Archives for the Month of April 2011 on Carl's ILLiad Blog

Duplicate Requests in ILLiad

Occasionally an ILLiad user may enter multiple identical requests for the reproduction of an article or the loan of a book, sometimes intentionally and sometimes by accident. We realize the possibility of this occurring unintentionally if you should happen to click on the 'Submit Request' button of the request form very quickly more than once. In any case, we ask that you please try your best to avoid submitting duplicate requests into ILLiad, as this will in no way help to speed up the process of obtaining the material you need, and may even create unnecessary delays.

If you think you might have submitted more than one identical request, you may check your current list of 'Outstanding Requests' during an ILLiad login session (under the 'View' section of your Main Menu), to verify if you already have any current transactions for the same material more than once. If any duplicates exist, and have not yet been processed by ILL staff, you may still have the opportunity to cancel them yourself; see the Customer Help Page for more details. If one of these is already in process or has been sent, you can view the 'Notes' or 'Tracking' tables for any pertinent information regarding its status or other processing details added by ILL staff. (At this point, ILL staff will have probably cancelled any existing duplicate transactions, if encountered, and you would have received notifications accordingly.) Otherwise, you may also contact us by phone (216-368-3517 or 216-368-3463) or e-mail, if you have any questions pertaining to additional status or processing details not directly accessible in your ILLiad records.

Please keep in mind that we do not supply multiple copies of the same article, as a matter of policy. This is mainly because of the unnecessary replication of service, but also because copyright issues may arise depending on the circumstances. If, however, an article already supplied to you is somehow deficient (e.g., missing pages or text, illegible print, unclear images), we can usually re-request it using the original transaction (especially if this is caught close to the original submission date), but we can also accept a new request in such a case; please see: Electronic Delivery Information Page - 'NOTE'. We also prefer not to supply multiple copies of the same book simultaneously, unless perhaps you require different editions of the same title for the sake of comparison, or for some other pressing need; you may indicate this within the 'Notes' field of your ILLiad loan request form. Of course, we encourage you to check our Online Catalog and the OhioLINK Catalog first for available local campus and consortium copies of books before submitting an unnecessary loan request in ILLiad.

If you need to make any corrections to a citation you have already entered, or add other helpful information to any 'non-required' fields, you may edit and re-submit your transaction, provided that ILL staff have not as yet processed it up to the status of 'Request Sent'; for more details, see our Customer Help Page. This is highly preferable to submitting a duplicate request with the new or corrected information, for reasons already stated. If, however, the request has been sent (and you no longer are able to make any necessary edits), you still have the option of contacting ILL staff by phone or e-mail with any corrections, at 216-368-3517, 216-368-3463 or

Our routine practice in dealing with duplicate requests is that if they have been submitted consecutively or close in time, ILL staff will process the first chronologically received as a regular request, and immediately cancel any subsequent transactions. However, if a duplicate request should be submitted at a considerably later date, it may get processed normally. ILL staff may cancel the later transaction if such duplication is by chance noticed at some point after the fact, especially if the earlier transaction has already been filled or is indicated as in the process of being filled by a lender library. If a duplicate request happens to contain additional information not included in the original request, this might also by chance be noted by ILL staff and copied over into the first transaction (even if this has already been processed, with a status of 'Request Sent').

Please also be aware that our policy on duplicate requests only applies to multiple transactions submitted by the same ILLiad user. If two or more users happen to request exactly the same article, book chapter or book loan, we will process their requests without question. However, if a pattern emerges where several users appear to require much of the same materials in common, we may be prompted to do some detective work in determining the academic course to which they appear to be associated, and possibly contact the appropriate instructor. In such a case, these materials should be treated in the context of reserve services rather than being repeatedly obtained through interlibrary loan.

We hope that the above explanation has clarified some of the major concerns that arise when duplicate requests are submitted, and how user cooperation and consideration in avoiding them can help ILL staff provide our services to you with greater efficiency.