Ordering National Cancer Institute Publications: Questions and Answers

  1. What is the National Cancer Institute’s policy on the distribution of publications and other materials?
  2. The NCI’s publications are free. There is a charge to help cover the cost of shipping and handling for orders of more than 20 items. Current Federal Government budgetary constraints and the NCI’s commitment to meeting the increasing demand for information about cancer have made these charges necessary. By instituting a program to recover costs of shipping and handling, NCI will ensure that the information needs of cancer patients, their families, health professionals, and the general public are met.

  3. What is the charge for shipping and handling?
  4. There is no shipping and handling charge for orders of 20 or fewer items—such an order may consist of 20 copies of one title or any combination of titles up to a total of 20 items. Orders for more than 20 items have a shipping and handling fee of 10 cents per copy, with a minimum charge of $5.

  5. Is there a discount for ordering large quantities of materials?
  6. The shipping and handling fee is discounted 10 percent on orders of 100 or more items.

  7. How do people place orders for NCI publications?
  8. Orders may be placed online through the NCI Publications Locator Web site at http://www.cancer.gov/publications on the Internet. Orders may also be placed by calling the Publications Ordering Service. The POS, a service of the NCI’s Cancer Information Service, can be reached by calling toll-free 1–800–4–CANCER, and selecting prompt “2.” The POS is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time. Callers with TTY equipment may call 1–800–332–8615.

  9. Is there a limit to the number of copies of publications that can be ordered?
  10. The number of copies of individual titles that may be ordered varies depending on current inventory. To ensure that publications are available to all requesters, NCI may set limits on the maximum number of copies that may be ordered by any one requester each month. For information on the current availability of NCI materials, please call the POS at 1–800–4–CANCER or visit the NCI Publications Locator Web site at http://www.cancer.gov/publications on the Internet.

  11. How often can publications be ordered?
  12. Cancer patients, their families, and the general public may order NCI publications as often as necessary to fulfill their needs. However, in order to maintain an adequate stock of publications, the NCI requests that health professionals and organizations place bulk orders for individual titles no more than once a month.

  13. How are NCI publications shipped?
  14. All orders are shipped from the NCI’s Distribution Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Orders of up to 20 publications are shipped through the U.S. Postal Service. Bulk orders are shipped in the quickest possible way via a package delivery service such as UPS, FedEx, or a comparable carrier, or by freight. In the continental United States, orders shipped by FedEx should arrive within 7 working days, depending on geographic location.

  15. What are the methods of payment for orders?
  16. Arrangements for payment of shipping and handling charges must be made in advance. Bulk orders placed through the NCI Publications Locator Web site must be paid by credit card. Payment for bulk orders placed by phone may be made by check, money order, credit card, or purchase order. Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Publications Ordering Service. Payments for bulk orders should be mailed to the following address:

    National Cancer Institute
    Publications Ordering Service
    Post Office Box 24128
    Baltimore, MD 21227

  17. Is there a charge for rush orders?
  18. The charge for rush orders is the actual cost of the expedited shipping. This charge is in addition to the shipping and handling fee that is applied to bulk orders. Payment for rush orders must be made via credit card at the time of ordering. VISA, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted.

  19. How are underpayments, overpayments, and refunds handled?
  20. Underpayments:
    If an order is underpaid, the quantity of materials shipped is adjusted down.

    If an order is overpaid by $10 or less, the quantity of the materials shipped is adjusted upward. Overpayments of more than $10 are refunded by check in the amount of the overpayment.

    The NCI does not make refunds or offer exchanges on orders after they have been shipped. In the event of a shipping error on the part of the NCI, a refund and/or free replacement of the order will be provided.

  21. How are foreign orders handled?
  22. It is NCI policy to send up to five publications free to individuals or organizations outside of the United States. All foreign orders for six or more publications are charged actual shipping costs. Foreign orders are limited to 100 total copies, based on current inventory availability.

    The procedure for foreign orders of six or more items is as follows:

    National Cancer Institute
    Publications Ordering Service
    Post Office Box 24128
    Baltimore, MD 21227
  23. How can people find out more about NCI’s publications distribution policy?

  24. Additional information about NCI’s publications distribution policy is available by calling the POS toll-free at 1–800–4–CANCER and selecting prompt “2.” For TTY service, call 1–800–332–8615.