The resources of libraries throughout the UK and the world are made available through the Inter-Library Loan (ILL) network.

We obtain ILLs from a number of sources, the chief source being the British Library (BL). Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about our Inter-Library Loan service.

Our Inter-Library Loan service is available to:

  • Current staff and students of the University of Dundee
  • Library members covered by the Service Level Agreement with NHS Tayside.

Staff and students from other universities should apply through their home institution. All others should apply through their local Public Library.

You may apply for an ILL when you need a book, journal or journal article not held in our collection for private study or for research for a non-commercial purpose. To avoid unnecessary expenditure, we recommend that you check that the item is not held at another local library such as the University of Abertay or the Public Library.

If your request is for a commercial purpose, contact us for an application form (it is not possible to apply online for a commercial photocopy). Please be aware that copyright clearance charges will apply.

In 2017/18 Inter-Library Loans cost the Library over £19,000. The loan of a book for instance costs £15.40, every renewal of a loan costs £5.10, and the PDF of a journal article costs £9.55.

However, the Library & Learning Centre absorbs these charges so the service is free to you.

  • Applications are all made online
  • First use Library Search to check that the book you require is not already available through the Library & Learning Centre; ask Library staff if you are not sure
  • Having signed-in to your account on Library Search, click on the 'Inter-Library Loan' tab at the top of the page (if you are not signed-in the tab will be visible but not clickable)
  • Select Citation type 'Book'
  • Enter as much information as you can
  • Complete the Delivery Information section of the form (books will be delivered in a Physical format for pickup at one of our sites) 
  • Click 'Request'
  • Applications for the purposes of private study or non-commercial research are all made online
  • First use Library Search to check that the article you require is not already available through the Library & Learning Centre; ask Library staff if you are not sure
  • Having signed-in to your account on Library Search, click on the 'Inter-Library Loan' tab at the top of the page (if you are not signed-in the tab will be visible but not clickable)
  • Select Citation type 'Article'
  • Enter as much information as you can
  • Complete the Delivery Information section of the form (the default method of delivery for journal articles and single chapters from books will be Digital because this is both faster and less expensive) 
  • Click 'Request'

Since journal articles sourced from the British Library are supplied as encrypted PDFs (a method known as secure electronic delivery), you will need to register for the BL's On Demand service. University of Dundee student and staff desktops already have the fully compatible Adobe Acrobat Reader DC installed, but if you wish to access the PDF on a personal device you will need to have a recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (v10 or above).

To help you, we have also provided answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about secure electronic delivery.

We process requests and forward them to the British Library (BL) every day, Monday to Friday. The BL handles around 10,000 ILL requests on an average day and deals with them in strict rotation, but the majority of items are despatched from there within 24 to 48 hours of a request being sent to them.

Requests routed to other UK libraries may arrive very quickly, perhaps within a week, but requests to a library overseas may take several months.

There may be a delay if the item is already out on loan, or in high demand, and our request has been added to a waiting list. We are normally notified if a long delay is likely, and we will pass this information on to you.

It is illegal to obtain ILL copies of more than one article from the same issue of a journal. If you want more than one article we must apply for copyright clearance, for which there is an additional fee levied by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Alternatively you can apply to borrow the relevant journal issue. It is worth noting however that the British Library will not lend journal issues less than 6 months old.

Copyright regulations are legally binding and both we and the lending library must ensure that readers' requests comply with them.

Doctoral research theses are made available through the British Library Electronic Theses Online Service, and for these you should apply directly to EThOS. Please email the Library if they are unable to supply.

An email will be sent to you as soon as a loan item arrives at your chosen LLC site. Please collect items promptly as they can only be kept for a limited period. Inter-Library Loans are not left on the open Hold Request shelves and you will have to ask for assistance at the InfoZone or Enquiry Desk. Check Help Services hours to avoid self-service only periods.

Virtually all single journal articles are sent as encrypted PDFs and notification, including a link to the document itself, will be sent to the email address you registered with the British Library. You have 30 days to download the document.

Reference use only items (e.g. journals, rare or expensive books) are often loaned by the owning institution only on condition that we keep them in our Library at all times. Please ask for assistance at the InfoZone or Enquiry Desk, avoiding self-service only periods.

Books obtained on Inter-Library Loan are issued for 4 weeks. There will be a slip attached to the item specifying the date on which it must be returned to us.

It is advisable to return all ILLs promptly as a fine may be charged by the owning library and this will be passed on to you. The fines levied by the British Library, as well as their charges for lost or damaged items, are very substantial.

Unless an item is required by someone else, most loans can be renewed. To request a renewal, please email the Library or phone (01382) 384086 just before the due date, and quote the request number. We will email you as soon as we can to let you know whether the request was successful.

Please remember that every renewal of a loan from the British Library costs us £5.10.

If you receive a recall notice for an ILL item please return it immediately, even if you have renewed it. A recall means that the supplying library has received further requests for the item.

Once an application has been sent to the British Library, or another potential supplier, it can normally only be cancelled if they notify us that there is a long waiting list or that they cannot trace the item. In these cases we will contact you and ask if you wish to cancel.

We are happy to consider requests from institutions within the UK, and from the Republic of Ireland and overseas.

Photocopy requests must comply with current copyright regulations, and be of a non-commercial nature. We are unable to provide commercial copies to other libraries; for these you should contact British Library On Demand.

Charges for supplying material are kept in line with current British Library pricing and will be claimed through the BL at regular intervals.

Most books can be lent, but there are the following exceptions:

  • 1 and 7 day loan
  • Reference
  • Journal parts/volumes
  • Special collections

Email your request, quoting your BL account number and request number, to LLC-ILL@dundee.ac.uk.

 

*In the case of overseas libraries, we would prefer payment using IFLA vouchers or by credit card. If neither option is possible, we will send an invoice which is payable in advance of supply.