May 26, 2022

Primary Documents: What Does the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Want in a Discovery Platform?

Here are three primary documents that some of you might find interesting.

They provide details about what a large library, the National Library of Medicine (NLM), wants
in a discovery platform.

NLM is the world’s largest medical library.

The Documents

The documents include a SOW (Statement of Work), RFQ (Request for Quotations), and a spreadsheet of sample queries that NLM (the world’s largest medical library) posted before the holidays to acquire a “discovery and delivery platform.”

The deadline for those interested in providing the discovery platform is, as of today, this Friday.

Three documents are embedded below. All materials can still be be accessed on

From the Synopsis

NLM is issuing this Statement of Work (SOW) for purchasing web-based discovery and delivery software. The Library seeks to acquire the software hosted by a vendor with the technical expertise, resources, and experience to provide NLM with an industry-leading search platform.

The scope of this procurement is the acquisition of web-based discovery and delivery software as well as the technical, management, and support services for implementing and maintaining the platform.

The vendor shall host discovery and delivery software that provides a single, modern, and intuitive search platform for NLM’s physical, electronic, and digital resources. It must interoperate with the library’s ILS to enable users to remain in the search platform for research and traditional OPAC functionality such as requests for physical materials in the NLM collections. The software architecture should be open and extensively configurable, customizable, and expandable for incorporation of additional collection resources and for further NLM development in response to future needs. The vendor must establish security policies, procedures, and practices that meet the relevant security requirements set forth by the U.S. Federal Government.

All of the mandatory requirements have to be fulfilled by the vendor’s solution. For those desirable requirements that the vendor’s software cannot currently meet, the vendor may opt to propose an alternative approach or method.

The Documents

Statement of Work

Statement of Work: National Library of Medicine Discovery and Delivery Platform

NLM OPAC Sample Queries

Sample Queries XLS File


National Library of Medicine: Discovery and Delivery Platform RFQ by LJ's infoDOCKET

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.