Borrowing trouble? The impact of a systematic review service on interlibrary loan borrowing in an academic health sciences library

Christy Jarvis, Joan Marcotte Gregory, Alison Mortensen-Hayes, Mary McFarland


Background: With the mandate to review all available literature in the study’s inclusion parameters, systematic review projects are likely to require full-text access to a significant number of articles that are not available in a library’s collection, thereby necessitating ordering content via interlibrary loan (ILL). The aim of this study is to understand what effect a systematic review service has on the copyright royalty fees accompanying ILL requests at an academic health sciences library.

Case Presentation: The library created a custom report using ILLiad data to look specifically at 2018 ILL borrowing requests that were known to be part of systematic reviews. This subset of borrowing activity was then analyzed to determine its impact on the library’s copyright royalty expenditures for the year. In 2018, copyright eligible borrowing requests that were known to be part of systematic reviews represented only approximately 5% of total filled requests that involved copyright eligible borrowing. However, these systematic review requests directly or indirectly caused approximately 10% of all the Spencer S. Eccles Library copyright royalty expenditures for 2018 requests.

Conclusion: Based on the sample data set, the library’s copyright royalty expenditures did increase, but the overall financial impact was modest.


Systematic Reviews; Interlibrary Loan; Costs and Cost Analysis

Full Text:



McHone-Chase SM. Examining change within interlibrary loan. J Interlibr Loan Doc Deliv Electron Reserve. 2010;20(3):201–6. DOI:

Miller RH. Electronic resources and academic libraries, 1980–2000: a historical perspective. Libr Trends. 2000 Spring;48(4): 645–70. (Available from: . [cited 27 Jun 2020].)

Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries. Systematic review service survey [Internet]. Seattle, WA: The Association; 2012 [cited 27 Jun 2020]. .

Copyright Clearance Center. Interlibrary loan: copyright guidelines and best practices [Internet]. Danvers, MA: The Center; 2013 [cited 27 Jun 2020]. .

OCLC. ILLiad [Internet]. Dublin, OH: OCLC; 2018 [cited 27 Jun 2020]. .

Crump MJ, Freund L. Serials cancellations and interlibrary loan: the link and what it reveals. Serials Rev. 1995;21(2):29–36. DOI:

Kilpatrick TL, Preece BG. Serial cuts and interlibrary loan: filling the gaps. Interlending Doc Supply. 1996;24(1):12–20. DOI:

Calvert K, Fleming R, Hill K. Impact of journal cancellations on interlibrary loan demand. Serials Rev. 2013;39(3):184–7. DOI:

Nash JL, McElfresh KR. A journal cancellation survey and resulting impact on interlibrary loan. J Med Libr Assoc. 2016 Oct;104(4):296–301. DOI:

Weir RO, Ireland A. The effect of transactional access/pay per view implementation on interlibrary loan: the case of Murray State University. Interlending Doc Supply. 2011;39(1):40–4. DOI:

Jackson ME. Will electronic journals eliminate the need for ILL? Interlending Doc Supply. 2004;32(3):192–3. DOI:

Yue PW, Syring ML. Usage of electronic journals and their effect on interlibrary loan: a case study at the University of Nevada, Reno. Libr Collect Acquis Tech Serv. 2004;28(4): 420–32. DOI:

Rheiner VR. How electronic full text journals impact interlibrary loan article requests at a small, liberal arts university. J Interlibr Loan Doc Deliv Electron Reserve. 2008;8(3):375–86. DOI:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Christy Jarvis, Joan Marcotte Gregory, Alison Mortensen-Hayes, Mary McFarland

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.