Frequently Asked Questions



General Questions

See the Startup Guide for detailed instructions on accessing and navigating the IMF eLibrary.

Q: Do I need a subscription to IMF eLibrary?

A: All published electronic content is free on IMF eLibrary and all IMF sites. There are no publications, databases or areas of the IMF sites that require fees or subscriptions. You should be able to access anything you see on IMF eLibrary,, AREAER Online, MCM Data or IMF Data. The only exception to this is Economic Review, which is co-published and sold by Palgrave.

Q: What is the IMF eLibrary?

A: The IMF eLibrary is a comprehensive database of IMF publications, including flagships, books, journals and papers. The IMF eLibrary offers the most complete online archive of IMF publications, dating back to 1946 which is the first year of publishing for the IMF. Click on the Series tab at the top of the page, and drill down to see all of the publication types available. Series are organized in the following categories: Archived Series, Books and Analytical Papers, Flagships, Notes and Manuals, Official Reports and Documents, Periodicals.

For a brief description of IMF publication types and their category on IMF eLibrary, click here.

The IMF offers many valuable information sources in addition to publications. Information such as statistical data, blogs, podcasts, video, country information and additional databases, can be found from the button at the top right of any page, called “IMF Sites”.

Q: Does the IMF eLibrary include statistical data?

A: The IMF eLibrary contains archived print versions of the statistical publications (International Financial Statistics, Balance of Payments, Direction of Trade and Government Finance Statistics) under the Archived Series category on IMF eLibrary. The IMF stopped publishing this information in book format in 2019 and is now updating all statistical content on the IMF Data site. Manuals and Guides, detailing methodology and standards for statistical data, can be found on both IMF eLibrary and IMF Data.

At the top right of any page, you will see a pull-down menu called IMF Sites. The IMF’s statistical datasets are located on IMF Data ( ).

Q: How can I get print copies of the publications?

A: You can purchase print copies of current publications at the IMF Bookstore ( ) or by clicking the “Buy” button on the publication landing page. If you cannot find a publication on the Bookstore, it may not be available in print. Please see our catalog for a listing of our latest print publications.



Q: How often is the eLibrary updated with new content?

A: Content is added daily.

Q: Do you publish in languages other than English?

A: There are limited publications in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.  You can see what content is available in other languages by using the Refine by Language filter on the left side of any results page.  If a publication is available in other languages, there will be an Available Languages button under the file download options at the top of the publication page. 

Q: What is Essential Reading?

A: Essential Reading provides curated guides on major Fund topics to help kickstart research and simplify access for users who are less familiar with IMF content.  The Recommended Reading List is a curated list of the IMF’s top publications grouped by topics that will be highlighted at the Annual or Spring Meetings.  Essential Reading Guides highlight the IMF’s content in additional subject areas and provide curated publication lists and sometimes links to other relevant content from the IMF such as blogs, country information or data.

Q: Where can I find a log of corrections for publications?

A: Corrections and revisions made after publication are incorporated into the electronic editions available on the IMF eLibrary. Visit the Corrections page, found under the Resources menu, to access detailed log files for specific publications.

Q: What is AREAER Online and where can I find it?

A: AREAER Online is the online database format of the Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions (AREAER). Launched in 2011, the database provides historical information to 1999 and allows searching by country, concept or time period, and the creation of custom reports. AREAER Online is located at or can be accessed from the pull-down menu at IMF Sites. The publication Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions has been published since 1950 and the full archive is available in the Periodicals category on eLibrary.

Q: What is Macroprudential Policy Survey Online and where can I find it?

A: Macroprudential Policy Survey Online contains information on the institutional aspects of the macroprudential policy framework in member countries, that may be taken with the objective of containing systemic risk. The data base is located at or can be accessed at MCM Data from the pull-down menu IMF Sites.

Q: Are IMF Staff Papers included in eLibrary?

A: Yes, the archive is available in eLibrary. The last issue was published in Spring 2010. It has been replaced by IMF Economic Review, co-published and sold by Palgrave Macmillan.

Q: What if I cannot find a publication?

A: Please contact if you are unable to find a specific publication.

User Rights

Q: What can I do with the content on eLibrary?

A: The IMF eLibrary is meant to be used by individuals for research and teaching. Users can download, print, save and share content for typical personal use or fair use guidelines. No commercial or systematic distribution is permitted. Please see our Copyright & Usage policy for the specific rules.

Q: Is IMF content public domain?

A: No. The IMF is making its content free for many uses, but content rights are reserved except for those specifically allowed by our Copyright & Usage policy. If you would like to request rights not granted by our Copyright and Usage policy, or if you are unsure whether your intended use is allowed, please contact us at or the Copyright Clearance Center at

Q: Can I use these publications in electronic reserve or coursepacks?

