Inter-library loans


If you require access to a book or journal article that is not available in the university E-resource subscriptions, or physically at one of the UHI partner libraries, it's usually possible to obtain the item by inter-library loan. The library can borrow books and purchase photocopies of journal articles from the British Library and other HE institutions involved in the scheme.

Who can use this service?

All staff and students can request materials they require for their coursework or academic research. Requests for materials unrelated to academic work will not be accepted.

Before requesting a loan

  • Please remember to check the item is not already available on the library catalogue or via the E-journal gateway.
  • Ensure there is nothing else suitable in our current electronic resource subscriptions (please ask library staff for advice if you’re unsure).

How much does it cost?

Each loan costs the library between £10 - £15. Only items that are essential to your research and teaching should be requested. The following charges apply:

  • First 5 requests = no charge.
  • Subsequent requests will be charged at the full rate.
  • The British Library currently charge around £125 for any unreturned/damaged books.

How long do they take to arrive?

This depends on the location of the item:

  • Unless it is on loan elsewhere, book loans usually arrive within a week. It can take considerably longer if requests are placed on their waiting list.
  • Journals articles held by the British Library should also arrive in around one week. Again, if the request has to be forwarded to another library it can take several weeks.

Can I renew borrowed items?

Yes, but any renewals will count towards your free entitlement. Please contact the library at least 3 days before the item due date if you wish to keep it for longer.

Can I copy the articles?

Articles are intended for individual use only. If you are a member of staff and require a digitised version for use on the VLE you must state this when ordering. It is necessary to order a copyright-cleared version at an additional cost (usually an extra £10 - £60).

How do I request an article/loan?

Email the bibliographic details to and clearly state it's an Inter-library loan.

Include as many of the bibliographic details (title, author, publisher) as you can, along with your student or staff number. You might also want to check the British Library catalogue) before making a request, as the majority of requests are obtained from there.

Please contact the library if you require any further detail.