The relationship between ILL/document supply and journal subscriptions

Elena Bernardini (Biblioteca centrale di Farmacia, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy)
Silvana Mangiaracina (Biblioteca dell'Area di Ricerca di Bologna, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Bologna, Italy)

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Publication date: 22 February 2011



The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the relationship between ILL/document supply and journal subscriptions and to assess recent trends in the ILL service.


This survey is based on data from the ILL service conducted over the five‐year period 2005‐2009 through the Italian Network for Inter‐Library Document Exchange (NILDE).


This paper bears out important previous findings that ILL is not used as a surrogate for journal subscriptions. This is supported by the analysis of a broad number of titles and over a wide time‐range. On the contrary, analysis of data transactions, particularly of the most requested journals, can bring about positive effects on new title acquisitions and negotiations with publishers. This paper also shows, at least for Italy, an overall growth and vitality of ILL, in spite of the widespread availability of e‐journals acquired through consortia purchasing.


The paper presents an insight into the relationship between ILL and journal subscriptions in Italy, a country where few studies have been carried out, and none at all for such a large number of libraries and transactions.



Bernardini, E. and Mangiaracina, S. (2011), "The relationship between ILL/document supply and journal subscriptions", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 9-25.

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