A: Yes, the use is free for academic institutions and their enrolled students. We only request that you let us know you intend to use the materials in that way by contacting us at We also provide free print copies for course adoption review at All other distribution or re-use is subject to permission and fees by request at or the Copyright Clearance Center at



Q: What browsers are supported?

A: We support current versions of the following browsers on Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS platforms:

  • Edge
  • Firefox (Mozilla)
  • Safari
  • Google Chrome

Q: What formats are available for content?

A: Many publications are available for online reading, and also are downloadable in PDF and ePub.  Publication downloads are available for both whole publications and at the chapter/article level.  Some content is only available in PDF format, including chapters/article level content, and some larger, older or non-Latin character based publications.

Q: Can I share content with my colleagues?

A: Yes, you can share links, searches, and favorites electronically with anyone via our social media tools or e-mail. Please do not re-post content and follow our Copyright and Usage policy.

Q: Do I have to enable cookies use IMF eLibrary?

A: Yes, cookies and JavaScript must be enabled to use IMF eLibrary.

Q: Can I use eLibrary on my mobile device?

A: Yes, IMF eLibrary is optimized for use on mobile devices.

Q: What citation formats do you support?

A: You can create citations in APA, MLA, Chicago or Harvard formats and export with any of the following: Endnote, ProCite, ReferenceManager, RefWorks, BibTex, and Zotero.



Q: What is the difference between simple and advanced search?

A: The default simple search is “All” which searches the full text and metadata (author, title, source, ISBN, abstract) in all publications in eLibrary. Advanced search allows you to include and exclude terms, search by specific fields, such as title, source, or series, and refine by publication type and date.

Q: How can I refine or narrow my search?

A: From any results page, you will see a set of filter options on the left side. You can filter by Date, Content Level (whole publication or chapter/article), Country, IMF Editorial codes, Language, Publication Series or a choice of Topic Code schemes. You can also do a keyword search within the results.

Q: How can I see whole publications?

A: When you search or browse on eLibrary, the results are shown at the article/chapter level by default. If you would like to see the results displayed as whole publications, please go to Refine by Type in the filters on the left, and select Journal and/or Book.

Q: How do I find content in languages other than English?

A: There are limited publications in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. You can see what content is available in other languages by using the Refine by Language filter on the left side of any results page. If a publication is available in other languages, there will be an Available Languages button under the file download options at the top of the publication page.

Q: What are Topics and what is the difference between Topics and Refine by options?

The choices under Topics are BISAC codes and will deliver the same results as Refine by Topic. IMF eLibrary has multiple topical classifications schemes to help you browse and locate content. You can use the one you prefer or compare the results to see which scheme you prefer:

  • Topic – a general publishing industry standard for organizing content
  • JEL – developed for use in the Journal of Economic Literature and for classifying scholarly literature in economics
  • IMF – the internal topic taxonomy used by authors and economists at the IMF
  • LOC – the Library of Congress subject headings classification system
  • Thema – a subject category scheme for the global book trade

Personal Accounts

See the Startup Guide for instructions on creating a personal account and features.

Q: Why do I see a "sign in" link if I already have access to the eLibrary?

A: If you register and create a personal account within the eLibrary then you will be able to save content, save searches, and create alerts. These options will be accessible under "My eLibrary."

Q: Do I need to create a personal account to use the eLibrary?

A: No. You can search, view, or download documents without creating a personal account or signing in.

Q: How do I change my password for the personal account?

A: Once you have signed in, click on “your name” which will bring you to My Account. Under Change Password on the right, you can enter a new password, confirm, and save.

Q: If I access content and perform searches before signing in to My eLibrary, will these be viewable once I am signed in?

A: No, your activity will not be viewable unless you sign in and save it. If you try to save content or searches before signing in, you will be prompted to sign in.

Q: How can I create an alert from a saved search?

A: After completing your search, hit Save. You will be prompted to save the search with a title, notes, and the option of being alerted by e-mail if there are any updates to the search results. You must be logged into your personal account in order to create alerts.


Metadata and Discovery

Q: What type of metadata is available for eLibrary?

A: We provide MARC and Excel metadata formats.

Q: Where is metadata located?

A: Metadata can be found under the Resources button.

Q: Do I need to download the complete file every time, or is there a change/add/delete file?

A: For MARC records, both the complete file and a change/add/delete file are available. For Excel, only the complete file is available.

Q: How often do you update metadata, and how will I know when there is an update?

A: MARC records are updated monthly, generally within the first 10 days of the month, and show the date they were added. The full Excel file is updated as often as weekly. You must go to the page to see if new records are available. 

Q: Does the IMF work with discovery and metadata services?

The IMF’s publications are indexed by third-party discovery and management services, including:

  • Bowker
  • CNKI
  • OCLC
  • ProQuest
  • RePEc
  • Yewno