Interlibrary Loan & Copyright

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a cooperative agreement among libraries that allows libraries to borrow materials from each other for the benefit of their patrons. Copyright guidelines govern the types of copying and loaning libraries participating in ILL agreements can do.

5/5/1 Guideline

The 5/5/1 Guideline for borrowing libraries dictates that interlibrary loan requests for articles from a journal title published fewer than five years before the date of request must not exceed more than five articles from the single journal title in a calendar year.

In one calendar year...

5: No more than 5 articles

5: in the last 5 years

1: from 1 specific journal



For more information, please visit:

Questions about Copyright?

CONTU Guidelines

The National Commission on New Technology Uses of Copyrighted Works created the CONTU Guidelines on Photocopying under Interlibrary Loan Arrangements, which govern photocopying under Interlibrary Loan agreements in accordance with Copyright Laws.

  • CONTU Guidelines for copying from periodicals apply only to materials less than five years old (referred to as part of the "rule of five").
  • Up to five articles may be copied from a single periodical in one calendar year under the ILL provision (referred to as part of the "rule of five").
  • A library with a subscription for a periodical which is not immediately available may consider a copy obtained from another library as if made from its own collection.
  • All ILL requests must be accompanied by a copyright compliance statement from the requesting library. The requesting library must maintain records of all requests and of their fulfillment. These records must be kept for three calendar years after the request has been made.
  • No more than six copies of articles/chapters/small portions may be made from a non-periodical (including a book) during the entire term of copyright of the work.
  • For copying beyond the CONTU Guidelines, the library may need to obtain copyright permission directly from the copyright holder or from a representative such as Copyright Clearance Center.

For more information, please visit: