How to donate medical journals

Stethoscope on a medical book image by Monika 3 Steps Ahead from

Medical journals are excellent sources of the most current information, but chances are that you may want to get rid of them to save space. Several charities accept donations of current (within the past decade) medical journals, as do many academic libraries with medical specialities. If you live in the United States, you may be able to claim such a charitable donation on your tax returns. Check with your tax authority regarding this possibility if you live in other countries.

Write a comprehensive list of the journals you will be donating. Write the journal title and range of dates, volumes, and issue numbers. Note any numbers that are missing, as well as any special issues. Make a copy of this list to have on hand for any tax documentation you fill out later.

Choose a charity to whom you wish to donate. Consult the American Academy of Otolaryngology---Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Guidelines or the University at Buffalo Health Sciences Library Donation Information page for lists of charities that accept medical journal donations (see Resources). Consider donating full volumes of medical journals published within the past three years to physicians serving in Iraq by contacting Dr. David Gifford ( Make sure your donation conforms to your charity's specifications.

Contact the charity to whom you are donating to inform them of your donation. Confirm their address, and check to see if any vital information (such as their street address) has changed. Ask if you can receive a receipt for your donation.

Check with academic libraries in your area that are affiliated with medical schools. Donate to their collections directly, or they may also accept your donation in order to be sold at fundraising book sales for their institutions. Ask to speak to someone about donating materials to their collection if you are uncertain to whom you should speak.

Box the journals up securely, along with the list of what is included. Use multiple boxes if necessary. Reinforce the boxes with packing tape, as several journals together can be quite heavy.

Ask about book rate postage if mailing from the U.S. Check whether similar reduced postage rates are available if mailing from other countries. Donate to local institutions in person, or they may send someone to your house to pick the journals up if your collection is very large.

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