Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Interlibrary Loan Instructions for Journal Staff

Interlibrary Loan Instructions for Journal Staff

ILL Services during Law Library's Business Continuity

  • Please continue to submit ILL requests into ILLiad.
    • If you have not registered an account yet, please follow the tips found on How to Submit an ILL as a Journal Staff. (Please note that some portions of this guide will not be applicable while the Law Library and other libraries operate under business continuity).
  • Copies/Scans for Articles/Pages: We will do our best to process requests for copies or scans of pages out of periodicals, newspapers, books and other compilation works. Turnaround time may be longer than under normal circumstances (which was one to three business days, but currently three to five business days for fillable citations).
  • Entire Books: Requests will be reviewed first for accessible ebook options. If none is available, and if there is an available print copy carried by the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC), then you may be asked if you live in DC and are willing and safely able to use the Law Library's In-person Pickup Service. If you cannot, then the request will be forwarded to collection development team to consider alternate options.
    • If you need the entire book, or if the amount of pages needed out of the book exceeds Fair Use, and you cannot make use of the In-person Pickup Service, then you may submit a request for an ebook purchase instead of submitting a request through ILLiad.
  • This Guide's content has been updated to reflect continuity, however, information may still remain that is not applicable under current operating status. Contact your Journal Liaison, Reference Services or Interlibrary Loan for updates.
  • For ILL questions, please contact the service at

Source Collection Tips for Editors

  • A highly coordinated and closely managed source collection strategy will greatly benefit your journal, especially under continuity. Ask your Journal Liaison for guidance.
    • Please, assign your citations carefully to avoid duplicating the efforts of both journal and library staff. Duplicated requests greatly impact source collection turnaround time. 
    • Make the best use of the In-Person Book Pick-Up services at the Law Library (see Source Collection Tips for Journal Staff) by designating one or two staff, who are willing and safely able to commute to campus, to request and retrieve all requested books. Another member of your journal may pick up books that another staff submits through their own library account. Note though that the books will be charged out to requestor's library account regardless of who picks up the books.
  • If you want to have a record of all citations submitted by your staff, then consider using a single ILLiad account that your staff would use to submit their requests. If staff use their personal ILLiad accounts to submit their requests, you will not have access to those records.
  • Do not submit ILL requests and simultaneously ask for copies from authors. Nationally, there are a limited number of ILL offices that can provide services. During these unprecedented times, we must be even more respectful of their valuable resources and avoid imposing upon them citations that your office is also asking from the author. If you resort to authors first, then use ILL only after that source fails, or vice versa.
  • For book citations without any pages, please consider
    • contacting the author and ask for pinpointed citations that can then be requested through ILL. The Law Library will not able to purchase ebook licenses for every citation that point to entire works.
    • requesting the title page, copyright page and the table of contents for your records.
  • Reconsider the range of pages you need scanned out of a book cited with pages:
    • Do you really need a scan of five or more pages before and after the pinpointed citation? Or, can you manage with only a copy of the pinpoint cited page(s) along with the title and copyright page?
    • Rather than ILLing a scan of a book's table of contents, which in casebooks can be more than 20 pages in length, ask your staff to look at other sources, e.g., the publisher's website (which sometimes provide front matter pages as PDF), or (where you can take snippets of the "Look Inside" page images).

Source Collection Tips for Journal Staff

  • Always feel free to contact Reference Services or your Journal Liaison for assistance.
  • Check the Law Library's catalog for:
    • Access to ebooks and ejournals.
    • Available print books at Law Library for in-person, contactless pickup:
      1. "Sign in" to your library account.
      2. Select "Request for in-person pickup" service.
      3. Complete the form and "Send Request."
      • If you cannot visit the campus, coordinate with your editor and see if a journal staff has been designated to retrieve requested Law Library books. 
      • Full in-person pickup information may be found on the Student Resources for Spring 2021 guide.
    • Available print books at the local Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC), including main campus Lauinger Library: If a stack copy of the title you find in the catalog has a status as Available at a local WRLC library, and if you are willing and able to commute to the Law Center, then
      1. "Sign in" to your library account.
      2. Select "Request from a Local Academic Library" service.
      3. Complete the form and "Send Request."
      • Full in-person pickup information may be found on the Student Resources for Spring 2021 guide.
      • If you cannot visit the campus, coordinate with your editor and see if a journal staff has been designated to retrieve requested books.
  • Casebooks & Study Aids: 
    • Requests for scans of 10% or less of the content (to comply with fair use), or 40 pages or less (average page limits set by supplying libraries), whichever is less, may be submitted for ILL, but only for source collection purposes. If you submit a casebook citation request for your journal, under your own ILLiad account, you must include the name of your journal in case we need to verify the citation with the editor.
    • Requests to obtain entire copies of casebooks, or excessive scans (>10% of content or >40 pages), cannot be processed via Interlibrary Loan. Such publications are not considered for institutional e-book licensing acquisitions.
    • To access Gilberts, Nutshells, Concepts & Insights, Hornbooks, and Concise Hornbooks study aids, follow the Study Aids instructions in the Student Resources for Spring 2021 guide
    • Consider consulting the author for source collection assignments that require large amount of content within the casebook or study aid.
  • Internet Archive: Provides one-hour loans of their digitized books. You may check-out their books by registering a personal account. If a PDF download option is not provided with the check-out, then consider taking snippets of page images.
  • If you happen to come across an article through a web search, try adding the following EZProxy prefix before the URL (i.e., before https://) to see if you have full-text access:
  • If an item cannot be obtained through ILL, and if your editor permits it, consider contacting the author for a copy. Please do not submit an ILL and simultaneously contact the author. If you choose to contact the author, then use ILL only after that source fails, or vice versa.
  • If a copy cannot be obtained through ILL or the author, you can contact Reference Services to see if the cited content may have appeared in another publication that is more readily available.

In Detail: Libraries' Responses to COVID-19 & Impact on ILL

In response to COVID-19, most Law Center and Library staff are working remotely. Other universities or institutions and their libraries have followed a similar safety protocols and have closed their buildings, reduced their on-site ILL staffing, or closed off access to their physical collections.

This means that:

  • No physical items can be borrowed via Interlibrary Loan. Requests for entire books will be handed over to our collection services team to find alternate options.
  • We cannot recommend that you visit a local library to make scans of materials yourself.
  • It's more difficult to find libraries that may carry a needed title and happen to have the ILL capacity to make scans for us.
  • Scans of citations that only exist in microfilm format (such as older newspapers) would be difficult, or maybe impossible, to obtain at present.
  • Lengthy scanning requests that either exceed fair use guidelines or ILL libraries' scanning limits (typically 40 pages or more), which were not accepted under normal circumstances, will still not be accepted by ILL libraries. These requests will be handed over to our collection services team to find alternate options.
  • Other ILL libraries, even if staffed, do not have the capacity to perform research on our behalf and cannot accommodate requests to peruse an entire work, or microfilm, in order to locate an obscure citation.
  • It is more difficult for ILL libraries experiencing reduced staffing to process complicated scanning requests, e.g. scans of a book's front matter plus non-consecutive pages for pinpoint citations. To locate front matter pages (e.g. title page, copyright page and table of contents), please resort to the publisher's website or the "Look Inside" feature on
  • There may be a greater probability that you will have to resort to the author for a copy of a cited source. However, please do not submit an ILLiad request if you have already contacted the author for a copy so that we do not waste a potential supplying library's limited staffing and time.

Your patience and understanding are appreciated.