Who can use the service?
- Undergraduate students in the 2nd and 3rd year of their course: up to 4 requests at a time
- Part-time undergraduate students in the 3rd, 4th and 5th year of their course: up to 4 requests at a time
- MA students: up to 8 requests at a time
- PhD or MPhil students: up to 15 requests at a time
- Staff: up to 15 requests at a time
Please be aware that there is a significant cost to the Library for each item obtained, so only place requests for items which are essential to your research.
What sort of material can I request?
You can request books, chapters, journal articles and conference papers through the Document Supply Service.
You can also use the British Library Ethos Service to view thousands of free to download PhD theses from institutions across the UK. PhD students and staff are also able to request up to 2 theses to be digitised for their research through this service.
For more information, please contact the Document Supply team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where will my items come from?
The majority of Document Supply items will be sourced from the British Library. When the British Library are unable to supply an item, we will look to see if any other UK libraries in the Document Supply network are able to lend us what you need.
How do I submit a request?
Before sending a Document Supply request, you should always check that the item you need is not on the Library catalogue or UCA Online Resources, or that we do not already have it in our print and e-journal collection. Please remember that we will only submit requests for items that we do not already have, regardless of format. If you are unsure about searching the catalogue, online resources or journal portal, ask at your campus Gateway Desk.
- Go to the Library catalogue and select the Inter Library Loan link in the top right menu.
- Log in using the number on your Student or Staff ID card and your PIN number. Unless you have changed it, your PIN will usually be the first 4 digits of your ID number.
- Select what sort of material you wish to request from the links in front of you.
- Fill in the request form with as much information as possible. The minimum information required is an author and a title. If you require a specific edition, make sure you include which edition you need, the full publication details and that you specify that it is this edition you require in the comments field. Then, click Send.
How long does it take?
On average, it takes around 10 days for the item/s to arrive. It can take considerably longer than that if we are not able to get your item from the British Library or your request is placed on a waiting list. We therefore ask that you allow a minimum of 10 working days between the date you place your request and the date by which you need your item.
How will I know what is happening with my request?
Document Supply staff will email to let you know when your request has been submitted, despatched, cancelled or delayed. Gateway staff at your campus will let you know either by phone or email when items are available for collection. Email updates will be sent to your UCA email account.
How much does it cost and does the service charge fines?
It is free for UCA Library users to request books through the Document Supply Service. Should you wish to renew your book, there is a minimum charge of £4.85.
As with all Library items, failure to return a Document Supply item on time will incur fines. You will be fined a rate of 50p per day. This rate is set by the British Library.
In addition, some British Library books will automatically renew if they exceed their due date and will incur a renewal fee of £4.85. This charge will pass on to you instead of the late fees you would ordinarily incur. A book will only automatically renew once.
If after 2 weeks you have failed to collect your items, you will be given a £1 non-collection fee and the book will be returned. If you lose your Document Supply books, the British Library charges a minimum fine of £166.20. This can increase depending on the item’s value. This charge will be passed on to you. Details of all fines relating to Document Supply items can also be found in the slip inside the front cover of the book.
How long can I borrow my items for?
The standard loan for a Document Supply book is 5 weeks from the date it is despatched from the British Library.
All loans are guaranteed for 3 weeks. After this time they can be recalled if someone else requests the book. As long as the book hasn't been requested by someone else, British Library books can be renewed (see above.)
Loan lengths can vary significantly if we have to obtain the item from elsewhere. If you are nearing the end of your loan period and you still need your book, you can apply to have it renewed for a further 3 weeks. To do this we will have to apply to the supply library. It can sometimes take several days for a library to approve a renewal and items can only be renewed if no one else has requested them. You should therefore make sure you leave enough time when requesting a renewal so that your books do not become overdue whilst you are waiting for a response. If your renewal request is declined you will have to return the book by its original due date.
Why has my request been cancelled?
Requests will be cancelled if:
- the item is not available
- you have exceeded your maximum amount of requests
- your Library fines are over £20
- the item you requested is already available through UCA Libraries.
Please note that we do not request items that we already have in either print or electronic format. The only exceptions to this rule are items that are lost or not eligible for loan between campuses (7-day loans and reference books). If your request is cancelled, Document Supply staff will email you to tell you the exact reason.