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Library Document Delivery Services: Inter-Library Loans


Members of the University can use the Inter-Library Loans service to request items such as books, journal articles, theses, conference proceedings, reports, standards and patents. The service is paid for from the Library’s materials fund. The requested items should be for academic work. Please contact us if you need an item for commercial purposes, including commercial research. 

If you need a large number of items for research projects, assignments, or systematic reviews, please get in touch with your Subject Librarian to discuss your requirements first.

You can use the Inter-Library Loans service to request an item that is not available in the Library's print or electronic collections.

Search the library catalogue to find and access many prints and online books, journal articles, and more.

You can make three types of requests:

  • An article from a journal or a chapter from a book/eBook in digital format.
    *Please note that copyright restrictions apply. We can only provide one article or one chapter per issue/book (or 5% of the total pages of the book)
  • An entire physical print book on loan from another library or a whole journal issue on loan from another library
  • A thesis, a dissertation, or a conference paper.

How to Start?

*Currently, the British Library is facing technical issues. However, you can still request materials by using the catalogue or our forms (see information below). Please postpone the registration process with the British Library for the time being. 

How do I make a request? For more information click on each heading in the following row of tabs

Step 1:

If you would like to request a book or a whole journal issue, or you need a blank form to request other material, a thesis, dissertation, or conference paper, submit an Inter-Library Loan request (Be aware that this form doesn’t automatically fill in the fields of the form). Please provide as many details as possible to help us process your request.

We will contact you by email as soon as we receive the item from our suppliers.

Step 2:

Collect printed items.

Once you have received your confirmation email, you can collect your hard copy inter-library loan from the Library Hold/Reservation shelves on the second floor.

Digital Requests Overview:

The Inter-Library service is using a new and improved system for a speedier delivery of digital documents (articles, papers, chapters) directly to your University email account.

Step 1: Sign in to your library account (Library Catalogue).

Remember to sign in with your University username and password.

Step 2: Make sure that you cannot access the material online.

Please check our Library Catalogue (link above) to ensure that we don't already have the material you require.

Step 3: You can start your search for digital material directly in the Library catalogue.

Use the search window to add the relevant bibliographic information. If the search doesn't yield any results, click on Expand My Results under the Filter my results section.

Image of the Library catalogue with the text: Expand my results

Step 4: From the catalogue, request a digital Inter-Library Loan.

If No full text available is displayed, scroll down to the Shelf Locations section and select Request this item from another library.

Image of the Library catalogue

Step 5: Click on Request this item from another library.

The citation details are automatically filled in. Read and tick the box to accept the copyright declaration, and click the Request button.

Image of the Library Catalogue and Interlibrary loans digital form

Alternatively to this process, you can directly start your search for digital material on your database of choice.

Find the material using databases such as Web of Science, Scopus or Google Scholar, then click on the Library Links button. This action will take you next to the Library Catalogue to the second part of Step 3.

Image of a page of the Web of Science database


Step 6: If you're still unable to locate the item even after expanding your search in the catalogue, you still can complete and submit an Inter-Library Loan request form with the link below.

Step 7: Contact the Library team if you have any questions.

The Inter-Library Loans team is here to help you. Please let us know if you have any issues requesting digital material or need an update on your request.


Tel: +44 (0)1225 386583

Post: The Library, 2.15, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK


What can I request?

You can make three types of requests:

  • Books and whole Journal issues
  • Digital articles and eBook chapters (either 5% of the total book pages or 1 chapter, 1 article).
  • Theses, dissertations and conference papers

Who doesn't need to register with On Demand?

Our external and alumni members do not need to register. 

What happens if I forget my British Library username and password?

The British Library maintains your registration details.  

You can request your username and password here.

I have completed the registration process but my username and password are not recognised?

It can take a few moments for your registration details to be processed at the British Library. Please wait five minutes and try again. 

Will all my requests be fulfilled electronically?

No. Whole books and journal issues will need to be collected from the Collections shelf in the Library foyer, on Level 2. Please note: these items will already have been checked out onto your library account. Digitised book chapters and journal articles will arrive by email.

How many times can I print the document?

You can download the file from the original link up to 30 days after receiving the email from the British Library. This file can be saved on your PC and then accessed for a further 3 years. Due to copyright restrictions, you may only print one copy. 

Can I share my article or book chapter with my classmates/students?

No. Inter-Library Loans are for your personal and private study only. If the chapter/article is required for teaching (e.g., appears on a reading list) then lecturers should make a Library Scanning Service for Teaching Staff request.

What happens if I place a request and I haven't registered with On Demand?

If you haven't registered and you receive an electronic file from the British Library, you will be prompted to register at that point. You must register with the British Library in order to open their files. 

Can I make an Inter-Library Loan request if I'm an alumni or external member?

Yes, as long as you have joined the Library as a member. There is information on joining as an alumni or as an external member on these pages.

Alumni and external members of the Library can use the service for a fee of £12.99 per request.

Visit the Inter-Library Loans office to pick up a paper Inter-Library Loans request form or download the request form, fill it out, and return it to

Contact us.


Tel: +44 (0)1225 386583

Post: The Library, 2.15, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK