Requesting Resources not in SHU Collections

You can use the Library's Document Supply Services to request books, book chapters, journal articles or other resources not available at Sheffield Hallam.

How to make a request using Document Supply

  • Search for the item you require in Library Search
  • Select 'Expand search beyond SHU collections' from the refine my results options.
  • When the item is found, select 'Request via Document Supply Services'. This will prepopulate the form for you with the details of the resources you are requesting. 
  • Check that the information on the form is correct, read the declaration and tick the box to confirm, then use the send request button to submit.

Request a thesis

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

What if I can't find the item I need using Library Search - Expand beyond SHU collections?

If you are unable to find the item you require in the expanded Library search, you may use the DSS request form. To avoid delays, complete all relevant information on the form and do not use abbreviations, e.g. for journal titles. Please note that you will need to include the ISSN for journal article requests, whicih can be found by searching the ISSN Portal.

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. 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?

Access to journal articles and book chapters will be sent to you via email. Electronic files from the British Library may be sent via Secure Electronic Delivery (SED).

We will notify you by email when books arrive. Document supply books are self-service, and users will be able to collect their loans from the hold requests shelves at Adsetts and Collegiate. Document supply books are 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 Hallam Help Point 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.

Contact us

DocumentSupplyServices@shu.ac.uk