November 13, 2018

A Few Words About Password Complexity & Your ILLiad Account

It has been common logic for some time that security is an important issue with regard to one's internet activities, and as such it has been considered standard procedure to expect users to regularly manage passwords to their online service sites. Although a case could be made to apply this reasoning to library services (such as interlibrary loan and document delivery) as well, we have never made it a crucial point to enforce any standards when creating, changing or re-setting your ILLiad password.

We have always encouraged using secure character strings, but have never made any particular requirements mandatory. We do, however, highly recommend (on a purely voluntary basis) the following oft-repeated suggestions...

* 8 to 13 characters in length.
* Include at least one each of the following: uppercase letter, lowercase letter, numeral, non-alphanumeric character (such as "#", "$", "%", "&", "?").
* Avoid using words or names in English or any other language.

For those of you "free spirits" who still insist on using names or regular words, here are some suggestions on how to disguise or camouflage them in practice...

* A name like "Mary Jane" could instead become "m@Ry|&n3".
* Words like "violin bows" could be re-cast as ">i0LjnBo3$".

These examples actually fulfil the three guidelines above, as well. Now that I've put them out there, I recommend of course that you make up your own.

It has also been suggested that you can use "sentence" strings, of the sort which you alone might conceive (and remember more easily), such as "mycatisblue". In fact, using this character string backwards, as "eulbsitacym", might work even better if you're so inclined. An argument for this kind of thinking is put forth in the following somewhat dated article: Do Sentences Make Better Passwords? Have a look, and judge for yourself.

As for passwords you definitely shouldn't use, here are a few: "1234", "abcd", "ill" (especially not for your ILLiad account).

You may also be aware that CWRU UTech currently provides its own Password Security Page, to assist you with your own campus network account use. This also serves as a good source for further advice and recommendations on passwords in general, and certainly would be relevant for ILLiad or any other online service site which you may use. Keep in mind that the location of this page is subject to change at any time--I assume no responsibility for the stability of this link.

Please be apprised that in an upcoming version of ILLiad, you will be required to update your password upon entering your login session. At the point when this upgrade has officially been put in place, you will be directed to the "Change Password" form in your account rather than to your main page. You will then need to enter your current password as well as a new password (twice), before proceeding any further.

You will not need to be concerned about any password security requirements, but you will on the other hand not be able to re-use any previous passwords either. From then on you will be prompted in the same way to change your password periodically, after a number of days yet to be determined--most likely every 180 days.

As always, we hope this is helpful, and prepares you for what is to come in the near future.

Questions or concerns about ILL or ILLiad? Please feel free to contact the ILL staff at KSL by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at

October 24, 2018

ILLiad Delivered PDF's & Your Browser

We have recently been faced with a rash of inquiries from our users regarding uncertainties about saving electronically delivered files. Since the ILLiad site is interfaced through a variety of internet applications, whose functional elements frame its pages, their idiosyncratic features are often attributed to ILLiad rather than to the browsers themselves.

In the past, I touched very briefly on this in my entry for November 20, 2012. I will now give a more detailed and up-to-date clarification, to help exonerate the ILLiad system in its role in the electronic delivery process -- specifically concerning its interaction with the most popular browsers currently in use.

When you log into your ILLiad account with the purpose of retrieving your electronic files, you click on the "Electronically Received Articles" link from your Main Menu. If you currently have any PDFs available, you would select them from the table that appears listing them by their corresponding transaction numbers.

At this point you will attempt to view a file by opening a transaction record from the table list, and then clicking on View PDF at the top of the page that is displayed.

Alternatively you may select PDF.jpg View directly from the corresponding transaction line in the table. At that point, a number of different things may happen based on the web browser you are using. It is also usually assumed that your browser is set to work in tandem with some version of the Adobe Acrobat PDF viewer. I will now consider how ILLiad interacts with each of them. The results of several viewing attempts appear below, followed by a brief discussion on how to capture and save the file.

* Internet Explorer --


In this recent version of Internet Explorer, you will click on the "disk" disk.jpg icon in the bottom area of the display window. (You may first need to hover your cursor there to reveal the row of options.) The PDF will then appear in a window where the file will be named "illiad.dll.pdf" by default. We especially recommend that you rename it first before saving it into the same folder location with other files also downloaded from ILLiad, so that you avoid accidentally overwriting one with another.


