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Interlibrary Loan Service Tips

Posted: Nov 23, 2016

Before a request can be forwarded to another library or supplier Interlibrary Loan protocol requires that the Rensselaer Libraries provide information confirming that the publication you need, i.e. your citation or reference, is accurately identified.

Citations from research databases such as Web of Science, Medline or WorldCat as well as references from refereed journals or carefully edited books are almost always accurate. However, citations appearing in trade publications, masters' theses, technical reports or conference papers sometimes are incomplete. If bibliographic information of your request cannot be verified in a standard library resource, you will be advised of the problem and asked to help by providing additional information. If you have difficulty locating information about a publication, contact the Libraries' Reference Staff for assistance.

Most service delays can be avoided by reviewing your interlibrary loan requests to make sure that you have:

  • Accurately transcribed information about authors, titles, volumes, issues and dates;
    If requesting a publication cited in a bibliography, do not abbreviate the title; or if the title is abbreviated, do not "translate" the abbreviation.
  • Note where you found information about the publication you are requesting;
  • Indicate that you are willing to pay minimum document costs of at least $10 - $15 per request if "free" copies cannot be located; and
  • Allow for delivery times of 2 - 3 weeks or more if publications, especially, books, are not available locally.
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