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Frequently Asked Questions

The electronic Copyright Office (eCO) web interface permits publishers who have received mandatory deposit notices from the U.S. Copyright Office to submit electronic deposits of serials available only online directly to the Copyright Office using an Internet browser. The eCO interface includes descriptions of specific titles and volumes the Copyright Office has demanded, and it allows publishers to check the status of all deposits made after October 3, 2011. Using eCO, publishers of serials available only online will share in the mission of the Library of Congress to acquire, protect, and preserve works that reflect American innovation, knowledge, and creativity.

Click on a subject heading below to view frequently asked questions and answers relating to mandatory deposit of online-only serials. Links throughout the answers will guide you to further information on the Copyright Office website.

Electronic Mandatory Deposit Terms and Requirements:



Submission Guidelines:



Electronic Mandatory Deposit Terms and Requirements:

What is eCO? eCO refers to the electronic Copyright Office website. It is a system specially designed to expedite the process of registering a work for copyright, and for submitting electronic deposits for registration and mandatory deposit.

What is mandatory deposit? Under the mandatory deposit provision of copyright law (17 U.S.C. section 407), the owner of copyright or the exclusive right of publication in a work published in the United States must deposit within three months of publication the required number of copies of the best edition of the work with the U.S. Copyright Office for the use of the Library of Congress. For details, see Circular 7d, Mandatory Deposit of Copies or Phonorecords for the Library of Congress, and section 202.19 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Does mandatory deposit apply to publications published only online? Effective February 24, 2010, the Copyright Office adopted an interim regulation governing mandatory deposit of online serials published in the United States and available only online. The regulation establishes that online-only works are exempt from mandatory deposit until the Copyright Office issues a demand for deposit of such works. Demands will be made only for works published on or after February 24, 2010. Publishers may also submit back issues.

What is an SR number? For mandatory deposit purposes, the Service Request, or SR number refers to a unique identifier assigned by the Copyright Office to a serial demanded under the mandatory deposit requirement of copyright law. The SR number is located on the upper right-hand corner of your Notice for Mandatory Deposit.

What is metadata? Why do I need to provide it? For the purpose of depositing online works, metadata is information describing the data content of a submission. Such data helps classify, aggregate, and identify the file structure of the submission. Some examples of bibliographic metadata to include with a deposit submission include title, publication pattern, and International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or publication enumeration.

What is a presentation style sheet? Do I have to include one with my deposit submission?? External style sheets help separate the presentation of a webpage from its content. Style sheets use language such as CSS or VSL to define the visual layout of the page. A style sheet is required for non-NLM DTD XML and/or HTML. You should provide a presentation style sheet with your submission if one is needed to properly display your content as published.

What is a TOC? Do I have to include it with my deposit submission? If a serial issue includes a table of contents (TOC) that lists all the articles and other content included in the work, it helps the Copyright Office verify whether a complete copy of the work has been received. If a work does not include a TOC, the Copyright Office does not require that one be created for submission of a deposit.

What is a manifest? Do I have to include one with my deposit submission? A manifest is an inventory of the files included in a deposit submission. It is used to define extension- and package-related data and permits the Copyright Office to verify receipt of all the files associated with a deposit.

For deposits sent to the Copyright Office via our web interface, a manifest is highly recommended as it provides a way to check that all uploadedfiles have been received. For deposits sent via FTP (system to system push), files are typically bundled into logical units, such as volumes and issues, and compressed into single files (*zip, *tar.gz). A transmission manifest listing all the compressed files included in the transfer is REQUIRED.


Electronic Mandatory Deposit Submission:

What files types are acceptable for upload? File types listed in order of preference are:

1. XML-NLM DTD compliant
2. XML-Other widely used DTD
3. XML – Proprietary DTD with style sheet
4. PDF/A
5. PDF- Searchable
6. PDF – non-searchable
7. HTML/XHTML with style sheet

.EXE, .BAT, and other executable files are not acceptable for file upload. For current list of other acceptable file types go to

Is there a maximum file size that can be sent in one package upload? 900 MB is the maximum file size for each upload session. After each upload session, it is possible to upload additional files in a new session. If a submitter uses FTP push technology (see below), maximum file size restraints do not apply.

How can I ensure my PDF files will render correctly? When sending PDF files, send the highest quality available with features such as searchable text, embedded fonts, lossless compression, and high resolution images. This includes document formats such as PDF/X.

Can I use file transfer protocol (ftp) to deposit my online serial? Is it available now? FTP push technology is an acceptable means of submitting files to the Copyright Office in response to a mandatory demand notice. For instructions on using this process to deposit your online serial, please contact the individual named on the Notice for Mandatory Deposit you received from the Copyright Office.

Can I just give the Copyright Office a user name and password to retrieve the online serial directly from my website or server? No. The Copyright Office expects deposits be delivered by the depositor using such methods as a file transfer protocol (system to system push), zip files, bag or other file package. Individual and packaged files may also be uploaded through the eCO website.