In this recent default version of the browser, click on the "disk" disk.jpg icon that appears in the upper right corner. (You may need to click near the top of the window to reveal the toolbar first.) The PDF will appear in a window where the file will be named "untitled.pdf" by default. Here again, we recommend that you rename it first before saving it into the same folder location with other files, to avoid inadvertently overwriting any of them.


In this older version of the browser, again click on the "disk" disk.jpg icon in the bottom area of the display window. (You may need to hover your cursor there to reveal the options, as well.) The PDF will similarly appear in a window where the file will be named "illiad.pdf" by default. Once again, we suggest that you rename it first before saving it into the same folder with other files, to avoid unintentionally overwriting any of them.

* Microsoft Edge --


In this successor to Internet Explorer, you will again click on the "disk" disk.jpg icon appearing in the upper right corner. (Here you may also need to click near the top of the window to reveal the toolbar.) The PDF will also appear in a window with file named "untitled.pdf" by default. Once again, we recommend renaming it before saving it to prevent accidentally overwriting other files in the same location.

* Mozilla Firefox --


Imagine your consternation when you are greeted with this result. Unfortunately, this browser uses its own viewer as a default, and as you can see it presents the error message "This PDF document might not be displayed correctly." in this context. (Needless to say, this is not a shortcoming on the part of ILLiad.) You can then click on the "Open With Different Viewer" button, and you will be prompted to select an application (most likely Adobe Acrobat) with which you can then properly open the file.

You can also simply opt to click directly on the "download" download.jpg icon from the upper right corner of the window, and then open and save the file without first viewing it within the ILLiad page. The PDF should open up in a window where the file will be named by the corresponding ILLiad TN, in this case "345614.pdf" -- of course there is no need to rename it before placing it into your folder location with other files.

If you wish to avoid these complications altogether, you can simply change a setting in your browser. Go to the "menu" menu.jpg icon in the upper right corner of your main window and click on it to reveal the drop-down. Select "Options" and then scroll down to "Applications". At "Portable Document Format (PDF)" go to the setting "Preview in Firefox" (under the "Actions" column) and open the drop-down. Select "Use Adobe Acrobat (default)", which you might have to find under "Use other...", click "OK" and close the tab.

From this point on every time you use ILLiad with this browser to view your electronic deliveries directly from the table (with either of the View PDF options mentioned above), the PDF will immediately display in its own window (as below) without ever having to appear inside the usual ILLiad page.


* Google Chrome --


Here you will click on the "download" download.jpg icon in the upper right corner of the window. The PDF will open in a window where it will be named by the corresponding ILLiad TN, in this case "345614.pdf" -- again there will be no need to rename it before depositing it into your preferred folder location.

* Safari --


In this browser, you will click on the "disk" disk.jpg icon in the bottom area of window. (Here you may also need to hover your cursor there to view the group of options.) The PDF will open in a window where it is named "illiad.pdf" by default. As before, we recommend that you rename it first when placing it into your folder location with other files, for the same obvious reason.

This should cover most of the situations you might encounter. As always, we hope this information will be helpful whenever you experience difficulties in downloading and saving your ILLiad PDFs. Additional documentation is available regarding electronic delivery through ILLiad, at our Customer Help page and in our Electronic Delivery Information page.

If you have further questions or concerns, please contact the Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at

September 24, 2018

Duplicate Accounts & Duplicate Requests

We can all agree that duplication in one form or another is not the most efficient use of available resources. This applies to interlibrary loan and other associated library services, as well. I will briefly cover the two most common situations, as they relate to your use of the ILLiad system.

Duplicate Accounts have been mentioned occasionally along with other general topics within this blog, but I will go over our basic approach to dealing with them more specifically here.

Whenever we become aware of multiple accounts created for the same user, we reserve the right to merge them into a single account. The one we determine has been used most recently for request activity is the one we will choose to retain. You will receive notification by e-mail informing you of the merger, and indicating which of your accounts (by username) is being kept active. The upside on this will be that all your request history has been consolidated and will all be accessible from that single account. Please keep in mind at the same time that any remaining deactivated accounts will be marked as "Disavowed" and will no longer be accessible for further use.

Duplicate Requests were discussed in detail specifically in my blog entry for April 21, 2011, as well as in association with various other topics periodically since then. Again, I will explain how we normally handle them.

