking the journal holdings of participant libraries and by routing the requests based on these holdings quickly throughout the  Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM)( and beyond. 

The system is intended for reciprocal ILL among biomedical libraries in the United States and Canada.  It supports resource sharing among participating libraries by enabling them to borrow from and lend to one another; it is not an article purchasing mechanism. 

Libraries that are unable to participate in DOCLINE may use the Relais Request Portal to request ILL from NLM’s Interlibrary Loan Service ( 


Who can use DOCLINE?

Libraries with a health sciences or biomedical literature collection and mission may participate in DOCLINE. Participating libraries list a minimum of 10 journals from which they will fulfill lending requests for other DOCLINE libraries. 

If you want to discuss your library’s DOCLINE participation, contact DOCLINE Support.   

Currently libraries located outside of the U.S. and Canada, and commercial document delivery vendors are not eligible for DOCLINE membership.  

Libraries not eligible for DOCLINE that wish to request ILL from the National Library of Medicine should see  NLM's ILL home page( for more information.

How to Join DOCLINE? 

Once you have determined that DOCLINE is appropriate for your library and that library staff are available to perform DOCLINE lending, borrowing and recommended system maintenance:
  1. Use the Apply Now button on the DOCLINE home page and supply information about your library. ( 
  2. Once your account request has been verified, DOCLINE Support will work with you to establish a basic DOCLINE Library Profile and set up DOCLINE user account(s) for your institution. 
  3. Each individual user must have a Google account (or other account type) to sign into the system. (See manual 1.8 for more information).

Libraries should expect to begin actively lending and borrowing within three (3) months of account set up.  

To do so, participants: 

  • Complete their Library Profile 
  • Establish Borrowing preferences, including Routing Tables 
  • Configure Lending Options, including schedule and service offerings
  • Create at least ten (10) DOCLINE Journal holdings records 

Once established, libraries are encouraged to follow DOCLINE Best Practices, listed below. 

Library Recommended Best Practices

Following these recommendations ensures requests route quickly and accurately through the system and provides the most efficient ILL for both lenders and borrowers. 

  • Configure Lend Alerts (pg. 44 in user manual) to ensure timely Receipt and Update of Requests ( 
  • Use Library Schedule and Out of Office dates to reflect Library’s availability. 
  • Lend to other DOCLINE libraries. 
  • Follow copyright law and/or guidelines as appropriate. 
  • Annually review and update your Library Profile and Routing Tables. 
  • Annually review and update a minimum of ten (10) DOCLINE Journal Holdings Records for journals from which you can provide ILL.
  • Notify DOCLINE Support of any changes to your library’s participation in DOCLINE. (
  • Subscribe to NLM's DOCLINE-L Email Discussion List to stay informed about the system.

Libraries may also: 

  • Contact DOCLINE Technical Supportto report issues (
  • Submit new (within scope) journal titles to NLM for inclusion in DOCLINE (
  • Submit  feedback or suggestionsto DOCLINE (


Last Reviewed: February 8, 2023