Click here to skip to content

Glossary of British Library terminology

Ariel - Ariel is a piece of software that allows you to send and receive documents electronically. You can find out more about Ariel at on their website.

ARTEmail – an email based ordering facility. Visit ‘Placing your order’ page for more details (link on the right)

ARTWeb – a web based ordering facility for registered customers. Visit ‘Placing your order’ for more details (link on the right).

Billing Account – an credit account that bills you for your purchases at the end of the month. Visit our accounts and payments section for further details.

BNB – The British National Bibliography provides a record of all new books and serials published in the UK since 1950.

Copyright Fees – copyright fees are a method of providing financial reward to creators of research for uses of their intellectual property. For more information, please visit our ‘Everything you need to know about copyright’ section.

Customer Code – this is a code we will allocate to you when you register as a customer. It will be used to identify you for as long as you remain a customer of the British Library.

Data Licensing – as well as searching our collections, organisations can also purchase our data and integrate it into your own information systems.

Deposit Account – A pre-paid account that requires you to maintain a balance in your account to fund your article orders. Visit our accounts and payments section for further details.

Directory of Library Codes - The Directory of Library Codes enables British Library customers to convert into names and addresses the library codes they are given in response to location searches.

Reprints – if you need more than one copy of an article, you can purchase them in print or electronically. For more information, please visit our Reprints section.

ETOC – or Electronic Table of Contents is an article level database of 20,000 of our most requested journals.

Extended Search – if we cannot locate the item you need in our own stock, we can extend it to other libraries’ collections. For more information, please visit our ‘Extended Searching’ section.

FAX-Line - FAX-Line is designed for low-use customers without ready access to the Internet. It allows customers  to send up to ten requests a day to us by fax.

Immediate Downloads – more and more of the content from our collections is stored on secure servers and can be downloaded immediately from services such as British Library Direct

Inside – our premier subscription based database gives access to 20,000 journals and over 150,000 conference proceedings. Please visit British Library Inside for further details.

Location Search - By ‘locations’ we mean libraries in the UK and Ireland that are listed in our records as having the item you want. Please note, we will only give you details of locations and you will need to apply to them direct.

Message Keyword Codes - If you send your orders by ARTEmail or FAX-Line, there are special codes that you can use to give detailed information about requests: the delivery speed, method of delivery, or if you do not want to receive a copy in microform, for example. These are Message Keyword Codes.

Near Print Quality – if you need a high quality reproduction of a single article from our collection, our NPQ service can provide it. For more information, visit our Near Print Quality section.

Parent/satellite accounts – these are accounts aimed at larger organisations who may have several people ordering items, but who would like to manage the budget from a central source. Visit our accounts and payments section for further details.

Replies Intray – an online system that gives you real time information on the status of your order. Visit our ‘Reply Codes Explained’ section for further details.

Reply Codes – Reply Codes are simple codes that we use to communicate the status of your order. Request Numbers. Visit our ‘Reply Codes Explained’ section for further details.

Request Status Reports – a traditional method of communicating the status of your order. Reply codes are posted to you by mail. Visit our ‘Reply Codes Explained’ section for further details.

Requests – sometimes referred to as orders, Requests cover the process of applying for both copies and loans from our collection.

Research Service – a paid for service that allows you to hire British Library research professionals to work on your projects. Visit our ‘Research Service’ section for further details.

Secure Electronic Delivery – SED is a way of delivering your articles electronically. The article is loaded on to a secure server, where the user can download it. Further information can be found in our ‘Secure Electronic Delivery’ section.

Waiting Lists – is a book or publication is being loaned by another user. We will put you on a Waiting List. When the publication is returned, we will send it to you.

Worldwide Search – if the item you ask for is published in the UK or Ireland, but is not available in our collections,  we will try to find libraries abroad that hold the item and apply to them on your behalf.

ZETOC - Zetoc is a British Library current awareness service, launched in September 2000 to the UK Higher and Further Education communities.