Elsevier actively seeks to identify and address access gaps. We support and engage partners such as libraries and document delivery services to provide additional ways to access content.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
Describes the process by which a user of one library receives published material owned by another library in the same country, either as a copy or in the original format, for non-commercial purposes. ILL is sometimes a matter of local national copyright laws, but is not always expressly defined in local laws. It is understood generally that not every academic library can subscribe to every journal, and ILL is intended to help address academic library user access to content that is not considered “core” to their particular library (and not as a “substitute” for purchase or subscription).
Elsevier’s aims to implement our interlibrary loan (ILL) policy in a fair and globally consistent way for publicly funded academic institutions.
We do this through a standard ILL clause that is included in all academic ScienceDirect subscription agreements which permits delivery of journal articles and book chapters to other academic libraries in the same country for the use by the receiving library’s user.
In some cases we will reference or align with local ILL guidelines or codes of practice.
In line with STM’s recommendation(opens in new tab/window), Elsevier also permits ILL deliveries by regular subscriber academic libraries to libraries in the ‘least developed country’ category of Research4Life institutions(opens in new tab/window).
Document delivery service
Elsevier also provides additional options for researchers to access documents outside of their existing subscriptions through our document delivery service partners. One benefit of document delivery arrangements is that it provides for copies of articles across borders Elsevier has commercial document delivery arrangements with entities such as Subito in Germany, CNRS in France and Copyright Clearance Centre (CCC) and Reprints Desk in the US.
Frequently asked questions
Elsevier enables researchers to gain access to content outside of their institution’s existing subscription and licenses by enabling loans between academic libraries in the same country. The process through which this takes place is known as Inter Library Loan (ILL). ILL is a library to library service and involves copying and sharing articles among not-for-profit, academic libraries within the same country on behalf of end-users. We also support international document delivery services.
The STM publishing trade association has also published a position paper(opens in new tab/window), signed by individual publishers, that would permit ILL deliveries into the ‘least developed country’ category of Research4Life institutions. Elsevier is a signatory to this paper, and enables academic libraries to loan copies of subscribed titles to Research4Life ‘least developed country’ institutions.
Elsevier enables all subscribing not-for-profit libraries to benefit from a clause in their Science Direct subscription agreement to facilitate ILL. After first being printed, articles of book chapters can be copied and shared among not-for-profit, academic libraries within the same country on behalf of end-users.
Libraries may copy and share articles for ILL from subscribed journal titles and book chapters from subscribed book products. Elsevier’s ILL policy does not apply to unsubscribed journal titles e.g. the Freedom Collection, nor does it apply to journal or book backfiles.
Our ILL policy enables copies to be shared between not for profit, academic libraries in the same country. However, international document delivery can be provided by authorized organizations, in agreement with us, for loans across borders. Elsevier has international document delivery arrangements with entities such as Subito in Germany, CNRS in France, and Copyright Clearance Centre (CCC) and Reprints Desk in the US. For further information becoming a partner library, please contact your Account Manager.
No. There is no limit of how much libraries can lend or receive as long as the requirements for ILL in our policy are adhered to.
No. Libraries are free to use whatever software they wish to in order to service ILL requests, so long as our policy is adhered to.
In some countries ILL is viewed as being covered by a copyright exception, however it is often unclear what this means in practice. Elsevier’s policy implements ILL in a fair and globally consistent way, enabling all subscribing, not for profit, institutions to benefit from a clause in their Science Direct subscription agreement to facilitate ILL.
In the US our policy is aligned with the local CONTU guidelines.