The recent promotional effort by the British Library Document Delivery Services appears to have been successful. Each working day, the 850 staff at the Document Supply Centre in England receive over 14,000 requests and satisfy approximately 90 percent--many of which (200 plus per day) are from U.S. and Canadian clients.
The service can supply practically any document ever published, on any topic,> in any language, copyright cleared and, using the Urgent Action Service, in as little as one day. Resources include 220,000 journal titles (23 percent U.S. originated), 300,000 conference proceedings (60,000 U.S.), 3.5 million reports (many collected or distributed by U.S. organizations such as NTIS, NASA, AIAA, USDOE, ERIC, and EPA) and 3 million books (44 percent U.S.). An acquisitions budget of US$7.4 million a year keeps the collection current.
Online access to complete holdings, including journals, books, conference proceedings, and report literature, is available on a subscription basis through BLAISE which is accessible by Internet. Online access to partial holdings are available through OCLC Prism and CARL Gateway. There are 25,000 journals (those for which ISSN matches could be made) listed on the OCLC Prism Service, and 55,000 journals and books listed on the CARL Gateway. In each case photocopies of the articles can be ordered online. Though no holdings are listed on DIALOG, photocopies may be ordered online via DIALOG's DIALORDER service. Customers will receive notification if the British Library DSC is unable to fulfill an order.
Orders for all types of materials may be made by data base host, computer, Internet, fax, phone or mail. The standard service provides that a document will be dispatched by airmail within 48 hours of receipt of the order. (The approximate delivery time for airmail from the U.K. to the U.S. is 5-7 days.)
Registered customers may select either a billing, deposit, or coupon account. All services are priced in units. The current cost per unit is US$9.00. An article of up to ten pages in length may be obtained for one unit. Low cost copyright clearance is available at US$2.25 for any document requested. The total cost of a ten page article which has been copyright cleared is US$11.25.
Non-registered customers may order via the premium service, known as "LEXICON." LEXICON, the Easy Order Service, allows customers to send requests for a list of items in the format of their choice. All of the documents requested will be located within 48 hours of the request and returned in a single package via air-mail. The cost is US$18.00 per article (up to ten pages) and Copyright Clearance if available for an additional US$2.25 per article. International courier service is available at cost and is free of charge for orders of 15 documents or more.
When speed is of the essence, the Urgent Action Service faxes documents by the morning of the next working day. The cost is US$45 for a document of up to 50 pages. Copyright Clearance is available for an additional $2.25 per document.
[Contact: The British Library, Document Supply Centre, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 7BQ United Kingdom; +44 937 546000 or +44 ~37 546060; Fax +44 937 546333; or in the U.S., The British Library in America, One Appleton Street, Boston, MA 02116; (617) 451-9451 or (800) 932-3575; Fax (617) 451-1193.]