Some Comments on Requesting Book Chapters with ILLiad

Since the issue of how to properly employ the "Book Chapter" form has recently become a bit confusing for some users, this month's blog will attempt to serve as guide for better practices. It is also intended to act as sort of a follow-up to my previous entry of January 16, 2019.

So, exactly what can be problematic when submitting a request for a book chapter? What can make it more onerous for ILL staff at KSL (as well as for the ILL staff at any potential supplier libraries) to efficiently process requests for book chapters? Here is an illustrative accounting of some of the rather challenging scenarios we routinely are confronted with...

* Citing "page numbers" in lieu of an actual chapter title --- Page numbers should be only referenced in the "Inclusive Pages" field, and nowhere else. If you do not know the actual chapter title, simply indicate "unknown" or "n/a" in the "Chapter Title" field. Referencing page numbers that do not define a verifiable book chapter causes confusion and hesitation on the part of a potential lender, who will likely question the citation or simply choose not to fill the request. If you do actually receive an electronically delivered scan of pages cited in this way, they may not have a coherent appearance with a logical beginning and end -- assuming this is what you really wanted in the first place.

* Inexactitude in the citing of pages, as well as requesting exorbitant numbers of pages, may result in a loan of the entire book being substituted for a scan of the cited pages. It is the prerogative of potential lender libraries to do this, if they so choose, and it may not be the result you originally expected. In such a case, ILL staff at KSL will in turn pass the loan along to you as a returnable transaction, and are not required to try providing you the material in the form of a scan -- you will have the opportunity to decide exactly how you wish to scan the pages you require, using equipment available on-site within the library.

* Copyright issues --- Any portion of a book may be restricted by the author and/or publisher, but usually the standard limit is 15% of the total page length of the volume (including the total of pages from multiple requests out of the same book title at a given instance). Requesting all or most of the chapters within a book (simultaneously, or over a span of time) in an attempt to obtain a virtually complete electronic reproduction of the entire item is not acceptable, and we strongly advise against the practice -- this goes for entire journal issues, as well!

* Local availability of books --- You will likely receive cancellation notices when requesting chapters from currently available books held either in KSL or at other CWRU campus library locations (i.e., Cleveland Health Sciences, MSASS or Law). At our discretion, ILL staff may also cancel such a request when the chapter is available for download from an accessible electronic edition in our own E-Book collection. The only exception applies to books and volumes available in the off-site KSL Depository location, as discussed in my previous entries of November 13, 2017 and January 22, 2018.

* Requesting chapters from KSL books, books from other CWRU campus libraries, or from OhioLINK and SearchOhio books which you have currently borrowed and checked out to yourself is to be particularly discouraged. We strongly recommend that you avoid submitting requests for scans from circulating materials that you already have in your possession. Keep in mind that high-quality scanning equipment is available for your judicious use, right here within the Kelvin Smith Library.

These kinds of situations are inclined to cause unfortunate delays in the successful filling of requests for book chapters, in most instances. We hope that taking these examples of possible miscalculation into account will help result in more favorable outcomes, by offering guidance as to what to avoid when submitting book chapter requests.

Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff are available by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517 (during regular office hours--Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM), or by e-mail at


Trackback URL for this entry is:


Post a comment

If you have entered an email address in the box, clicking this checkbox will subscribe your email address to this entry so that you are notified if any updates or additional comments occur on the entry.