Interlibrary Loan: Copyright Compliance in Borrowing

This document sets out the University of Virginia Library policy on copyright compliance for articles borrowed for members of our community through interlibrary loan.


The Interlibrary Loan unit will maintain records of articles requested throughout the year with complete citation information. All ILL transactions should specify CCL (compliance with copyright law). The following procedure will be followed to ensure copyright compliance:

1. Annual Title List. In July of each year, the Interlibrary Loan unit will list all articles, including journal titles and dates, that have been requested and borrowed during the previous calendar year. The list will be sent to:

  • Associate University Librarian, Scholarly Resources and Content Strategy
  • Director of Collections
  • Head of Access Services
  • Director of Information Policy

Each person receiving the Annual Title List will review it to determine whether, in his or her opinion, there are any journal titles for which the number of filled requests exceeds what would be allowable under the Copyright Act and for general collection development purposes; i.e., whether, for a given title, interlibrary loan borrowing has been done “in such aggregate quantities as to substitute for a subscription to or purchase of such work.” Lists will be retained for three years so that year-to-year comparisons can be made. In the event of disagreement within the group, the final determination shall be made by the Associate University Librarian, Scholarly Resources and Content Strategy.

2. Factors for Consideration during Review of Annual Title List. The price of a subscription will be considered together with factors suggesting whether the journal is likely to be used in the future, including:

  • Whether the journal is requested on only one occasion or on a regular basis
  • How many people have requested the journal
  • The number of articles requested from the journal
  • Whether there is a pattern of use for this journal from year to year
  • Whether there is a program at UVA in the journal’s subject area
  • Whether there are researcher requests or recommendations for the journal

Post-Review Action

In cases where the Scholarly Resources and Content Strategy department determines that the Library should purchase a subscription to the journal, the appropriate selector will work with the Manager, Resource Acquisition and Description to place an order for the journal.

In cases where the Library does not subscribe to a journal and a significant number of articles have been requested from that journal, the Manager of Collection Management, SRCS AUL, Resource Sharing Librarian, and Director of Information Policy will determine whether the amount of interlibrary loan borrowing is outside the scope of that allowed under the Copyright Act. For any such titles, the Director of Information Policy will notify the Resource Sharing Librarian so that the appropriate copyright fees will be paid.