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Inter Library Loans: Before you submit a request

Before you submit your request

Before you submit an Inter-library loan request, please consider the following:

Will you get the material in time?
Where articles are available digitally at the British Library, the response may be quick.  However, where items have to be scanned or books and other materials are requested, delivery times are dependent on workload and availability at the BL or alternative locations, so a fast response cannot be guaranteed.  Please bear this in mind when submitting your request and contact us if it is very urgent.

Are you able to collect and return books from and to the library in person ?

Books on Inter-Library Loan have been supplied from another University's stock. As such they cannot be posted to you, so you must be able to collect them from and return them to the library in person. If you are unable to do this, we may be able to arrange a for scan of one chapter to be sent to you. If this would be helpful, please submit a request giving the details of the chapter you require.

Will this material advance your research?
If in doubt, ask for advice from your Liaison Librarian or speak to staff at the library enquiry desk who may be able to suggest more appropriate material.

Have you requested this item before?
You should not request the same item more than once. In addition, copyright law forbids the photocopying of more than one article from a single issue of a journal or more than one chapter of a book.

Are you requesting a UK PhD thesis?
You should go straight to EThOS (the BL’s electronic thesis online service) as many UK theses are available as a free download or can be ordered.
If the thesis is very recent it may be worth checking the online repository of the awarding institution to see if it is held there. N.B. MA/MSc theses are not published material and as such very few institutions are prepared to lend them. 

Are you requesting a USA university PhD thesis?

You are advised to check the awarding University's repository to see if a copy has been made freely available electronically.  If not, we can try to arrange a loan or scan of the PhD, but there is no guarantee that this would be possible and you may have to order and pay for your own copy from Proquest.

Have you checked the University’s Library Catalogue for the item you require?
A thorough check of the catalogue can save you valuable time as the item may well be available either on the shelves or electronically. Use the links below to check the item you require against the catalogue:

N.B. If a book is missing from stock we will accept an Inter-library loan request for it.

If it is in stock and on loan you will need to reserve it on the system. Instructions for reserving books are included in the link above.

If the item you require is not available from any of these sources then an Inter-library loan request may be appropriate.