This is the kind of response I might send to our faculty :

Explanation :
Most Libraries have agreed to use this CONTU "Rule of Five"

They can be summed up in three sentences. 

1. We do not need to pay Copyright Fees for articles that are published more
than Five years ago.

2. We do not need to pay Copyright Fees for "recent" (5 years or younger)
articles if we have requested five (5) or less "recent" articles from the
same Title/Publication in current this year. 

3. We should pay Copyright Fees for each "recent" (5 years of younger)
article if we have already filled five (5) "recent" articles from that same
Title/Publication in this current year.

Justification :
     The CONTU "Rule of Five" is an attempt to make sure that the library's
use of a title is within "Fair Use".
If use of a title exceeds this "Rule of Five" it could be said that we would
be using ILL in lieu of a valid complete subscription to the title.

     Pursuing and paying for Copyright Fees for titles that exceed this
"Rule of Five" is considered fair and reasonable since it would paying for
small portions of copyright for each use.

     If we find that the Copyright Fees begin to exceed the cost of a full
subscription to a Title then our library should consider getting a


Good Luck

Todd Puccio
Director of Technical Services / Librarian
Nova Southeastern University
Health Professions Division Library
3200 S. University Drive
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33328
(954)262-3114 or ext 2-3114

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-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of LaGasse, Jill
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2011 3:27 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: REF ?: CONTU "Rule of Five"

Does anyone have a way to explain the CONTU "Rule of Five" (for ILL) that is
basic and to the point?
I am a solo librarian in a relatively small library. I have a physician that
is, apparently from a listserv or such, requesting multiple articles - many
from the same journal and/or issue / many are prepub alerts also. I have
reached the guidelines limit on at least 2 titles so far.
In the past, the library has absorbed the CCC cost, but this is excessive
and I need a way to tactfully explain that this cannot occur month after
Any suggestions on the best way to handle this would be appreciated.

Jill M. LaGasse, MLS
Medical Librarian
St. John's Regional Medical Center
Medical and Consumer Health Library
2727 McClelland Blvd.
Joplin, Missouri 64804

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