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Interlibrary Loan

updated May, 2020


Be sure that the item you need is not held by any CWRU library and is not a circulating book available through Ohiolink.  

If the material you need is owned by any CWRU campus library or it can be borrowed through Ohiolink, your Illiad request will be automatically canceled. However, if for any reason the title looks to be available from either of these sources but is not (because it isn’t on the shelf or is non-circulating; for example); indicate this (briefly) in the Note field of your request. 

Check the web for articles in full-text pdf format. 

Many journal articles can be found in pdf format, using the Library’s Research Databases, Ohiolink's Electronic Journal Center, or the Internet.  The eJournal Portal can help you find an article if it is available in a suitable electronic format, such as PDF. (You may need your VPN activated). 

When placing your Illiad request, have complete and accurate citation information. Although full titles are helpful, please do not guess at abbreviations. One loan or article title/section/chapter/year per request, please.

All fields allow a limited number of characters and it’s unclear how many characters each will allow.  With this in mind, enter the most important information first.  For example, in the Author Field, enter the author’s last name first.

Placing Requests

    Book Loans

  • Correct title and author.
  • Include the specific edition or publication year.  There is also a “yes” or “no” field asking if an alternate edition will be accepted.
  • OCLC or ISSN numbers. These are helpful when available (and correct).

Journal Articles

  • Article requests must have a correct journal title, date or volume, article title, and (beginning) page number.  Occasionally a lending library will try to locate your material without complete information; most will not. Incomplete or incorrect information may cause your request to be returned to us as “Not found as cited”.
  • Issue numbers can be helpful.  If you are uncertain of the page numbers, issue numbers can help a lender find your article in order to correct or verify your page numbers.
  • Additional Information:  Paginated journals that reprint the title, volume and issue number on each page should not require a table of contents or title page.  This additional documentation is useful however, when citations are incorrect or incomplete and have been corrected by the lender. To request additional documentation, see the instructions regarding newspapers.
  • Additional information about page numbers.  The Page field is very limited so, if you need more than a page range (341-367 for example), use abbreviations.  A6-eoa (for “end of article”) or 321-351+TOC (Table of contents) should fit in the field; more information than that will need to be written in the Note field. 

Abbreviations of journal titles can be tricky, and although the full journal title can speed up processing time, please don’t guess. This could result in your request for the wrong journal being bounced from library to library for several weeks.  A correct abbreviated title is always preferred over an incorrect journal title.

Use Electronic Databases or the Internet to verify citation information before placing your request. 

Although electronic databases such as Lexis or Proquest may not be able to be used to verify an author’s citation for a journal article, they can absolutely be used to verify or correct citation information in order to request the hard copy through Interlibrary Loan.  These resources may also help you determine if the article that you are requesting is only available on-line. Many wire service articles, for example, are only available on-line.

If you have a reasonable amount of information and the article is too old or obscure to be found on any of our electronic databases, enter what you can and we will do our best to locate it.



Book Chapters

  • Only requested from non-circulating books.
  • Enter as an Article Request.  Use the Journal Title field for the book title and indicate (book) after the title; enter the chapter title into the Article Title field and if the chapter has a specific author, enter the author’s name into the Article Author field.
  • Additional information include in the Note field.  If you also require a title page, verso, and/or a table of contents, indicates that information in the Note field. Be brief; the field is limited.


Statutes, Codes & Regulations

  • Use the EXACT title of the publication from which you are requesting. There are often multiple publications containing the same information for each state. Generalizing with keywords may produce a different publication than was cited by the author. Include the publisher when available.
  • Enter as an article request.  Enter the publication title into the Journal Title field; use the Volume field for the code title or chapter (indicate ‘T.” or “C.” before number); the Page field for the section or part numbers (include “sec.” or “pt.” before numbers) and use the Article Title field for the title or subject of the law or regulation that you are requesting.  (For lengthy titles, enter at least enough to help the lender determine that they are sending the correct information.)
  • Exact date is important. If the material has been superseded and you have a specific year that you need, enter the date into the Year field, or use “current” for the most recent.



Newspaper Articles

  • Daily newspapers require a specific date.  The day should follow the month in the Month field of your Illiad request. 
  • A page number is required. Many newspaper articles are on-line exclusives or from wire services that are not printed in paper editions of certain newspapers.  Use Lexis, Westlaw, Newsbank or Newspaper Source to verify a page number.  If the newspaper is covered one or more of these sources, but your article cannot be found with a general search, please see a reference librarian to determine if it is an on-line exclusive before submitting an interlibrary loan.
  •  Generic titles. If the paper has a generic name (The Observer, for example), please include the city of publication in the note field or in parenthesis after the title.
  • Additional information.  The Page field is very limited so, if you need more than a page range (341-367 for example), use abbreviations.  A6-eoa (for “end of article”) or 321-351+TOC (Table of contents) should fit in the field; more information than that will need to be written in the Note field. 



Additional Tips

  • Use the Note field to indicate: JIL, Law Review, or Health Matrix, if you need the material for citation checking.  Otherwise “any format” in the same field will let me know that you will accept the article without pagination or from a reprint in another source.
  • The Cited In field is only for citations to published material from which your request was taken.  Please include the complete citation or URL and whether the requested citation was a footnote or in the body of the article/document. For verifying footnotes in unpublished articles, disregard this field.
  • Journals, periodicals, multi-volume sets, microform and loose-leaf services are rarely circulated. Narrowing your request to a few pages in order to receive photocopies will speed things up considerably.
  • If you are having trouble verifying your citation, please see one of our reference librarians.  They will be happy to help you.

Don’t have an on-line Illiad account?  Login to the Intranet and go to Interlibrary Loan through the Library Services link, or go directly to: and click on “First Time Users”.  Be sure to enter your 7 digit identification number in the appropriate field, but your CWRU ID (abc3) is still preferred as a username.