Q. Copyright - Broad overview

copyright and ILL overview, super broad


What is it?

Copyright and clearing copyright is an everyday part of the ILL process for article requesting. Knowing and understanding with the CONTU guidelines is an integral part of ILL.

The most important guideline for borrowing is the “Rule of Five,” which states that a library may not request more than 5 articles, published fewer than five years from the date of the request, from a particular journal in a given year.  It is standard practice to retain records for three years once copyright permission is granted.

How does it help?

While many libraries report ILL transactions for copyright clearance at the end of the calendar year, more frequent tracking and reporting may have added benefits. Copyright costs may increase throughout a year and direct purchasing from publishers, once copyright limits have been reached, can save a library anywhere from $5 to $25.00 and more per transaction.

Putting into place a Copyright Clearance for older articles bypass routing rule will streamline your borrowing for older articles and shorten turnaround times.

Info about U.S. Copyright Law pertaining to ILL

U.S. Copyright Office Circular 21: Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians


CONTU Guidelines on Photocopying under Interlibrary Loan Arrangements


Services available for obtaining permissions

Copyright Clearance Center


Get It Now pay-per-view service from the Copyright Clearance Center



  • Last Updated Jul 13, 2016
  • Views 22
  • Answered By Angela Galvan

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