Requesting books and other resources not in SHU collections

You can use Document Supply Services to obtain books, journal articles or other resources not available at Sheffield Hallam.

Request books and articles using Document Supply Services

Use document supply services to request a book or journal article. Document Supply Services have resumed supplying physical copies of books. However, there may be delays in supply times as this is a reciprocal service and is dependent on other libraries resuming their services to supply books

Request an item using our DSS request form.

DSS request form

Request a thesis - Please note this is not currently available due to Covid-19.

You can use the British Library's EThOS service to find and request theses from other British universities. It's free for most items; if you are asked for payment or would like a thesis that is not listed in EThOS, please contact the Document Supply Services Team.

Frequently asked questions

How many requests can I make?

There is no limit, but bear in mind that the service is expensive, so try to be selective and do not abuse it. Before requesting an item, please make sure that it is the correct source and is relevant to your studies. Google Books provides useful previews to help you decide.

How long will I have to wait for a DSS request to arrive?

Most items arrive within 10 working days. Please note the service has been recently restarted and their may be additional delays as we rely on partner libraries to be able to supply items. Delays can happen if:

  • the details of your request are insufficient
  • the item is on loan to another library
  • we have to apply to another library

How will I receive my requests?

All journal articles from The British Library will now be sent to you via Secure Electronic Delivery (SED). This means that, instead of receiving a printed article, you will get an email which contains a link to your article. We will notify you by email when your books arrive. 

Document supply books will now be self-service, and users will be able to collect their loans from the hold requests shelves at Adsetts and Collegiate. Document supply books will be in brown paper bags and already checked out to users’ accounts, so they do not need to be issued at  self-issue machines. The books can then be returned via the Returns machines as a normal book loan would be.

How will I be informed about the progress of my request?

If there are likely to be any delays we will contact you. Any communications regarding your DSS request will automatically be sent to your SHU email address.

How long can I keep DSS loans?

Most items that we obtain on your behalf will be issued to you and will have a return date clearly displayed. Issue length can vary according to the supplier and the demand; however, the issue length is often around 3 weeks. Some items may be reference only. Document Supply Services loans cannot be renewed. It is important that you return any items you have borrowed to the library Helpdesk by the return date.

Are there items that can't be obtained by Document Supply Services?

We can obtain most academic books and journals, but we may not able to obtain some items, for example:

  • expensive market research reports
  • internal company reports
  • unpublished reports
  • unpublished papers from conferences or meeting
  • some international references

Will I be charged if I don't return an item on time?

Fines will be charged on overdue items at a rate of £2 a day. These books do not belong to Sheffield Hallam University, and as such borrowers are liable for replacement costs and/or admin charges if a DSS loan is not returned or is lost.

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