Requesting books and other resources unavailable at SHU

If you need a book, journal article or other resource that is not immediately available at Sheffield Hallam, you can make a Document Supply Services request and we will try to get you a copy via inter library loan from another library.

Please check Library Search first to see whether we already hold a copy.

Library Search

You can use Library Search to find material beyond our own collections, and also make a Document Supply Services Request

  1. Make sure you are signed in and run a search for the item you need
  2. If you don't find it in the search results, click the Show resources unavailable at SHU tick box
  3. If you then see the item you want, select the Request options tab underneath the title and then click on Document Supply Services Request
  4. A form will open on the screen with the item's details filled in automatically
  5. Choose the Pickup/delivery location and tick that you have read the copyright declaration
  6. Click on the Request button at the bottom

DSS request formIf you don't see the item you want in the search results please use this request form. Please complete a separate form for each resource you are requesting (unless you are asking for more than one article from the same issue of a journal, in which case we will borrow the whole journal).

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

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?

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. You can collect your Document Supply books from the Helpdesk during staffed hours or from Library Reception desks outside of staffed hours.

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. However, 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

Fines and other charges

Fines will be charged on overdue items. 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.

Who should I contact if there is a problem with my request?

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