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University Library DePaul Library

Citation Guides

Quick Copyright Rules

CONTU Guidelines:

 “5/5/1 Rule” for borrowing library;

Interlibrary loan requests for articles from a journal title published fewer than five years before date of request must not exceed more than five articles from the single journal title in a calendar year.

Summary: No more than 5 articles / last 5 years / 1 specific journal title in 1 calendar year.


Rule of Two Guidelines:

"Rule of Two" for borrowing library;

Libraries may provide one article, per issue, per patron without requesting copyright permission; you must request copyright permission and pay any applicable royalty fees for the second and subsequent copies.

Summary: No more than 1 copy of a specific article from a journal for a specific patron.


Fair Use Guidelines:

"Fair Use" for borrowing library or digitizing of video not owned by the library;

Under the fair use doctrine, copyrighted material can be used for the purposes of teaching, scholarship, or research with limitations under Copyright Law. In regards to Interlibrary loan requests for photocopies from books, the fair use standard is no more than 10% or one chapter of a book (whichever is less of the whole of the work). The fair use standard for video not owned by the library is no more than 25% or one clip from a video (whichever is less of the whole video) can be digitized and used. This applies per volume of a series (ex. an episode from a series).

Summary: No more than 10% or 1 chapter (which ever is less) of a book will be requested for photocopy request via Interlibrary Loan or 25% or one clip from a video (whichever is less of the whole video) can be digitized and used.


In order for the University Library to maintain adherence to copyright clearance guidelines, any requests that exceed CONTU guidelines, Rule of 2 guidelines, or Fair Use guidelines will be denied. The ILL staff will notify you if your request cannot be placed due to copyright violations. For more information on copyright, please see the University's page on Copyright and the Classroom.