Seeking the 99% chemistry library: extending the serial collection through the use of decentralized document delivery

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1995


Elsevier B.V.


Libraries are successfully seeking, developing, and testing new ways to broaden their collections with materials that are neither cataloged nor stored for anticipated need. Instead, these acquisitions are purchased on demand, ordered and received online, by fax or overnight mail, and delivered to the requestor. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Chemistry Library, a document delivery project was established to study how this type of acquisition could be mainstreamed into everyday collection development as a traditional user service. A 6 1/2-month pilot project was conducted that provided free document delivery for articles, patents, and conference proceedings, which were available through the Chemical Abstracts Document Delivery Service, a commercial vendor. This pilot study tested the feasibility of decentralized document delivery in a branch library; a follow-up questionnaire was used to gauge user response to the service. Data from the study were also used to evaluate the serials collection and previous serial cancellation decisions. Results showed the decentralized document delivery service (DDS) was a cost-effective way to extend the serials collection; the user survey results showed a high level of user satisfaction associated with the service.