When we observe that duplicate requests have been submitted by the same user in close succession for identical materials, we reserve the right to process only the first one placed and cancel any remaining transactions. Should we notice that additional information has been added in the citation or notes of a later request (rather than being edited into the first by the patron), we will usually try to copy it over into the earlier one before further processing it. We will normally cite the transaction number of the one request we are keeping active in the e-mail notifications sent for any others that are being cancelled. If we note that a duplicate request has been placed some time later after an earlier request, we reserve the right to cancel that one in like manner.

As always, we hope this is helpful in simplifying your use of the KSL ILLiad resource.

Got questions for Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff? Call us at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or send e-mail to

August 20, 2018

ILL Reminders Before Classes Begin

Now that the new academic year is upon us, it's time for a brief refresher course on how and when to best make use of interlibrary loan services. Here are a few major things to consider before using ILLiad to submit any requests...

* Check local holdings of books and journals in our own online catalog.
* Locate & check out circulating items available in our own collections--in Kelvin Smith Library and at other campus library locations.
* Check the OhioLINK & SearchOhio catalogs for books (and other circulating materials) available through direct borrowing.
* Use our on-site reproduction equipment to create scans from journals, books, microfilms, etc., in our own internal collections.
* Check for articles available through our own electronic journal subscriptions.
* Check for access to electronic books listed in our online catalog.
* Explore Open Access options for freely (and legally) available journal articles and other published research documents, through any of a number of reputable sites.
* Contact your subject area Research Services Librarian for assistance with your scholarly research needs.
* Contact interlibrary loan staff for assistance with setting up a new ILLiad account, or verifying if you already have an existing account.
* If you already have an existing ILLiad account but cannot remember your password, please use the "Forgot Password?" option to reset it.
* Please avoid creating duplicate ILLiad accounts, but if you have done so let ILL staff know so you can request that they be merged for easier reckoning or your transaction history.
* Please avoid submitting duplicate request transactions for the same loan or copy, and keep in mind that you can always log into ILLiad to track your current outstanding requests.

These points have all been discussed at some length elsewhere in this blog. Please feel free to keyword search this guide for more detailed commentaries in past entries.

Have a productive Fall 2018 Semester!

Need to contact Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff? Call us at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or send e-mail to

July 25, 2018

Helpful Links Now in Your ILLiad Menu

In our eagerness to aid you with using interlibrary loan services, or to guide you toward alternate strategies that offer more expedient access to research materials, we have furnished our ILLiad workspace with several convenient directional links.

When you log into your account, you will notice the left-hand column with the header "Main Menu", which is ever-present in your main page and in all other request form and display table pages that are part of the regular ILLiad site. If you scroll down to the bottom, you will see a section of options, labelled "Resources".

Some of these links will be familiar, such as our own online catalog, OhioLINK, electronic journals and research databases. The three most recently added to the list are the following:

* Summon -- This portal is designed to explore through numerous databases accessible in our library's vast pool of resources, all in a single sweep. It is also customizable to your preferred search strategy, along various parameters. Summon is also accessible directly on the Kelvin Smith Library main website page.

* Google Scholar -- This popular search engine is particularly useful for verifying article citations, and for determining open access in conjunction with browser extensions available from Open Access Button, Unpaywall and the like. For more information on how this can work together with (or in lieu of) interlibrary loan, please see my blog entry from September 26, 2017.

* Open Access Button -- One of many recommended new applications that work with your browser to assist in locating articles legally available, free of charge. It can help to find one or more versions of an article along the publication process--sometimes even the final published edition. It can also contact authors to place a research request on your behalf, if no version of an article is yet available.

Although it is not currently included in the menu (in the interest of space constraints), we also suggest you check out the more sophisticated OASheet, from the folks at Open Access Button. This version is capable of locating possible open access versions and then sending a list of the repository links directly to your e-mail address.

Another resource of possible interest, but not currently in the ILLiad menu is the HathiTrust site, which can also be found in our list of Research Databases. This cooperative offers access to digitized versions of books, monographs and other various publications, available from numerous collections worldwide--all in one place.

Just another note--all the external links appearing in the ILLiad Main Menu "Resources" section are set to open up in a new tab or window, depending on your browser specifications.

If this has been of any help, then I've succeeded in my mission. Good luck with your research!

Got questions for Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff? Contact us by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at

June 13, 2018

KSL Special User Registration in ILLiad -- Status & Department Selections

This month's blog entry is intended either for our regular users who are afforded special service levels, or for those who are not primary users of KSL's ILLiad system, but are allowed to register for limited services. This includes (in no particular order) alumni, KSL depository requestors, distance education graduates (WSOM), post-doctoral researchers, emeritus faculty and visiting scholars. Although this does not as a rule apply directly to current faculty, staff, graduates or undergraduates, you are welcome to read on, as well.

