How do I request library materials (articles, books, etc.)?

For urgent literature needs during this period, contact your IC’s dedicated librarian.

  1. What is ILLiad?
  2. What is the preferred browser?
  3. Who can request an item?
  4. How do I create an ILLiad account to request materials?
  5. How do I submit a request for an item?
  6. How do I request a book, book chapter, conference paper, patent, report, or thesis?
  7. I received an email telling me that my item is available. How do I access it?
  8. What does the date in the "Expires" column mean?
  9. How can I change my password?
  10. How can I cancel a request?
  11. How can I edit a request?
  12. Who can I contact with a question or problem with requesting materials?

What is ILLiad?

If you need an article, book, or other item that is not available in the NIH Library’s collection, the Library can get it for you through our online request system, ILLiad. You must have an ILLiad account to request materials.

The NIH Library provides access to a premier collection of scholarly resources to support research at NIH and HHS, including thousands of journals and eBooks. The NIH Library collection is used extensively but there are times when the trail of research leads to an article, book, report, or other item that is not available from our collection. In those cases, the Library leverages a global network of connections and agreements to find and obtain many of these items for you at no additional cost.

What is the preferred browser?

ILLiad works best with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. ILLiad does work with Internet Explorer, but when using Explorer you may experience issues viewing PDFs for filled requests.

Who can request materials?

All NIH and CMS employees may request materials from the NIH Library. The service is also available to personnel from the following select HHS agencies:

  • Administration for Children & Families (ACF)
  • Administration for Community Living (ACL)
  • Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)
  • Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Indian Health Service (IHS), Office of the Secretary (OS)
  • Program Support Center (PSC)
  • Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

You must create an ILLiad account, which requires the use of your NIH, CMS, or HHS email address and your ID number, which is located on the back of your PIV card.

How do I create an ILLiad account to request materials?

ILLiad is available from the NIH Library website under Services. Click on Order an Article, Book or Document. It can also be accessed directly: https://nihlibrary.ors.nih.gov/illiad/ or from a database search result screen through the NIH Library Go button.

From the NIH Library website

  1. Select the Services menu and click on Order an Article, Book or Document under the Get Help column.
  2. From the ILLiad login page, click on the link First Time Users click here to the right of the grey Logon to ILLiad button.


  3. Fill out the registration form. We recommend you use your NIH or HHS email address for the username, and then set a password of your choice.

    Use your NIH, CMS, or HHS office mailing address and telephone number.

    If you are not on the NIH main campus, select Mail to Address for the Preferred Loan Delivery Methodoption.

From a PubMed or database search

If you have conducted a database search, you may see the NIH Library Go icon, which will link you to the full-text of the article if it is owned by the NIH Library. If the Library does not own the article and you want to request it, you will need an ILLiad account.

  1. From the database article page, click on the blue NIH Library Go button.
  2. At the next screen, if the NIH Library does not have a subscription to the journal, you will have the option to request the item through document delivery.
  3. Click the blue button Request this item from the NIH Library.
  4. If you already have an ILLiad account, log in using your username and password. If you do not have an ILLiad account, go to How do I create an ILLiad account to request materials? and follow the directions from there.

5. How do I submit a request for an item?

You may submit requests directly from the ILLiad login form. You may also submit requests from a PubMed @ NIH search or from another database search, via the NIH Library Go button.

If you submit the request via a database search, citation information will be automatically populated into the request form. However, you must already have an ILLiad account in order to request the item.

Manually using the ILLiad form

  1. Log into your ILLiad account. If you forgot your password, click on the Forgot Password? link to reset it.
  2. From the main screen, select the most appropriate option listed under New Request on the left side of the screen.
  3. Type in the citation information for the item you need. Please be as complete as possible.

From a PubMed or other database search

If you access PubMed (PubMed @ NIH) or one of the other NIH Library databases (e.g., Scopus, Web of Science, Embase, etc.) every record in PubMed and many of those in the other NIH Library-subscribed databases will show the blue NIH Library Go button to indicate the item is either available through the Library or, if it is not available, can be requested via ILLiad.

  1. Click on the blue NIH Library Go button. You will be directed to the full-text article if the Library subscribes to the journal. If the Library does not have access to the full-text, click the blue Request this item through Document Delivery button to request the article through the ILLiad system. 
  2. Log into your ILLiad account. Your username is your NIH or HHS email address. If you forgot your password, click on the Forgot Password? link to reset it.
  3. Once you’ve logged in, the form should be pre-populated with the article information. Confirm the information is correct and then click Submit request.

Single PMID request

If you have a PubMed ID number (PMID) for your request, you can use it to submit your request rather than entering the item information in full.

  1. Identify the PMID, which is located below the abstract on every PubMed record.
  2. Enter the PMID in the top box. You can only enter one PMID at a time.
  3. Select the remaining preferences and submit your request.

How do I request a book, book chapter, conference paper, patent, report, or thesis?

  1. If you already have an ILLiad account, log in using your username and password. If you do not have an ILLiad account, go to How do I create an ILLiad account to request materials? and follow the directions from there.
  2. After logging in to your ILLiad account, under New Request, select the type of item you want to request (Book, Book Chapter, Conference Paper, Patent, Report, or Thesis).
  3. Complete the Item Information form with as much detail as possible. You can add additional details or a hyperlink to a webpage in the Notes section to assist with locating the item.
  4. Click Submit Request.

I received an email telling me that my item is available. How do I find it?

  1. Log in to your ILLiad account.
  2. Under View, in the left-hand column, click on Available Articles to view your requests.
  3. From the Available Articlesscreen, you will see the record for each available item requested.
  4. Click on the View link (PDF icon) to access the PDF file of the item requested. You can then download the PDF to your computer or print the file.
  5. If you cannot access the PDF, go to the main ILLiad page. Under View, in the left-hand column, click on All Requests. Open the relevant transaction number. If the article is available, the link to the PDF should appear at the top of the transaction number page.

What does the date in the "Expires" column mean?

Materials are available in your account for 90 days from the date of posting. You may view and save your items at any time during those 90 days. After 90 days have passed, items are deleted from your account, on the “expires” date.

How can I change my password?

  1. Log in to your ILLiad account.
  2. Under Tools,in the left-hand column, select Change Password and follow the directions
  3. You need to know your current password to change it. If you forgot your password, click on the Forgot Password? link from the main ILLiad login screen to reset it.

How can I cancel a request?

  1. Log in to your ILLiad account. The main screen will display your Outstanding Requests.
  2. For the article you want to cancel, click on the link located in the Transaction column. The record for that article will open.
  3. Click on the Cancel Requestlink at the top of the record. Your request will be cancelled and removed from your list of Outstanding Requests.

How can I edit a request?

  1. Log in to your ILLiad account. The main screen will display your Outstanding Requests.
  2. Click on the link for the article you want to edit located in the Transaction column. The record for that article will open.
  3. Click on the Edit Requestlink at the top of the record. Add or update the information and click Submit Request.

Who can I contact with a question or problem with requesting materials?

Contact the NIH Library Information Desk at 301-496-1080 or edelivery@nih.gov during our normal business hours, Monday–Thursday, 7:45am–8:00pm; Friday, 7:45am–6:00pm; and Saturday–Sunday, 1:00–5:00pm.


Last modified date: Fri, 08/14/2020 - 11:39am