Document Delivery FAQs

What is DML's Document Delivery and where can I find information about it?

DML's Document Delivery is a subsidized service which provides access to a variety of materials to Georgetown University Medical Center students, faculty, and staff, and all MedStar Gerogetown University Hospital affiliates.
There are three components to DML's Document Delivery Service: Interlibrary Loan (ILL), Digital Copy Service, and Loansome Doc.
The Interlibrary Loan service obtains journal articles and borrows items from other libraries.
The Digital Copy Service provides electronic copies of journal articles and book chapters from DML Collections, including off-site storage.
Loansome Doc is a service provided by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). It allows users to order articles through the NLM's PubMed system (fee-based for non-GUMC patrons). It is subsidized service for GUMC patrons.
Digital copy and ILL requests can be placed by accessing DML’s website, scroll down to Quick Services; then click on the link for Interlibrary Loan.

When to use Interlibrary Loan?

There are different steps you can use when deciding if you should use DML's Interlibrary Loan Service. The first question is does DML have the material you are looking for? If your answer is "no", then you may want to solicit the service of Interlibrary Loan. The second question is do I have time to wait for the library to get the material for me? If the answer to this question is "yes", then DML ILL is the service for you.

How to create a username and password?

In order to place a request, you will need to first create an account. DML uses an ILL management system called ILLiad. It is an authentication cloud-based sofware that securely stores your patron information and your ILL requests. First time users will need to provide the following information: First and Last Name, Email Address, Daytime Phone Number, Primary Address, Status, and Department. When creating your username, it is recommended that you use your NetID and password (only you have access to your password) when creating your account. The link for the registration page is:

What if I forget my password?

In the event that you forget your password, you will be able to reset it yourself on the login page. Simply click the "Forgot Password?" link at the bottom of the login screen and follow the online instructions. If you forget your username, contact the Document Delivery Department by sending an email to The link to the login page is:

How do I place a request?

Once the account has been created, patrons can submit their request using one of the options under the "New Request" menu. Most of the time a request will fit into one of the categories listed; however, there are times when this is not the case. If this happens to you, choose "Other". Enter as much information as possible into the box provided, then click Submit.

When and how are items delivered?

Digital Copy Service: digital copies of articles from the DML collection are usually delivered within one business day of request. Photocopies of articles from other GU Libraries may require additional time. Rush service is available.
Interlibrary Loan: delivery time depends on where the library is located and the method of delivery.
Articles are sent electronically, so these can be received fairly quickly; however when preparing to submit your request, please give yourself at least 2-5 business days to receive the articles. If a journal is not owned by many libraries or material has been published within the last 1-3 months, it can prove difficult to get; but, not impossible.
Books are sent by different methods. Some libraries send books by FedEx, UPS, or USPS. Depending on where and method of delivery, the book can take 7-10 business days to arrive at DML.
If you need the book or article immediately, indicate "RUSH" then send the document delivery department an email at when submitting the request.

How do I pick-up, renew, and/or return print books and audiovisual materials borrowed through Interlibrary Loan?

If you borrow a print book, you will need to either pick it up from the DML Information Services Desk or provide a mailing address for it to be mailed to.
When you are finished with the book, return it to DML's Information Services Desk or by FedEx to the address provided on the return address label.
Most libraries will renew their materials; however, some will not. Usually libraries that do not renew will give a longer loan period than one month. If you need to renew, send the Document Delivery Department an email at

How long will articles remain on the website?

Requested articles are available on the website for 30 days. Once 30 days have passed, the articles will automatically be purged from the system. If you need to re-access an article beyond 30 days, send the Document Delivery Department an email at

What kind of materials can I get from DML's Interlibrary Loan service?

You can borrow materials such as books and book chapters, journal articles, audiovisual materials* and whole journal volumes* (borrowing these materials are assessed on a case by case basis; as library lending policies differ).

What are the loan periods for interlibrary loan?

Loan periods depend on the policy of the lending library. Most libraries will lend books and audiovisual materials for at least a month. Some have loan periods which are longer.

What is electronic delivery and how do I access electronically delivered articles?

Electronic delivery means that materials are sent via a computer. Many libraries send photocopies of articles electronically. Once requests are processed, you will receive an email with information explaining how to access electronic articles. The email will have a link to the ILLiad login page. Once you get to this page, you will be asked to login with your username and password. The system is case sensitive, so the way it was entered at registration, is the way it needs to be entered whenever logging in. You can read more about electronic delivery on the Electronic Delivery Information page.

What management system does DML use to process document delivery requests?

DML uses the ILLiad system for processing both digital copies and Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests. You also need to use this system for placing an off-campus storage request. ILLiad allows you to set up your own personal profile, enter requests via a Web interface, check the status of your requests, and obtain electronic copies of articles. For more information regarding ILLiad, visit the ILLiad FAQ page.

How is ILLiad better than traditional document delivery systems?

You will find it easier to submit your document delivery requests. With ILLiad, you enter your name, address, and other personal information into the system once, at the time of your first request.
Your request will be handled more rapidly and accurately as problems relating to misinterpretation of hand-written requests are eliminated.
You can get many of your photocopies more quickly through Electronic Delivery.
You can get information about the status of your request through the Web at any time from any location without having to email the Document Delivery department.
Library personnel are able to serve you better because all data about your request and its handling is stored in a searchable database. We are able to respond quickly to your inquiries about your request. We are also able to gather statistical information about the performance of the libraries that lend to us, enabling us to make better decisions when choosing a lender to supply an item for you.

How do I view my interlibrary loan materials?

If you need to view your Interlibrary Loan (ILL) materials, you will need to login to your DML ILL account. You can do this by going to Enter your username and password, scroll down to "View" then click on the link for the appropriate choice.

What Web browser should I use?

You need a Web browser that can handle forms, tables, and preferably Cascading Stylesheets (CSS). We recommend the current versions of either Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.

Is security a problem if I use a public workstation?

Yes. Web browsers cache information and create a history file on the local workstation. This allows a subsequent user of the workstation to access the system under your name using the browser's back button to recall a page from the cache, or by finding a page with your personal information in the browser's history file. If you are concerned about the security of your interlibrary loan requests, you can take the following steps: access ILLiad only from your personal computer or an otherwise secure workstation in the library. These computers are supervised by the library staff. When using a public workstation: delete from the history file those pages that contain your personal information. Exit from the Web browser before you leave the workstation. This prevents the back button from accessing the pages you were using.

Other Technical Questions?

If you have a problem with or while trying to access ILLiad, you can contact the Document Delivery office by emailing

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