When you initially sign up for ILLiad privileges at our login page, you will click the "First Time Users" link and agree to our terms to reach the "New User Registration" page. There is often some uncertainty as to which selections for "Status" and "Department" which you are to make once you reach that point in the process. Without any further ado, the answers to these questions are summarily indicated below:

New ILLiad user options for "Status" and "Department or Major"--

* Alumni Users: "Alumni Online Library" & "KSL ALUMNI ONLINE LIBRARY"

* KSL Depository Request Users: "Depository Request" & "KSL DEPOSITORY REQUEST"

* WSOM Doctor of Management Students: "Distance Ed Graduate" & "DM"

* Post-Doctoral Students: "Graduate" & your academic department

* Emeritus Faculty Members: "Faculty" & your academic department

* Visiting Scholars: "Staff" & your sponsoring academic department

A few additional words of advice for certain of our special user categories, before you go on any further to set up your KSL ILLiad account...

A detailed explanation of who "special users" are is available at our Customer Help page. A list of our "regular" and "special" users eligible for ILLiad services at KSL may be found in our FAQ page. And finally, complete instructions on how to register your ILLiad account for the first time is also on the Customer Help page.

Alumni users who wish to register for special ILLiad services through KSL must sign up initially at our Alumni Services page. After you have received confirmation, you may continue with setting up an ILLiad alumni user account.

KSL Depository scan request services through our ILLiad system has been discussed here at length previously, on both November 13, 2017 and January 22, 2018. Depository scanning service is routinely available to all regular KSL ILLiad users, while ILLiad users from other campus library sites must set up a special account exclusively for that purpose.

Visiting Scholar service through ILLiad at KSL was addressed previously in this blog on September 17, 2014. Prior to registration, a sponsor from your academic department must submit a request in writing to, including the following information: your name, personal e-mail & phone number, local address, CWRU network ID, dates of visit, and sponsoring department (including name of sponsor, their e-mail & direct phone, and the department general phone). Remember that you will be regarded as "Staff", and that your privileges will extend only during the period of your affiliation with the university.

As always, we hope to have helped clarify this part of the registration process, as well as any possible concerns regarding the special and limited service levels we provide through ILLiad.

For general questions to Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff, please contact us by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at

May 22, 2018

Faculty Authorized Users -- Regular Circulation vs. ILLiad

One of the perks of being a faculty member here at Kelvin Smith Library is that you can request to have authorized users specified on your library circulation account. This will allow them to check out KSL and OhioLINK loans on your behalf, saving you time and effort in your busy schedule. Another similar but separate benefit available to all users registered in the KSL ILLiad system is the option to specify authorized persons to sign out interlibrary loan items (not OhioLINK) on their behalf.

If you are current CWRU faculty, and wish to establish the former of these services, you will need to contact KSL Access & Delivery by sending a message to, providing the names of those persons you wish to allow to pick up your loans. You may also call our Service Center at 216-368-3506 for additional assistance, if needed.

If you are an eligible user of KSL's ILLiad system for interlibrary loan services -- i.e., faculty, staff and students only -- you can similarly designate authorized users also to pick up ILL returnable items for you. This topic was previously covered in my blog way back on March 4, 2009, as distinct from KSL and OhioLINK loan checkouts. Normally, you would simply edit your ILLiad profile by logging into your account and selecting 'Change User Information' from the Main Menu. You would then add their names in the 'Authorized Users' field and save the changes. NOTE: Alumni and Depository Request users do not have loan borrowing privileges through KSL's ILLiad (i.e., only copies), and this does not apply to their service levels.

If you are faculty and are currently registered with a KSL ILLiad account, we can add your authorized users there as a courtesy. If you are making a request using the above e-mail contact for your main borrowing privileges, you can include this in your message text as well. Please remember to refer to your KSL ILLiad UserName, if you intend to do so. If you prefer, our ILL staff can also make this edit to your KSL ILLiad account. Please feel free to send a message to them at

One further word of note about ILLiad authorized users. We recommend that you add them (or request to have them added) to your account prior to submitting any new loan requests. Any returnable items already received and awaiting pick-up will not have been marked with their names, and you will need to notify ILL staff so we can manually add them onto the accompanying checkout slips.

We hope this helps to make your scholarly research endeavors a little easier.

Got questions in general for Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff? Contact us by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at