Items not in stock required for research purposes can be requested via the Interlibrary Loans Service which operates from the Information Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library.
- How do I make a request?
- Who can use the service?
- Who pays for the service?
- How long will I have to wait?
- What happens when the loan arrives?
- How long can I keep the item?
- Further information
Note: Distance Learners who wish to borrow books or copies of articles which are held by the University Library should follow the procedures in our Distance Learners section.
Before making a request, first check the Library Catalogue to see if the item is available here.
You need to complete an interlibrary loan form for each item you require. Forms are available from the ground floor information desk in the University Library or can be completed online:
Please give as much information as you can about the item you are requesting.
Submit completed forms to the ground floor information desk, University Library.
Remember to sign the copyright declaration if you are requesting a journal article or a chapter from a book.
If you are using our Discovery Service and the item you want is not available electronically, the LinkSource page will offer you a link to the Interlibrary loan form. Just fill in your personal details and the bibliographic details for your request will be added automatically.
Only certain categories of Library user may use this service to request items relevant to their field of study or research. They must have a current campus card and no outstanding library fines.
- Staff and research students may submit requests freely within their faculty/departmental quota, but ...
- Research assistants/students in the Science Faculty and Humanities & Social Science Faculty must have requests signed by their supervisor.
- Postgraduate students on taught postgraduate courses may submit requests only if they are signed by their tutor.
- Final year undergraduate students in Humanities Faculty writing dissertations may submit requests if they are signed by their dissertation tutor.
- Final year undergraduates in other faculties may submit requests if they are signed by the relevant tutor.
- First and second year undergraduates may not submit requests.
Requests are normally charged to faculty / departmental funds. Each fund has an annual allocation and requests are charged at £10 each against this allocation.
About 70% of requests are supplied within seven days of our application. Some items may take much longer, because they may be difficult to locate or are in heavy demand.
If you have requested a book, you will be notified of its arrival via the University email. Books must be collected from the Library Issue Desk so the loan can be recorded in our system.
If you have requested a book chapter or article, it will usually be delivered to your university email account so that you can print it yourself. These documents are sent from the British Library using software called FileOpen.
You should test that you can receive FileOpen documents here: http://cds.bl.uk/delivery/Freelink.action?service=FILEOPEN
If this does not work, you may need to install a plugin for Adobe Reader (already installed on all Windows 7 PCs on campus). Staff using Windows XP PCs on campus can install FileOpen by going to
Start - All Programs – General Applications – File Open Plugin for Adobe Reader.
If you are off-campus you can install the plug-in here: http://plugin.fileopen.com.
- Emailed documents are available to download for 30 days.
- You will only be able to download the document once from one computer.
- You must print the document if you wish to keep it, so check the PC is attached to a working printer before you download it.
- Once downloaded you have 14 days to print the document before it expires.
- You will only be able to print it once.
The downloaded document is an encrypted PDF and must be opened using Adobe Reader. On campus machines, the web browser will attempt to open the file using the Foxit software. To avoid this:
- When given the option to Save or Open, select Save.
- Once it has downloaded navigate to N:\Downloads in Windows Explorer and find the downloaded file.
- Right click the file and select 'open with'
- From the 'open with' menu select Adobe Reader
If we are not able to get your article from the British Library, or if you specifically request a paper copy, a photocopy will be supplied which you can keep. These requests will take longer to arrive than electronic requests. In the case of staff and PhD students, the photocopy will be automatically posted to your departmental address. Non-PhD students must collect photocopies from the Library Issue Desk. You will receive an email when your document is ready for collection.
The book loan period varies according to the library lending us the item, and renewal may not be possible. Please help us to keep in good standing with other libraries by returning items promptly.
We will send you a reminder to return overdue items, but if the item is not returned within one week of a final demand notice, you will be liable for replacement costs. As of April 2013, the replacement charge from the British Library is £147.20 (of which £73.60 is refundable if the exact item is replaced or the original turns up after the invoice is raised), so it is important to return your items promptly.
You can keep prints of articles and chapters indefinitely, but please note the time restrictions associated with printing documents delivered electronically (see above).
For enquiries about the Interlibrary Loans service, contact:
Tel: 023 9284 3228
Fax: 023 9284 3233