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Inter Library Loans (ILLs)

How to get hold of books and journal articles that we do not have access to at UH

Requesting books, articles, reports, conference papers, and theses not held at UH

What is an Inter Library Loan (ILL)

How do I request an Inter Library Loan (ILL) 

TOP TIPS for quick and easy journal article requests

Item request FAQs

What is an Inter Library Loan (ILL)?

When that essential journal article, report, or book 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 other libraries such as the British Library All registered students and staff at the University can use the service to support their university work or study.

  • Before requesting an item, please check Library Search to make sure that you can't access the item you want immediately from the library's own collections.

  • You can then submit a request via our Online Request Form.  Log in using the same details that you use to log in to university services and computers - your UH username and password.

  • We use a range of services and other Libraries to supply articles and book chapters (in PDF formats), and print books book chapters.

  • By placing a request, you are agreeing to your email address being sent to both RapidILL and the British Library for the sole purpose of supplying your request.

  • Before requesting print books ensure that your library account is not blocked for any reason, as print loans cannot be checked out to a blocked account.

  • Books will take at least a week to arrive and can only be collected from the LRC Welcome Desk during staffed hours.  They will not be available electronically. If the Welcome Desk is not staffed then please go to an Information Point phone to contact the Helpdesk and let them  you have come to collect an Inter Library loan. You will need to show your ID card, books cannot be issued without a valid ID card in the name of the requester.

How do request an Inter Library Loan (ILL)?

If the item is not held at the University, follow the instructions below to place your request.

  1. Access the ILL Request form directly, or by accessing your Library Account by clicking on Online Library on the top menu bar of StudyNet.

  2. Log in using the same details that you use to log in to university computers- your UH username and password

  3. Click on the Request an Inter Library Loan (ILL) link

  4. Click on Create a New Request

  5. Confirm that your request is Copyright Compliant

  6. Select either Article, Book, Book Chapter, or Thesis from the drop-down menu

  7. Complete the relevant fields.  Conference papers and reports can be requested as an Article or a Book Chapter if published in a book.

  8. When completed, click on the 'Make Request' button at the bottom of the page.

ILL articles, reports, book chapters, and conference papers will be delivered to you electronically

ILL print book request: additional information

  • Complete the form with as much information as you have available.
  • Include Book Title, Author, ISBN, and year of publication if possible.
  • We regret that requests with insufficient detail may not be processed.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Books can only be collected from the LRC Welcome Desk during staffed hours, currently Monday to Friday 10.00 – 16.00.
  • Confirmation of your request will appear in your Library Account as soon as you have submitted it.  
  • Please contact the Helpdesk if confirmation is not received on your account or if you can’t complete a request.  
  • Inter Library book loans should be returned using the black Book Returns Boxes at College Lane or de Havilland LRCs. These are next to the self-issue/returns machines near the entrance.  

Theses: additional information

  • The Electronic Theses Online System (EThOS) offers free access to the full text of UK theses.
  • If the Thesis is not available in full text we can request it is scanned, but this can take several months.
  • Complete the form with as much information as you have available

TOP TIPS for quick and easy journal article requests:

Use the DOI

  • Cut and paste the DOI into the DOI field and this auto-populates the whole form!!!

Add the ISSN

  • If you don’t have the DOI please add the ISSN if you have it as this really speeds up your request!
  • The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is an eight-digit number that identifies periodical publications as such, including electronic serials. Often, the ISSN for the Journal is listed in the article's record /bibliographic information alongside the title, author, journal name, date, etc.
  • If your article request is really urgent it's even worth searching this database for the Journal’s ISSN -

Item request FAQs:

When will I receive my requested journal article?

  • Depending on availability, journal articles will be delivered to your email in approximately one to five working days.
  • The more information you add the quicker it will be processed. Adding the journal ISSN is particularly important. 
  • If your request is not available you will be notified by email from the ILL team (

How long will it take for my print book to arrive? 

  • Books may take one to two weeks, you will be notified by email when it is available to collect, or if your book is not available.
  • If it is already on loan, we will give you an approximate delivery date. 

How can I check what Inter Library loans I have and the progress of any requests?

  • Log into your Library Account, and go to 'check my library account'
  • Any items you have requested will be displayed under the Inter-Library Loan tab.

How will I know when my requested book has arrived?

  • When a book you requested has arrived, an email notification that your request is ready for collection will be sent to your email account.
  • If additional information is required, or there is a delay in supplying the item you will receive an email with this information.

How will I receive my requested document?

  • You will receive an email with a link to a PDF or PDF attachment.
  • You should download and save the document as soon as possible as the link will expire after 30 days.
  • Note! We suggest you rename your downloaded PDF with the article name, so it is easier to find in your downloads later. 

How long can I borrow the item? 

  • Most items that are borrowed are generally loaned for three to four weeks from the date when they leave the British Library.
  • Collect your request promptly to gain the maximum loan period.
  • Occasionally the British Library may lend items for reference only use. You will only be able to refer to these in the Learning Resources Centre, where they will be kept for the same loan period as for a loanable book. 
  • In particular circumstances, it may be possible to renew Inter-library loans. Please request by email to a week before the book is due back, although you should be aware that this incurs a further charge to the University. 

What if I lose an item or return it late? 

  • If you lose an item on loan to you or it is returned late, the British Library will impose substantial charges, in excess of £185 per item, which includes a non-returnable administrative charge.
  • These charges will be added to your Library Account.
  • Please ensure items are returned promptly to avoid these charges. 

Where should I return my Inter Library loan books? 

  • Inter Library book loans should be placed inside one of the black Book Returns Boxes at College Lane or de Havilland LRCs. These are next to the self-issue/returns machines near the entrance.  
  • They will be taken off your library account by the next working day, please check and email if this does not happen. 

What happens if the British Library cannot supply my book request? 

  • If the British Library cannot supply a book, we will apply to another institution; you will be notified via your email account if an item is unavailable for loan. 




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