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Accessing the SPIE Digital Library

Is a subscription needed to use the SPIE Digital Library?

Anyone can search and browse the site, and view Tables of Contents and abstracts. However, either an institutional or personal subscription is required to download articles in PDF or HTML format. A subscription is also required to view references, figures and tables, and multimedia.

What are the subscription options?

Both institutional and personal subscriptions are available. Access to eBooks requires a separate subscription and is available to institutions only. More information.

Do SPIE members receive access to the SPIE Digital Library?

Members receive full access to one SPIE journal of their choice. Members also receive 10 journal or proceedings article downloads that may be used within one year of their membership or renewal start date. eBooks chapters are not included in this program. SPIE Membership information.

Do SPIE authors receive access to the SPIE Digital Library?

Primary or corresponding SPIE Journals or Proceedings authors receive 5 complimentary journal or proceedings downloads that may be used within one year of publication of their paper. eBooks chapters are not included in this program.

Why should I create a personal account?

Personal accounts are required to use some of the features of the SPIE Digital Library, including creating and managing e-mail alerts, saving figures and table, accessing personal subscriptions, and using your institutional subscription remotely. Anyone is eligible to create a personal account.

How do I know if I already have a personal account?

All current and recent SPIE Members and primary SPIE Conference Authors have SPIE accounts. Your SPIE Digital Library username and password are the same as your regular SPIE, SPIE.org, and MySPIE username and password. If you are not sure, please try to log in using your SPIE credentials before attempting to create a new SPIE Digital Library personal account.

I forgot my SPIE password. What should I do?

Go to the “Forgot Your Password” page and follow the steps indicated.

Is a subscription required to create an account or to sign up for email alerts?

Email alerts are available for each journal, for newly published proceedings volumes, for Topic Collections, for specific searches, and for specific articles. A subscription to the SPIE Digital Library is not required to sign up for email alerts. However, a personal account is required to subscribe to alerts.

My institution subscribes to the SPIE Digital Library. How can I get remote access to the SPIE Digital Library using my institution’s subscription?

The SPIE Digital Library supports remote access for individuals affiliated with institutional subscribers. Both an institutional subscription AND a personal account are required to activate remote access. The procedure for establishing remote access rights is as follows:

  • 1. Create a personal account or use your existing SPIE account credentials.

  • 2. Log into your personal account while accessing the site on your institution’s network.

  • 3. Your log-in credentials will then be automatically associated with your institution’s subscription for a period of three months.

  • 4. Log-in to the SPIE Digital Library remotely using any device with Internet access to gain remote access linked to your institution’s subscription.

  • 5. After three months you will have to repeat this authentication process.

If I have a personal subscription, how can I track the articles I have downloaded and my remaining downloads?

Log into your account and select the My Downloads tab to view a listing of articles downloaded and a count of remaining downloads.

My institution subscribes to the SDL. Is there a limit or quota on the number of papers I can download? Institutional users have unlimited access to the SDL, within the guidelines of their institution’s license. Systematic or programmatic downloading or transmitting full-text articles to nonsubscribers is not permitted.


What content is included in the SPIE Digital Library?

The SPIE Digital Library contains approximately

350,000 SPIE Proceedings papers

20,000 SPIE Journal articles

165 eBooks


The SPIE Digital Library includes all papers published since 1962 in SPIE’s eleven peer-reviewed journals:

Journal of Applied Remote Sensing (2007–)

Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems (2014–)

Journal of Biomedical Optics (1996–)

Journal of Electronic Imaging, co-published with IS&T (1992–)

Journal of Medical Imaging (2014–)

Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS (2002–)

Journal of Nanophotonics (2007–)

Journal of Photonics for Energy (2011–)

Optical Engineering (1962–)

Neurophotonics (2014–)

SPIE Reviews (2010–2011)

SPIE Journals use six-digit citation identifiers (CIDs) in place of traditional page numbering. This allows an issue to build online one article at a time, while retaining the ability to segment tables of contents by article type or subject area. You can read more about how to cite papers using CIDs on the citation format page.


SPIE has published over 8,000 conference proceedings since 1963, with more than 350 new proceedings and 18,000 new papers currently published annually.

Proceedings of SPIE (Volume 1, 1963 –) *

*Some Proceedings volumes are not available in the SPIE Digital Library due to conference cancellation or lack of electronic publishing rights. Click here for a listing of those volumes.


The SPIE Digital Library includes more than 165 eBooks in three series, with 15–20 new titles added annually: SPIE Press Monographs Tutorial Texts Field Guides Only institutional subscriptions to eBooks are available.


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