Alma users get a new tool to make it easier to deliver Open Access in ILL

This year, we released DeliverOA to make it easier to find self-archived Open Access versions of articles and deliver them inside ILL workflows in major tools. Today, we’re releasing an update to make it easier to deliver Open Access content for practitioners using Alma, by Ex Libris. Alma is a major tool for document-delivery practitioners around the globe.

To start delivering Open Access through Alma, make sure you’ve got the Open Access Button installed in your browser and then click it when you’re on ‘Resource Sharing Borrowing Request’ pages. We’ll take you direct to an Open Access copy if one exists. For full instructions, see the DeliverOA page.

Thanks to the Interlending team at the University of York (UK), who battled through making this work reliable for document-delivery practitioners everywhere when our initial estimation of this taking ‘just five minutes’ was … a little off. The Interlending team is excited about the new tool. The team explains: ‘Once we saw the Open Access Button working in conjunction with Alma, we were keen to make use of it in our ILL processes. We are impressed at how much time and money it could potentially save, as well as having a high degree of accuracy on the titles that we tested.’ We’d like to thank the York team not just for their work on this project, but also in particular for their team’s input into earlier case studies, done with Jisc. Thanks also to the Arcadia Fund, who kindly supported us taking this tool from idea to implementation and impact.

York’s team is excited for the future of DeliverOA. We’ll be working to make it easy for document-delivery practitioners to make more content freely and legally available as part of day-to-day ILL processing. The team continues: ‘It is encouraging that, on top of making OA content more discoverable (and thereby supporting libraries in terms of reducing costs and increasing efficiency), the Open Access Button is seeking to engage actively with academics, and to grow the availability of OA content for the benefit of everyone. Irrespective of success, this approach is notably absent from too many Open Access schemes; information gleaned from it should be worthwhile.’

Preliminary research into the potential impact of the Open Access Button and Unpaywall on ILL lending and borrowing activities across four Orbis Cascade Alliance libraries. Find out more at

This new tool joins others in the DeliverOA family, recent upgrades to our core systems for discovering Open Access content in ILL, a new handbook for practitioners, and a growing body of evidence to suggest that delivering Open Access content is an effective cost-saving technique. If you have other ideas, feature requests or feedback, we’d love to hear from you at