Non-Roman Alphabetical Characters in ILLiad Requests - Revisited

This is a topic I dealt with fairly extensively in an entry on January 28, 2013. Just wanted to make a few comments on some recent developments in the world of KSL ILLiad...

I have been noticing a greater influx of requests submitted into the KSL ILLiad site that contain actual Chinese characters, so I thought it might be apropos to remark on this recent trend. (As a passing note--this has been occurring primarily for materials in the area of art history, but also with a few in science and engineering.) For some time, ILLiad has been accepting these characters (as well as other non-Roman characters) with no problem. OCLC, our main application for transmitting online interlibrary loan transactions, is also able to process them as part of a submitted citation.

For the most part, this is all fine and well. However, it can have implications on our ability to effectively search the OCLC database for available holdings on books and periodicals with Chinese titles (as with any other foreign-language titles using non-alphabetic writing systems). If you wish to submit a request (for a book, book chapter, conference paper, journal article, etc.), it is more prudent to enter a title for the book or journal in transliterated form -- or better yet, actually translated into English. This makes the task of searching much easier and quicker for ILL staff, and thus expedites the processing of your request. If you choose to include such characters in your primary book title or journal title entry field, it is much more helpful if you have them accompanied with the transliterated form of the title, or better yet, cite the ISBN, ISSN or OCLC number (in their respective entry lines, of course) as well. Relevant comments in the "Notes" field of the request form are also most welcome.

A more appropriate context for including these characters in your citation is where you enter the title (and author) of the article, book chapter, conference paper, etc. An English translation might also be of use, while simply including a Romanized transliteration is probably less helpful. Supplier library staff may by chance be able to recognize the foreign characters, and better visually locate the material to be reproduced, yet not be able to equate the characters with transliterated syllables or words translated into English. Your best bet, of course, is to always cite the inclusive pages or at least the starting page number.

As always, hoping this advice proves to be enlightening in your use of our ILLiad resource.

Questions or concerns about ILLiad or ILL services in general? Please contact the Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at


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