Document Supply Services


Contact Us

Document Supply Services
Information Services and Systems
Swansea University
Singleton Park
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)1792 295045
Fax: +44(0)1792 295851

The Interlibrary Loan Service

Our Interlibrary Loan Service is for students and staff who require content for private study or research that is not held by Swansea University libraries. The Interlibrary Loan Service can locate and supply a loan or copy from another institution for you.

It is free to make a request. However, the service is heavily subsidised by the Library and casual requests are discouraged. Before making a request check iFind, your Library catalogue. We will not normally apply for any item already available from the University Libraries.

Make a request

How to use the service

Who can make a request?

Staff – unlimited requests are permitted.

Undergraduate finalist and postgraduate students - requests will be monitored. Requests may be rejected if an excessive demand is placed on the service by an individual.

Requests can only be made by the individual who requires the material for their personal research or study.

  • External users are not permitted to use this service.
  • Swansea University business tenants are reminded that any copying which contributes to activities which are directly or indirectly income-generating is classed as commercial.
  • Commercial requests should be made by the individual directly with the British Library On-Demand service.

What can be requested?

We are able to obtain journal articles, loans, book chapters, some UK and American theses and conference papers from local, national and international suppliers.

International requests and thesis purchases are charged to your department on provision of a payment code from an authorised signatory.

  • Purchased theses are charged at full cost, e.g. an American thesis delivered via Proquest UMI is £30; first time digitisation via EThOS is £58.32. Previously digitised EThOS theses are free to the end user

We are not usually able to obtain:

  • Multiple journal articles from a single journal issue.  You may request a loan of the journal issue instead.
  • E-publications ahead of print, these are usually only available for purchase direct from the publisher.
  • E-books.
  • British standards, overseas standards and patents. These are usually available electronically and can only be purchased at high cost.
  • Pre-1900 material: most libraries do not circulate physical copies of pre-1900 material. A lot of pre-1800 material is held electronically (for example, JISC Historical Texts).
  • Translations of foreign language journal articles and texts.
  • Maps.

How long will it take?

Usually items arrive within one week if supplied by the British Library.  Articles can arrive within two days if you select electronic delivery. Items obtained from other universities can take up to two weeks. 

Can I cancel a request? Please contact Document Supply Services. 

How is it delivered?

Loans and printed copies - You will receive an email notification when the loan is ready to collect from your requested library pick-up location. The standard loan period is usually 4 weeks from notification, but may vary. Please note that some loans may be restricted for library-use only by the lending library and cannot be removed from the premises.

Articles and chapters A digital copy will be delivered to your university email address, or, if we cannot obtain a digital copy, a paper copy will be held at your requested library pick-up location.

If your request is available from British Library On Demand, you will receive a download link from The download link will expire 30 days from supply, so we recommend downloading your document as soon as possible. Please see our guide Receiving a document from British Library On Demand for instructions on registering and downloading your document.


Further information

Can I renew an interlibrary loan?

Interlibrary loans are not eligible for automatic renewal. If you would like to renew your loan, please contact Document Supply Services at Alternatively, you can complete a pink renewal form at the Library Service Desk.

One renewal is permitted free of charge; any subsequent renewal will be charged to the individual’s library account at a cost of £5 per item. Items are subject to recall at any time by the lending library.


Webpage update: 31.10.2017

Ordering a thesis

Many UK libraries no longer permit interlibrary loans of higher degree theses, but we can check with the institution on your behalf. You should also check to see if the item you require is an open access full text e-thesis, available from the owning University’s repository. Many recent theses are becoming available via this route.

Some Swansea University electronic theses are available online in our institutional repository, Cronfa. Alternatively, you can check EThOS, the British Library e-theses online service. You can download many British PhD theses directly from this service once you have registered your email address.  Any theses that have already been digitised, or are available on the owning University's repository are available to download free of charge.

If an open access e-thesis is not available, you can choose to purchase a scanned copy from EThOS. You will be required to create a personal account and pay by credit card for first time digitisation of a thesis. Should you wish for your department to pay, please contact Document Supply Services with a payment code from an authorised signatory. Purchased theses are charged at full cost, e.g. an American thesis delivered via Proquest UMI is £30; first time digitisation via EThOS is £58.32. Previously digitised EThOS theses are free to the end user.

If the catalogue record is unavailable make a speculative request for digitisation. This will prompt the BL to add the catalogue record to EThOS so that you can make a first-time digitisation request. Please note that some institutions do not participate with EThOS in the digitisation project.

Searching for Open Access items

Access our full suite of OA Discovery Tools
Using repositories as sources of supply for free online access to scholarly publications.
Increasingly full-text peer reviewed research articles are available through institutional and subject repositories. Open access resources can be used to find published information swiftly and often without cost. Open access material includes journal articles, scholarly and scientific monographs, educational resources, metadata, digitised material and research data.

Lending to other institutions

How to request material:
Requests for photocopies or the loan of material held by Swansea University can be initiated by emailing us at: or to our postal address.  Please include your contact phone number, postal and email address with each request.  If you are a customer from the UK, please provide your British Library account number with each request.

Copies: £8.65 + VAT (£10.38) unchanged for 2017/18; Loans: £14.65  
CONARLS members are charged the current rate for the scheme.
We accept IFLA vouchers as payment for international loans or photocopies. 

  • Loan - 2 IFLA
  • Copy - 1 IFLA

Material Availability:
All items are lent for a period of six weeks and are renewable for a further six weeks unless otherwise indicated. Some items may be restricted for use only within your institution, e.g. theses.  Please check our catalogue before requesting material to make sure that it can be borrowed.

We will lend:

  • Books printed after 1900
  • Theses, for restricted use in your institution (UK libraries only).  Non-UK libraries may request an estimate for supplying a photocopy of a thesis.