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Cite Checking Guide for Law Reviews & Publication: Interlibrary Loan

ILL Procedures

Before submitting an ILL request for an item, take the following steps.  First, verify that the Law Library, Raynor Memorial Libraries, and also (for MULR students) Milwaukee Public Library do not have the item, and the item is not available from a source as a retrievable PDF. After you have completed each of the steps to verify the item’s unavailability, ask a librarian to sign off on your search and the need for an ILL request. Often, this step locates the item, and your editor will require it.  If a librarian verifies the item cannot be found, submit an ILL request form to the editor assigned to your article.  The editor will submit the request to the library staff.   Third, pick up the item from either the law review office or the circulation desk and return it a few days before the item’s due date, so Eckstein staff can return it on time to the lending institution.  Most lending libraries do not allow renewals for ILL items. 

Step 1:  Verification of unavailability 

  1. Check the library catalog, MARQCAT, to determine if the Law Library or Raynor Memorial Libraries has the item you need.  If so, you will need to obtain the item yourself.
  2. Note: MULR students must also check the Milwaukee Public Library catalog, COUNTYCAT.  If MPL has the item, an MULR student will retrieve the item by going to MPL and using the main law journal's account to check out the material.  Ask for help if you have questions about this. 
  3. Check the PDF chart, on the "Electronic PDFs and URL Tips" page in this guide, to find sources available in PDF format.  Also, use the short guides on your law review's TWEN page for help locating sources in PDF.
  4. Check with a reference librarian at Eckstein to see if they can unearth the item.  Have the librarian sign off in writing if it was not possible to locate.  Complete the Interlibrary Loan Checklist to get approval for an ILL. Once you have met with a librarian and gotten a sign-off in writing, give the completed form to your editor.

Step 2: Completing and submitting the ILL form to the articles editor:

Once you have determined the item cannot be accessed through a Marquette library or as a PDF, and complete the law journal ILL checklist form, including getting a librarian's initials and giving details the lending library will need to complete the request.  

Your law journal will have specific requirements for what materials should be requested, e.g., what parts of a book or state statute volume are needed for authentication.  Check these requirements before you meet with the librarian. When completing the form, do not abbreviate titles or author names. Give as much publication information as you can in plain English. The more complete your information is, the easier it will be to locate the item.  Keep in mind that the ILL request may be received at the lending institution by someone who is unfamiliar with abbreviations you find familiar.  Always proof read your request for accuracy and completeness. Once the librarian has signed off, submit the ILL request form to your article editor. You will receive an email from your article editor if the request is insufficient.  

Step 3:  Use and return the ILL item in a timely manner

It can take anywhere from one week to more than three weeks to receive items requested through ILL.  You will be notified when your ILL item has arrived.  You can pick up your item at the law review office or the circulation desk; the location depends on your law review’s policy.   Pick up the item as soon as you are notified it has arrived!

Use ILL items first, copy what you need, and return them to the circulation desk.  ILL items should not become overdue.  The due dates on ILL items are set by the loaning libraries.  If it is necessary to keep an item beyond the due date, request a renewal by sending an email to before the item becomes overdue.  Your article editor will be held responsible for the overdue fines on ILL items.

Article Editors

EDITORS:  After the cite checker has confirmed with a law librarian that ILL is necessary for an item, and you have approved the ILL form, please submit the request using the ILL form available on the library's website.  There is one for periodicals and one for books.

ILL Request Form

Tips for Filling Out the ILL Form

  • Fill out separate forms for each item.  For example, if you have two different versions of the same Georgia statute section, one from 1945 and one from 1955, you should fill out an ILL form for each one. 
  • You can find author, title, publisher, date and library holdings information in WorldCat.      
  • Include full titles and author names.  Do not abbreviate.  If you think that you do not have a full title or author name, run a search in WorldCat to find a catalog entry, run a search in Google to find an author bio page and/or run a search in HeinOnline to find another article that has cited the item.
  • Include dates and edition information.  If you do not include a date (year) of publication, or edition, and there are multiple versions of your requested item, your ILL request will be sent back to you with a request for more information.  First editions usually do not indicate "first edition," but check publication dates to verify a first run.
  • Include the specific page numbers, sections, chapters, etc., that you need.  You can speed up the ILL process by limiting your request to a specific portion of an item. 
  • Spell check and check for accuracy.  If your ILL request is incorrect, library staff will not be able to identify the item and your request will be sent back to you with a request for more information.
  • If you or the reference librarian are able to find the precise item in WorldCat, include the OCLC number. If you are not sure if you have found the correct source and OCLC number, talk to a librarian! The OCLC number will direct the library's ILL staff member to the precise item record, and a lending library will be chosen at that time by the ILL supervisor in the Circulation department at Eckstein Library.
  • Add pertinent details in the comments section.  More information is better! 
  • In the comments section, include the full last name of the librarian who approved that an ILL is necessary. 

ILL Insider's Tip

WorldCat allows you to search the holdings of libraries across the world for any item that is owned and has been cataloged on OCLC by a lending institution. You can use WorldCat to verify that an item you are cite-checking actually exists, even if Marquette or the Milwaukee Public Library does not have the material.  WorldCat can help you identify which, if any, other libraries own a copy of the precise item you need. The Circulation supervisor at Eckstein will figure out which lending library will be used, but you can consult the WorldCat records to make sure that your ILL request form is completely accurate.