Loan definition: Loans of specimens from the NPL collections are temporary physical transfers of objects to another professional institution, with no transfer of ownership.
Loan requests: Requests for specimen loans are approved by the Manager of NPL. Requests for loans must be made in writing (email is sufficient). Students requesting loans must also submit acknowledgment of the loan request by their supervisors.
Loan approvals: Loans generally are approved only to professional researchers employed by academic and non-profit institutions. Loans approved on behalf of graduate student research will be made out to supervisors rather than to the students directly. Supervisors borrowing material on behalf of students must guarantee the fulfillment of NPL loan policies and conditions as set out below. Loans generally are not made to individuals or for-profit organizations. Requests to cast, prepare, repair, renumber, transfer or otherwise manipulate NPL specimens require prior written approval by the NPL Manager.
Loan duration: Unless otherwise stipulated, loans are authorized for periods of six months. Loan extensions must be requested in writing prior to loan expiration. It is the borrower's responsibility to return the specimen on time and in good condition. Subsequent loans will not be approved to any borrower in possession of an overdue loan.
Loan transfers: Transfers of loans to third parties are not permitted. Specimens must be returned to NPL before they can be sent to another borrower.
Type and figured specimens: Type specimens, specimens figured in publication, fragile specimens, or sole representatives of a taxon are loaned only at the discretion of the NPL Manager.
Loans for exhibit: If an NPL specimen is to be placed on public display, the borrower must obtain written permission from the NPL and TNSC in advance. Specimens placed on display must be protected from physical access by the public. If a specimen is to be physically modified in any way for the display, this must be arranged in advance, in writing, and NPL Manager must be consulted about the proposed modifications. NPL specimens placed on public display must also receive proper acknowledgement.
Loan shipment: Outgoing shipping costs for academic loans are borne by NPL. Loan material being returned to NPL must be packed in a manner comparable to that as received, and it must be adequate to insure the safety of the specimen. We request loans to be returned via a professional carrier (e.g., DHL, Federal Express) that provides for minute tracking (either by electronic signature or hand-signed documents at every station) from the moment it leaves the sender until it is received at the other end. In certain cases we may require loans to be hand-carried, by a person approved by the NPL Manager. Borrowers who violate the terms of the loan agreement or who return an object with unacceptable damage or alterations may be restricted from future use of NPL collections.
Upon receiving a loan, recipients must sign and return to NPL the form acknowledging the arrival and condition of the specimens, and that confirms the accuracy of the specimen manifest. When a loan is returned, its arrival at NPL is acknowledged by a written receipt (usually an email).
Loan service fees: The NPL reserves the right to assess a loan fee in certain circumstances including, but not limited to, occasions where labor-intensive requests for loans unduly burden the normal operation of the NPL.
Handling of loaned specimens: Specimens must be stored at the institution to which they are loaned, in climate controlled, secure rooms. The borrower agrees to conserve and protect the materials entrusted to their care, to pay for the repair of any damages to the specimens while in their care or a result of their handling, packing, and shipping of the specimens. Preparation, repair, and other modifications to the specimens may not be made without prior written approval of the NPL Manager. Please report any specimen damage immediately to discuss the appropriate means of repair.
Destructive analysis: Any intrusive analysis of specimens is not permitted without prior written approval by NPL. We request that copies of analytical data, thin sections or other preparations be returned with the specimen or remnants of that specimen.
Molding, casting, and CT scanning of loaned specimens: Molding, casting, and CT scanning of NPL specimens are prohibited without prior written consent of the NPL Manager. We may already have casts or datasets of the specimen of interest, or prefer to CT scan the specimens ourselves.
Catalog changes for loaned specimens: If one or more specimens from a lot bearing a single catalogue number are to be figured, included in a table, or otherwise referred to by number in a publication, and not all specimens from that lot pertain to a single individual, then the published specimens must be renumbered individually, usually by adding a suffix. The borrower should send a list of specimens requiring renumbering to the NPL Manager, who will return a list of new numbers. The borrower is asked to notify the NPL Manager of any errors in specimen data or changes in identifications. This may be done by penciling the changes on the specimen label, noting them on a copy of the loan form, or listing them on a separate sheet of paper. If done on the specimen label or slip packed with the specimen, the change(s) should be signed (legibly) and dated by the person who makes them.
Acknowledgment for use of loaned specimens: NPL must receive appropriate acknowledgement in any publications and presentations based on the use of materials from its collections. Presentations of items from the collections (or reproductions thereof) in exhibit, publication or other venue must bear the following credit line: From the Collections of the Non-vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory, Texas Natural Science Center, The University of Texas at Austin. The NPL must be given a copy of any publication (in any medium) that makes use of its material (or reproductions thereof).