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Interlibrary loans

New service for managing Inter Library Loans from 1 June 2018

Find out more about the new service

From 1 June 2018, the Inter Library Loans team introduced a new service for receiving articles electronically, called DRM Lite.  

The British Library’s DRM Lite service is an electronic delivery method that allows the British Library to supply securely encrypted documents and ensure the item is used only as permitted by the rights holder. Users will need to register, with a username and password, for the On Demand service to access documents.

DRM Lite will only be available for articles that the British Library supplies.  If another library supplies the article, this will still need to be picked up from LibTech.

Before 1 June 2018, the way of accessing Inter Library Loan articles meant that your document could only be opened and saved onto one computer, using Adobe reader and a plugin called File Open.

The benefits of the new and improved service include: 

  • The documents will be locked to the user rather than a machine - so if your computer breaks down you will still have access (via the retained email or saved document) for up to three years, depending on the publisher 
  • Documents will be able to be viewed on mobile devices and tablets
  • There will be no need to download extra software (like plugins), however you will need Adobe Reader 10 or above

The Inter Library Loans team hopes that you will enjoy using the new and improved service.  If you have any questions or want further information please see the new service FAQs



Please read the Interlibrary loans COVID-19 FAQs to be aware of the currently reduced service during COVID-19. 

The Inter Library Loan service is a way of obtaining material that is not held by Brunel University London and is needed for your research and study. To request material, select the Inter Library Loans link (top right of the Library Catalogue) and complete the relevant form which will be sent through to the Library team.

Journal articles and photocopies can be sent to your email address via Secure Electronic Delivery, or can be picked up from the Library Help Desk. Books and other material have to be collected from the Library.

We are not able to guarantee a time frame for when items will arrive, as it depends on the availability of the item at either the British Library or other supplier libraries.  

Please check the University Library’s resources before applying. You can check:

 Costs effective from 1 August 2020

After a review of the interlibrary loans service, the library is introducing free interlibrary loans for all current staff and students. There are however limits to the amount of successful requests you can make per year.

Please see table below for limits and extra charges:

Interlibrary loan free request limits
 User Limit
 Staff and students  40 items

The year runs from 1 August – 31 July and the allocations cannot be carried over into the following year.

If you wish to renew an item please contact the interlibrary loans team before the item is due.  The renewal is at the discretion of the lending library and may not be successful.  Once the annual limit has been reached or you wish to request personal items the following charges will apply.

Item Cost
Mail delivery of a journal article (post) £11.50
Electronic delivery of a journal article (email)* £5.70
Electronic delivery of a journal article - scanned from print (email)* £10
Loan of a book or journal issue £16.10
Renewal of a loan £5.35
Lost or damaged Inter Library loan ** £182.80
  • * Please note we are unable to clarify which price the electronic delivery will be until it has been supplied
  • ** Please note that costs for a lost or damaged interlibrary loan will be passed on to the user.
  • For UK theses, please refer to the British Library EThOS service

If you have any queries relating to the costs, please contact the Inter Library Loans team.