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Library Online: Document Supply Service

What is the Document Supply Service?

If you need to access a resource that the Library doesn't already have in its collection then please use our Document Supply Service.

You can use the Library's Document Supply Services to request books, book chapters, journal articles or other resources not available at Sheffield Hallam. The Document Supply Service will then apply to borrow these resources from other libraries, both from within the UK and from around the world. Requests for journal articles and book chapters are delivered to you by email, usually within a day. Requests for books can take up to 10 working days, and the books can be collected from either Adsetts or Collegiate library.

If we supply access to a book using this service, this is a loan and needs to be returned to the Library at the end of the loan period so that we can return it to the lending library.

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:

  • media items such as CDs and DVDs
  • expensive market research reports
  • internal company reports
  • unpublished reports
  • unpublished papers from conferences or meeting
  • some international references

Making a Document Supply Request

  • 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.

How can I 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.

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 Document Supply 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, which can be found by searching the ISSN Portal.

Frequently asked questions

Who can use this service?

All Sheffield Hallam University staff and students. Unfortunately, this service is not available to partners of Sheffield Hallam (including associate members and students from collaborative partner colleges). If you are from a partner college, please contact your home library to request an interlibrary loan. 

Is there a charge for this service?

No, however if the items are not returned on time we do charge a fine. Fines on overdue items are 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 Document Supply loan is not returned or is lost.

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

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

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

Most journal articles and book chapters arrive within a day, and most books 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 more than one library

How will I receive my Document Supply request?

Access to journal articles and book chapters will be sent to you via email.

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 long can I keep Document Supply 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 lending library and the demand; however, the issue length is often around 3 weeks. Some items may be reference only. Document Supply book loans cannot be renewed and it is important that you return any items you have borrowed by the return date. The books can be returned via the Returns machines as a normal book loan would be.

Contact us

To check the status of your request, or if you have any issues accessing your request then please contact us on:



Adsetts Library
Collegiate Library

Sheffield Hallam University
City Campus, Howard Street
Sheffield S1 1WB