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What is the Document Delivery Service?

The Document Delivery Service is used to request books which are not available from any of the University's three Libraries, as well as journal articles which you cannot obtain from your own campus library or from the extensive  e-journals collection.

Before requesting material via document delivery, always check the Library Catalogue (for books, e-books and print journals) and USearch (for databases and e-journals) first to make sure the Library cannot already provide it from its resources.

What are the terms and conditions of use?

Your document delivery request is governed by the following terms and conditions, which must be agreed to before submitting a request.

Copyright declaration for article requests:

I hereby request you to supply me with a copy of the item specified which I require for the purpose of research or private study. I declare that:

  1. I have not previously been supplied with the same material by any librarian
  2. I will not use the copy except for research for a non-commercial purpose or private study
  3. I will not supply a copy of it to any other person
  4. To the best of my knowledge no other person with whom I work or study has made, or intends to make, at or about the same time as this request, a request for substantially the same material for substantially the same purpose.
  5. I understand that if this declaration is false in a material particular the copy supplied to me will be an infringing copy and that I shall be liable for infringement as if I had made the copy myself.

Document Delivery Request Terms and Conditions

  • The Document Delivery Office will process your request within 2 working days of receipt. Please allow approximately two weeks for supply of the item, although most requests, especially those electronically, will arrive within days. Please note it is not possible to guarantee delivery within a specific time or on a certain date. It is advisable not to submit requests for loans prior to leaving Ulster University on extended leave or fieldwork, as the material may arrive while you are away.
  • The Document Delivery Service supports academic work undertaken by staff and students of the Ulster University. We are unable to process requests relating to work or study that is not connected with the university.
  • The Ulster University Library holds document delivery requests securely and will keep request details for the period of seven years as required by the terms and conditions of the British Library and the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Who can use the Service?

All current students and staff of the University who are in 'good standing' (i.e. no overdue books or outstanding fines) may use the service. If you are a student on a Distance Learning programme, additional support information is available, including the specifics of using the document delivery service for your mode of study.

The service is not available for Alumni or Civic Access borrowers.

How many document delivery requests can I make?

Weekly limits may apply for document delivery requests. Undergraduate and postgraduate students may normally request a total of 4 items per week. Research students and academic staff may request a total of 8 items per week.

Are there any limits to what I can request?

Copies: According to the Copyright licensing Agency (CLA) students and members of staff can request copies 'within clearly defined limits'.  In practice you will normally be able to request one article from a single issue of a journal, one paper from the published proceedings of a conference, one chapter from a book or 10% of the publication, whichever is the greater.

Loans: We will try to borrow a copy of books requested from The British Library and other UK libraries, although in some cases we may not be able to borrow what you have asked for.  Please note that we are unable to facilitate the loan of an eBook but we may be able to source one individual chapter from an eBook.

How do I make a document delivery request?

Requests can be made using the online request form (you will need to log in to view this form). A guide to completing your online request is available.

How do I receive my request?

A notification will be sent from InterLibraryLoans-[Campus] to your Ulster email address once the item has arrived.

All loanable material (e.g. books) is collected from the Library. The length of the loan of a document delivery item varies, as it is at the discretion of the lending library. Please ensure the item is returned by the date given, but if you need to extend a loan please contact your document delivery office. It is advisable to return any document delivery loans before going on leave or fieldwork. Some items may be supplied to us marked for Library Use Only. In this event you will not be able to borrow them but may consult them in the Library during the loan period.

All journal articles are delivered electronically by default via email and will include details of how to access your article. Your article will be provided as either a PDF, or for access via a secure link. There is often a 30-day limit in relation to the length of time you can access the item that you have requested. Please note that library staff are unable to recover the article for you after the limit has been reached.

Can I renew a document delivery loan?

Document Delivery material may be renewed subject to agreement from the lending library. However, it should be noted that renewals are totally at the discretion of the lending library and there is no guarantee that they will be permitted. Please contact your Document Delivery office for further information. Please note, however, that document delivery items are subject to recall at any time.  You can check the return date by logging in to your library account.

In Demand, Overdue, or Lost Items

Ulster staff and students will receive email notification of overdue and in demand items.

The British Library charges a minimum of £214.30 for the replacement of items which are long overdue, damaged or lost. This cost is charged to the borrower responsible and includes a non-refundable administrative charge of £107.15, even if the book is subsequently returned.

Items in demand which are not returned promptly will also incur the above charges.

Can I view a list of the document delivery items I have already received?

If you need details of the requests you have made in the current academic year please contact your Document Delivery Office.

How do I check the progress of a document delivery request?

You can check the progress of your document delivery requests using the Library Catalogue.  To do so:

  • Select the My Account option and log-in with your campus card number.
  • Once in the My Account area you will see a heading of 'Document Delivery Requests' where you can see details of your 'active' requests and their status, for example, if an item is waiting for you to collect.
  • If you have borrowed a Document Delivery item you are able to view the details of the item and return date in the 'Loans' area of the My Account page.
  • If you still have a query regarding your Document Delivery requests please contact our Document Delivery Team.

How do I know what the 'status' of a Document Delivery is?

You can easily check the status of a Document Delivery request by logging into the My Account area of the Library Catalogue with your campus card number. Under the 'Document Delivery Requests' heading you will see a list of any 'active' i.e. outstanding Document Delivery requests. Under the 'status' column you will be able to see the progress of your request:

Status of books and materials that are sent to the library for you to borrow:

  • Pending - when your request has been added to the library system but is waiting to be approved and sent to the supplying library.
  • Requested - when your request has been sent to the supplying library but the item has not yet been received by us.
  • Received - when we have received your item and informed you by email to your University email account that it is ready to collect but you have not yet collected it.
  • On loan - when you have borrowed the item.
  • Reapply - sometimes if an item is not yet published or available we will be asked to reapply for it after the publication date.

Status of copies of articles and papers:

  • Pending - when your request has been added to the library system but is waiting to be approved and sent to our supplier.
  • Requested- when your request has been sent to our supplier and is in the process of being supplied to you.
  • Reapply - sometimes if an item is not yet published or available we will be asked to reapply for it after the publication date.

I no longer need an item I've requested. Can I cancel it?

If you no longer require an item that you have requested please contact your Document Delivery Office and we will check if it is possible to cancel it.  Unfortunately, depending on the progress of the request this may not always be possible.

EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service)

EThOS is the new way to access UK doctoral theses. Rather than making a request via the document delivery service you simply go to the EThOS website, create your own free account and start searching.

In many instances a thesis can be instantly downloaded to your computer. An order can be placed for items not immediately available however charges may apply.  You may search the entire collection to see the range of dissertations, or limit your search to those items available for immediate download. Select any full-text dissertations you require and add to the basket.

If you are using the Index to Theses database, click on the holdings information link on the bottom right of the abstract result page. This will link to additional information, including whether a thesis is available via EThOS or possibly via that university's own Institutional Repository (with a link to the full-text where available). For more information, please contact the Document Delivery staff on your campus.