I agree with Donald. I would prefer the subject line to reflect the purpose of the email - preferably not just "List ILL" but also the title of the journal - so that I don't actually have to open requests for journals we don't hold.
I believe that despite licences etc, under library privilege libraries are allowed to supply a single article from a paper copy that they own. The requester (presumably the original requester & not the library) must sign a copyright declaration form to be kept for 6 years + 1 day. Also, payment should be made for the copy by the requester (presumably to the first library, not necessarily the supplier). However, with electronic access, it will depend upon the terms of the licence agreement. The terms of a contract may be either more restrictive or more generous than the law.
This is just my understanding & I'd be very happy to receive other people's views/expert advice.
Library Services Manager
Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 01342 414266
Mailto:[log in to unmask]
From: UK medical/ health care library community / information workers [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Donald Mackay
Sent: 03 October 2007 09:35
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Guidelines for List ILLs Summary of responses
As someone who is constantly receiving emails from lis-medical for ILL
requests (looking at the Sept list archive I lost count after 60
requests...) and for whom they are of absolutely no interest it would be
very helpful if requesters could preface their subject lines with
something standard like "ILL Request" so that I could set my filter to
automatically delete them.
Is there a standard protocol for this? At the moment people seem to
use lots of different prefixes, may of which don't even use "ILL" (e.g.
random examples from September : "Help!!!!" or "articles from new
Could we perhaps get a response from the list owner(s) on this issue?
I appreciate that many other people find lis-medical very useful for
sourcing hard to obtain documents, but we don't all use it for this and
from my perspective it's annoying having to constantly filter out more
relevant (to me) posts from all the ILL related traffic. Am I just
getting old or do there seem to be a lot more of them these days?
Apologies if this issue has already been done to death...
On a related topic, don't know anything like enough about it
personally, but are there any copyright/CLA/licensing issues about all
these free copies being passed on (especially from prepublication/online
versions of journals)?
Donald M Mackay
Head of Health Care Libraries
Oxford University Library Services
The Cairns Library
The John Radcliffe Hospital
01865 220792 (fax)
>>> Dunlop Amber <[log in to unmask]> 03/10/2007 08:48 >>>
*apologies for cross posting*
Last week I e-mailed the lists to find out if any guidelines were in
place for List ILLs. I have had some great responses and am really
grateful to those of you who have replied.
The general response was that the lists should only be used as a last
resort for ILLs and that articles are supplied through the goodwill of
the supplier unless otherwise stated when the offer is made. I have
summarised the responses below and within these are a few suggestions
for use of the discussion lists when requesting ILLs:
"As far as I am aware, this is usually a quid pro quo service. The
understanding is that the favour gets passed around and what comes
around goes around if you see what I mean. However, some libraries may
ask for British Library fees or ask for postage (particularly if
something is heavy), but this all depends on particular policies of the
lending Library. In addition to which, you shouldn't generally respond
if you don't have the paper in question as this fills up inboxes!! (not
to mention all those out-of-office messages!). But, yes, this is a last
resort service once all other avenues have been exhausted. Sometimes I
will reply saying that I have the article in question and do they still
need it? They may, after all, have already been sent the article - this
saves them getting five copies of the same thing!"
"I have never seen any official guidance on this. If I offer an ILL via
Lis-medical then I wouldn't normally expect payment, and I have never
been asked for payment for any ILLs supplied to me. I think, as you say,
it's all down to goodwill."
"I only ask as a last resort, and I help others out when I can. I think
if you are not on the giving side too often, you can afford to dispense
with payment which may cost the NHS more in time than it recoups in
money. I also like the feeling of belonging to an community that
"I've supplied a few and received a few. In the case of journals, I
don't expect reimbursement and haven't offered it. What goes around
comes around - that's my view.
Books are a little bit different and I have worked through the ILL
system for those, because of the risk of loss. I would only ask in an
emergency and I expect others to take the same approach."
"When we receive an
article from list members, we offer our BL customer
code and a request number so that the supplying library can claim the
money back via the BL. I don't know how this works from the supplying
library's end, but the transaction eventually appears in our BL
statement as money going out of our account, with the request number
against it. There is a standard charge - I think it's similar to what
the BL would charge to supply an article - and the BL get a small cut.
I'm not aware of any written guidelines. We operate this way ourselves
because we have such a small collection that we never have any of the
items that others want, so it seems only right that we should pay for
anything we get! Like you, we only use lis-medical as a last resort if
we can't obtain the item from the local network or the BL."
"I don't know if there are any guidelines, but I'd like to suggest the
* those responding to requests should not just hit the reply
button (which posts the reply to the entire list) but should reply only
to the person who made the request
* when a request has been fulfilled the requester should notify
the list by posting with the subject line FULFILLED - request for xyz
This way, the whole list doesn't receive multiple emails about the same
request and those who are later in opening their emails know that they
don't need to respond.
I've always assumed that those who respond to requests do so from the
goodness of their heart, without expecting reimbursement. If they
require payment in stamps, chocolates etc, I'd expect them to say so
when they offer to supply."
"I think setting up a payment system would be more hassle than it is
worth. You know the old saying what goes around, comes around. You may
be receiving an ILL this week but you will probably be providing one
I suppose if a Trust is particularly strapped for cash and faxing an
ILL is going to make all the difference to a budget, a cost could be
discussed, and a means of payment agreed before supplying the article.
I think it would be very difficult to organise a payment system over so
many different libraries which subscribe to LIS MEDICAL and of course
the admin for such a payment would be quite time-consuming.
If everyone uses LIS MEDICAL as a last resort and doesn't abuse the
system, I think it should be left to libraries' discretion, if they
don't want to offer the article for no payment, they don't have to offer
it at all."
"We use LIS-MED as a last resort: we've got a local consortium (EDEN),
and are also members of a country-wide journal 'share' scheme, which
costs @ £60 p.a. to join & is Well Worth It. I looked at the amount BL
was costing, & determined to halve it!
I've found it's usually done out of the goodness of one's heart, & the
subs one holds. If you don't hold that sub, it's a bit pointless
emailing to say so: only clutters up the in-box. Never have I been
asked for recompense: though I did once pass on chocolate to a
'supplier', via a friend of mine who partakes in a 'wheels to hospital'
service locally. She was both surprised & delighted, & emailed me to
Many thanks again to those of you who responded and I hope that this
may be of some help to others on the list.
Library and Information Assistant
Herefordshire Clinical Library Service (HER)
Postgraduate Medical Centre
Tel: 01432 355444 ext 5840
Fax: 01432 355265
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