I use a third-party provider to host my online serial. Can they deposit them with the Copyright Office for me? Yes. The Copyright Office will send the demand to the rights holder. It is the responsibility of the rights holder to contract with their provider to fulfill their mandatory deposit obligation for titles demanded, including subsequent issues. Upon request the Copyright Office will send the mandatory deposit notice directly to the 3rd party provider.

Do I have to deposit if my serial is Open Access or Hybrid Open Access? Yes. If an online serial is published and copyrightable, it is subject to mandatory deposit even if it is available through Open Access or Hybrid Open Access or published under a Creative Commons license. Upon receiving a mandatory deposit notice for an online serial title, the rights holder must deposit the demanded volumes or issues with the Copyright Office by the deadline on the demand notice. In addition, the rights holder must send all issues published subsequent to the demand as long as the serial is published or until a notice is received stating that the Library no longer wants the title for its collections.

Do I have to deposit if the place of publication for my journal is outside of the United States? Deposit requirements for online-only serials apply to serials after they are published in the United States.

Can I deposit serials not included on my mandatory deposit notice? No. At this time, the Copyright Office can accept only deposits of online serials for which a mandatory deposit demand has been issued. However, the Copyright Office may demand additional serials as they are wanted by the Library for the collections. If an additional title you publish is wanted, you will receive a mandatory deposit notice from the Copyright Office with a unique SR number.

Can I register the online serials I submit in response to a mandatory deposit notice? Yes. Copyright registration fulfills the mandatory deposit requirement, while also conferring the benefits associated with registering a work.

What if individual authors of articles retain rights to articles? Whoever has exclusive distribution rights to the collective work is required to fulfill mandatory deposit requirements.

What happens to my files after they've been deposited? Staff will review them to make sure that the complete copy as published has been received, after which the files will be stored on a secure Library of Congress server.

Will I receive notification or acknowledgement that my eDeposit submission was received? Yes. You will receive an on-screen confirmation that your deposit successfully uploaded. Please remember to click the “Upload Complete” button to actually send the files you uploaded to the Library of Congress server. If an error occurs during transmission of your submission that prevents validation of the demanded item, or if there is an error in a file or a missing file, you will be notified and asked to resend the entire submission. A Copyright Office specialist assigned to your account will help you complete a successful transfer and deposit submission.

Can I send back issues not included in the mandatory deposit notice? Yes. The Copyright Office welcomes back issues of a demanded title with the electronic deposit. Although deposit is not required for issues or articles published before February 24, 2010, the complete archive of an online serial greatly enhances the collections of the Library of Congress. Back issues can be sent in the same delivery with the demanded deposit submission. However, if bundling issues together will delay your meeting the date specified in the demand notice, please send back issues in a separate delivery, using the same SR number provided in the demand notice.

How do I deposit future issues? Subsequent issues should be deposited as published, using the same procedure used to send the initial demanded deposit. The Copyright Office does not assign a new SR number for each subsequent issue. Include the SR number provided with the initial demand when sending subsequent issues of the demanded title. The SR number is a unique identifier that alerts the Library's content transfer system that subsequent issues to an already demanded title have arrived for processing and handling.

Will my deposited serials be available to the public? Currently, the public cannot view or access online serials submitted for mandatory deposit. In the future, patrons will be required to come to the Library of Congress to access online serials submitted through mandatory deposit. If your serial is open access, it may be available to the public through the Library's online catalog. Those unable to visit the Library will be provided with the URL where the online serial will be available.

What information will I need to provide to describe my content? You need to provide a title profile containing data elements described below. Fields preceded by an asterisk are required.

Bibliographic Data
*Terms of Use: Is your serial available as open access, paid subscription, or a hybrid open access (some articles are open access, others require payment)
*TOC Available: Do you publish a Table of Contents for this title?
TOC File Name: If a Table of Contents is included, please include the file name.
Volume Publication Pattern
Bibliographic Metadata format: File format of metadata files included in package. (.xml, .mets, etc)
Volume Publication Pattern: What makes up a volume and how often are volumes available? Comment if Irregular/Other: If your publication pattern was not available in the drop down box, what is the publication pattern?
Issue Publication Pattern
Issue Publication Pattern: What is the order, sequence, or frequency pattern for an issue? Comment if irregular/Other: If your publication pattern was not available in the drop down box, what is the publication pattern?
Article Publication Pattern
Article Format: Which file formats are you including for this title? Other Article Formats: Since .PDF and .XML or .HTML files are the most likely combination, we have included that combination as an option. If you selected “multiple or other file formats,” please list the file formats you are including with your submission. Article Publication Pattern: How often are articles published?
Comment if Irregular or Other: If your publication pattern was not available in the drop down box, what is the publication pattern?
Package Details
Package Manifest Available: Did you create a manifest for this package (If you use the bagger tool, a manifest will be created automatically.)
Package Manifest File Name: If there is a package manifest, what is it called?
Package Delivery Pattern: How often will you be delivering files for this title?
Comment if Irregular or Other:if your delivery pattern was not available in the drop down box, what is the publication pattern?
Package Naming Pattern: A sample package name. (
Package Description: Briefly describe what is included in your package. (Vol. 12, Is. 5, 25 articles)