- What is an inter-library loan?
- How do I request an item?
- How long will it take?
- How much does it cost?
- How are items supplied?
- How can I access postgraduate theses awarded by other institutions?
- Requests from other libraries
What is an inter-library loan?
When that essential book or other vital item of information you need is not held by the library, the Inter-Library Loans (ILL) service should be able to get it for you. We request items on your behalf from the British Library and other libraries in the UK or overseas.
All registered students and staff at the University can use the service to support their university work or study. You can also use the service if you are an external member, though higher charges apply. Staff and students at partner institutions should apply to the Inter-library Loans service at their own library.
How do I request an item?
Before requesting an item, please check Summon to make sure that you can't access the item you want immediately from the Library's own collections.
If you can't find the item you need to follow the next steps:
- Use the option to include results from outside your Library's collection.
- If this extended search returns a reference to the item you need to, click on the Citation
- Use the Sign in option to request an Inter-library Loan
- Click on the Inter-library Loan Request, to see the request form prepopulated with your reference.
- Complete the remaining mandatory fields and Send Request. You will receive an automated confirmation that your request has been sent.
N.B. Using the option to auto-populate your request will speed up your request, as article and book chapter requests will be processed immediately even in the Evenings and at Weekends. Useful if you need the extract urgently.
If your extended search does not find a reference to the item that you need you can complete the online request form manually. Wherever possible try to include the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or Digital Object Identifier (DOI). This will speed up your request.
How long will it take?
This depends on the item you request but our average supply times are:
|Books and articles supplied electronically||A few hours to a few days|
|Books supplied as print copies||A week to 10 days|
If you need an item urgently please let us know. If request submitted before 3:00pm an article can usually be supplied within hours and a book by the end of the following day, but a higher charge will apply (see below).
How much does it cost?
From 4th September 2017, there will be no charge to university staff and students for a standard inter-library loans request (for either a book or journal article).
However, different formats of material and different sources of supply are more costly, so we will continue to impose charges for non-standard requests and to non-university members. These charges are itemised below.
|Renewal of an inter-library loan book (in-date or overdue*)||£10.00|
|Request for a postgraduate thesis (if not freely available online e.g. via EThOS)||£4.00|
|Request for an Urgent Action (see under "how long does it take", above)||£10.00|
|Request that can only be sourced via an individual article supply purchase from the publisher||£4.00|
|Any inter-library loans request made by an Alumni Member (limited to 5 requests per year)||£7.50|
|Any inter-library loans request made by any other Public Member||£15.00|
Staff and researchers may be able to recharge the cost of their requests to a departmental cost centre. Please forward authorisation by your budget holder to ills.* From 4th September 2017 the fine rate on an overdue inter-library loan will be £2.50 per day.
How are items supplied?
If we can supply an electronic copy we will send you a link to your university email account.
When books are supplied as print copies we will send you an e-mail when they are available to collect from the library help centre. The loan period depends on the supplying library, but typically is four weeks.
You should try to use an inter-library loan book within the original loan period but if you do need to keep it for longer, it is sometimes possible to renew it. However, we usually have to pay the supply library to renew so we pass on a proportion of the cost to you.
- Renewal charge: £10.00
- Returning an inter-library loan book late: a fine £2.50 of per day
Journal Articles and Conference Papers
Where possible these will be delivered as PDFs. You will receive an e-mail containing a link to a secure PDF of your requested paper. Before you can open your document you will need to have registered for a British Library On Demand Account. You will also need the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your device.
The link to your document will only remain active for thirty days, but once downloaded your copy will be accessible for three years. To comply with copyright you should only download or print one copy. You can see more information on how to open your documents on the British Library website.
Occasionally, articles and papers are supplied as photocopies: you will receive an e-mail when they are available to collect.
How can I access postgraduate theses awarded by other institutions?
Electronic versions of doctoral theses awarded in the UK are now available via EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service). You can search across 250,000 titles and many of these are available for immediate download or can be ordered free of charge. If you can't find the thesis you want, you can also send the details to the experts at EThOS and ask them to track it down for you.
A small proportion of titles on EThOS are only available upon payment of a fee (£61.56), but you can submit an Inter-library loan request as normal instead. We will attempt to borrow the original thesis for you but it may be supplied for Reference Use Only and the usual service charge applies. If we cannot borrow the original we will pay the £61.56 fee to order the EThOS copy on your behalf but only ask you for an additional service charge of £4.00. You can also use the online Inter-library Loans form to order:
- PhD theses awarded in other countries
- Non-Doctoral theses
Requests from other libraries
We welcome requests from other libraries. You can check whether we hold a particular item on Summon and forward a request via e-mail to illdd, or if you need to check something first you can speak to a member of the Inter-library Loans team on +44 (0)1484 472051. We are happy to try and fulfil urgent requests whenever we can.
We participate in the CONARLS Inter-regional Inter-library Loans Scheme and for non-participating members charge the current standard British Library rate.