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Guidelines to Counsel and Researchers Seeking Discovery from the University of California, Davis University Library
The UC Davis University Library frequently receives requests from law firms and researchers soliciting information as to when a work (e.g. print book or journal) was physically made available to the public. These requests run the gamut from informal emails to formal requests, but they commonly seek information regarding the date a work included in the UC Davis Harvest catalog was available to the general public. Often these requests seek statements made under penalty of perjury setting forth a date certain for that availability.
It is difficult to provide a specific date when a work was made available to library users. The guidelines below include significant and useful background information on UC Davis University Library's procedures, and are designed to save time for both the University Library staff and the requester.
Prior to bringing a verification/discovery request to UC Davis University Library, please note the following.
- UC Davis University Library will not be able to give a specific date as to when a work was made available to the public. Generally, works are available to the public within a week of receipt from the library's technical services departments.
- As technology has changed the world of libraries, the UC Davis University Library practices and procedures have changed as well to become more efficient. As a result, there are a variety of ways in which the receipt or cataloged date may or may not be recorded. Use dates may be recorded on date-due slips in older works. UCD University Library will not attest to cataloging procedures that existed prior to the process that exists today. For older works, due dates may be stamped on the work, and serve as evidence that a work was available and circulating prior to the earliest stamped due date. Current circulation procedures do not include date due stamps.
- Currently, all materials are given a catalog date by the University Library's Cataloging & Metadata Services Department. Once processed by CMS staff, records for these works are viewable in the University Library's online catalog. Journal issues are generally on the shelf within days of receipt, but depending on the work, it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to get the material on the shelf.
Prior to bringing a discovery request, please exhaust the following steps:
- For single-volume works, please search the Harvest database to ensure UC Davis owns the physical volume. The University Library will not respond to requests requiring the availability of digital content.
- Visit the library to view the physical copy of the work to check for check-out or date due stamps.
- Ask opposing counsel to stipulate to the fact that the work was available a year after the cataloging date (or the first due date, whichever is earlier).
- Ask a court to take judicial notice of the date a work was available to the public, (that is, a year after the cataloging date).
When there is no alternative but to bring a discovery request, be prepared to pay for librarians' time to respond to discovery requests. UC Davis University Library reserves the right to charge $200 an hour for reference services in support of legal matters.