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Interlibrary loans

Material not held at Brunel can be requested via our Inter Library Loan service. Complete an Inter Library Loan form which will be sent through to the Library team.  Journal articles and photocopies from conference proceedings can be sent through the post or via Secure Electronic Delivery. Books and other material have to be collected from the Library.

We try to obtain material from UK sources, the British Library, in the first instance as this is generally quicker but can apply abroad if necessary.

There is a charge for this service so please ensure that you have checked the University Library’s resources before applying. You can check:

You only pay for material that is supplied: there is no charge for failed requests; however, we cannot cancel requests once submitted. We are dependent on items being on the shelf at other libraries at the time we apply and although the vast majority of items are supplied within 2-3 days we cannot give you a cast iron guarantee to supply items within a specified time. Books and monographs are usually sent to the library and we will notify you by email when they are ready to be collected.

Journal articles can be sent electronically by Secure Electronic Delivery or to the address on your library account.

Your local public library may also be able to offer Inter Library Loan services. This may be of particular benefit to distance learners.

Secure electronic delivery

You can receive your journal articles or conference papers direct to your desktop via the British Library's Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) service.

Rather than receiving a photocopy in the post you will be sent an email carrying a link to your article as an encrypted PDF document.

The advantages of this service include:

  • Cost: It is slightly cheaper than requesting a print copy.
  • Convenience: Articles can be accessed from your preferred email account wherever you are.
  • Speed: Cutting out postal and courier deliveries means that you receive your articles sooner.
  • Quality: Articles are scanned to order providing high quality reproduction.

How to access this service

You will need a recent version of Adobe Reader and the FileOpen Plug-in on the PC you intend to use to receive your documents. University PCs already have these as part of the standard desktop.

However, if you want to open your documents elsewhere you may have to download free versions of both from the Internet: Adobe Reader, FileOpen plug-in.

You can check your PC is set up correctly by attempting to open a test document on the British Library's web pages.

Important things you need to know

When you receive the email from the British Library the link to your article will remain live for 30 days.

Unfortunately, owing to Copyright Restrictions you are only able to print your document once. In theory you can print your document up to 14 days after the original download, but this only applies on your own computer, not to machines in public use such as those in the Library and Computing Centre.

We strongly recommend that you print your document as soon as you open it and check your printer has enough paper and toner before attempting to do so. If your printer fails or jams please contact Inter-library Loans and we will attempt to re-supply.

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Tip: if you try to print your article and the print icon is not enabled, save the document to your C: or D: drive and close it. When you use Adobe Reader to open it, printing should be enabled this time, provided you have the FileOpen plug-in.

Cost of Inter Library Loans

Costs effective from August 1st, 2017

Item Cost
Mail delivery of a journal article (post) £10.60
Electronic delivery of a journal article (email)* £6.24*
Electronic delivery of a journal article - scanned from print (email)* £10.92*
Loan of a book or journal issue £14.65
Renewal of a loan £4.75
Worldwide search (if an item is not available in the UK) £55.00
UK theses« «
US/Canadian theses available through the ProQuest service £23.00
Theses from abroad and US/Canadian theses not available through ProQuest £55.00‡
  • Electronic delivery * Please note we are unable to clarify which price the electronic delivery will be until it has been supplied
  • Worldwide search (if an item is not available in the UK) Please note we are unable to clarify the exact price for a worldwide search until it has been supplied - £55.00 is an estimate but it may be lower or higher depending on what the charge is levied by the library supplying the document
  • UK theses « Please refer to Finding British theses for details
  • Theses from abroad and US/Canadian theses not available through ProQuest Please note we are unable to clarify the exact price for such a thesis until it has been supplied - £55.00 is an approximate price - please refer to Finding international theses for details