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Inter-Library Loans: How many ILLs can I request?

Is there an annual limit for the number of ILL items I can request?

There are annual and concurrent limits for the number of ILL items that we supply to each of our students, researchers and staff (see tables below). This helps our workflow so that we can manage and process the requests more effectively for our users.

To help us to continue to deliver an excellent service to you, please remember the following top tips:

  1. Always provide us with as much information as possible about the book or journal article you require, so that we can quickly trace which UK library may hold that item.
  2. Allow at least 14 days for the item to arrive at DMU for collection, or for the item to be digitised and made available for downloading. The holding library will get it to us as soon as they can, but make sure you have allowed enough time for you to make use of the item when it arrives.
  3. Remember to check your email on a daily basis; when the item arrives, you have a limited time to collect the book (libraries only loan books to us for a few weeks) or journal article (if it is sent in electronic format you only have 30 days to download it before the link expires). We will not re-request any item a second time as this may infringe Copyright laws.
  4. If you do not collect three or more items that you have requested through the ILLs service, we will not process any further requests from you unless there are genuine, extenuating reasons for this, so please ensure that you do collect your requested items promptly.
User category Maximum number of ILL items supplied each Academic Year*
Limits on the number of ILL items we can supply to you each Academic Year
1st and 2nd year Undergraduates ILL requests are not permitted**
3rd and 4th year Undergraduates Up to 25 ILL items may be supplied
Taught Postgraduates Up to 25 ILL items may be supplied
Postgraduate Research Students Up to 25 ILL items may be supplied
DMU Staff Up to 25 ILL items may be supplied

* If you need to request further ILL item(s) from another library, and you have already used up your annual entitlement, please contact your Subject Librarian before placing your request.

** 1st and 2nd year undergraduates should contact their Subject Librarian if they need access to ILL items, and permission will be granted if there are exceptional circumstances. However, 2nd year undergraduates may submit ILL requests from the beginning of the Summer Term of their course, in preparation for their Final Year dissertation, without needing to refer to their Subject Librarian.

How many ILL items can I request at one time?

We have a limit on the number of Inter-Library Loan (ILL) items that you can request and have outstanding at any one time. This is to allow us time to process the request, to locate which library in the UK may hold the item you want, to request and obtain that item, and also to enable us to provide a good service to all our customers who are using the service. Please check that your ILL request is within these limits before submitting your request.

Once we have processed your initial batch of requests and after you have collected/downloaded the items, we can then process further requests if you have them, again within the concurrent limit.

Limits on the number of outstanding ILL requests
User Category Maximum number of concurrent ILL requests per person
1st and 2nd year Undergraduates ILL requests are not permitted*
3rd and 4th year Undergraduates 5
Taught Postgraduates 5
Postgraduate Research Students 10**
DMU Staff 10**

*    1st and 2nd year undergraduates should contact their Subject Librarian if they need access to ILL items, and permission will be granted if there are exceptional circumstances. However, 2nd year undergraduates may submit ILL requests from the beginning of the Summer Term of their course, in preparation for their Final Year dissertation, without needing to refer to their Subject Librarian.

**   Requests for additional concurrent items may be agreed if they are needed for your research; please contact your Subject Librarian to discuss this.

Are there any other conditions?

In addition to the limits detailed on this page, we cannot process your ILL request if one or both of the following apply:

  • you owe £15.01 or more in Library Charges
  • you have any items on loan that are overdue.

Will I be charged for requesting an ILL?

Free ILL requests

It is free for eligible DMU staff, visiting academics, researchers, and students to request ILLs for academic purposes.

Charges for uncollected items

If three ILL items are not collected/downloaded before the expiry date on the item, we will suspend your eligibility to request ILL items. We will not process any further requests from you for items from other libraries, unless you contact us to let us know of extenuating circumstances.

Charges for overdue or lost items

You will be charged overdue fees of £5.25 for each ILL item that is not returned to us by the Due Date. This is because we have to pay for both the original loan of the item, and any further charges if it subsequently goes overdue.

Also there are substantial charges that you will have to pay for any items that are lost or damaged whilst in your possession, so please take care of any ILL items supplied to you.