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Book & Article Requesting

Each Medical and HSC Library can supply books and articles for work-related purposes both from within the Queen's University system and from the British Library via Inter-Library Loans (ILL).

Most requests are supplied free of charge. Occasionally this may not be possible and an £8 charge will apply. In this case we will always ask you to confirm that you are happy to proceed.

Material which is required urgently, theses and worldwide searches will cost considerably more and the Library will advise on the pricing of these accordingly. The charge is added to the user's account once the material has been supplied.

For information about Returns, Overdues, Recalls and Lost item charges see the Borrowing section.

Making a Request

You may request articles and books online or by completing paper request forms which are available from the Issue Desks of any of the Medical and HSC Libraries.  Requesting can be done in two ways, from a list of search results or via the Place Request facility.

For paper article request forms:

  • ensure that you sign the copyright declaration on the back of each form
  • tick the box indicating whether the material is to be supplied from QUB stock only or from the British Library as an Inter-Library Loan

Requests cannot be taken by telephone or email because of copyright restrictions.  This service only applies to HSC members. HSC students are not eligible to make requests through the inter-library loan service.

How long will it take?

Once received by the Library, a request will be actioned within 3 working days. Normally the postal delivery of photocopies and books varies from under a week for straightforward requests to several months for material which is on loan or harder to obtain. Items from abroad may take even longer.

We will contact you if there is likely to be a long delay or if we need further information. Photocopies requested for delivery via the British Library DRM Lite service are normally emailed to you within 2 working days. Photocopies needed very urgently may be requested via the Urgent Action service and will be delivered within 24 hours.

Receiving Items

Receiving Articles

Articles by post: Photocopied articles are posted directly to your work address.

Articles delivered via email:

The British Library normally deliver pdfs of print articles directly to your email via the DRM Lite service within two working days but it may occasionally take longer.

In order to access your first DRM Lite article, you will need to register with the British Library On Demand service.

You will receive an email from Sender: with an active link to a document download page. Click on this link and follow the instructions to download your document.

Access to this link will cease after 30 days. Please note that ILL staff are also unable to recover the article for you after the 30 day limit. If you download and save the document you will have access to it for 3 years from the date of supply.

Click here for a DRM Lite Problem Solving Guide, available from Queen’s University Belfast.

Receiving Books

Depending on your work address you will either receive notification to collect the item from the library where you made the request or the item will be posted to you. For an up-to-date record of due dates and renewals check My Account. To renew ILL items contact the Library where you placed the request.  A further charge of £8 may be placed on your library account for the renewal of ILL items.


Copyright is primarily a property right. The owner of copyright has the right to prevent others copying without permission. Copyright in text belongs with the author, unless it has been assigned to someone else. Copyright in journal articles usually belongs with the publisher. Copyright in the published text of a work continues for 70 years after the author's death.

Copying under Licence

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) licence is a 'blanket' licence which means authorised users may make single and multiple photocopies of limited amounts of licensed material. You can make up to 15 copies per act of photocopying. Copies must be taken from the original published section for each act of copying and may consist of up to:

  • one chapter from a book
  • two articles from an issue of a journal/periodical
  • any number of articles dealing with a particular theme within an issue
  • one entire case from a published report of judicial proceedings
  • or five percent of the publication, if greater than the above
  • 25 copies for a single meeting of a designated committee (eg for all Board members; or an established internal committee). This limit does not apply to 'journal clubs'.

What the Licence does not cover

  • Published examination papers and published tests: Examination boards and test paper publishers should be approached for permission before copying.
  • Newspapers: The Newspaper Licensing Agency licenses copying from some UK newspapers. Otherwise newspapers should be contacted for permission before copying.
  • Maps, charts, or books of tables: The Ordnance Survey has its own licensing scheme, otherwise the rightsholder should be contacted for permission before copying.
  • Workbooks, workcards or assignment sheets: Defined as publications intended for students to write on and for once-only use.
  • Correspondence course: Works published by the Open University and the National Extension College may be copied under the licence, those from other organisations may not.
  • Industrial house journals: Includes in-house company newsletters. N.B. Computer manuals come under the Licence (up to 5%) if they have an ISBN, otherwise the rightsholders should be approached for permission.
  • Publications on the Excluded Categories and Works List: Please refer to the website for the current list. Staff wishing to copy from any of the publications on the Excluded List should contact the rightsholder (publisher or author) for prior permission.

Making & Receiving Copies

  • Who can make copies?: All staff employed or contracted by Health and Social Care and Public Safety Bodies (including General Practitioners) and the Fire Authority of Northern Ireland.
  • Who can receive copies?: Any director, officer or employee of a Health and Social Care Body (including General Practitioners), the Fire Authority of Northern Ireland, or lay representative. A service user may receive a photocopy only in the case of its content relating to him/her.
  • Commercial Copying: Commercial copying is not covered by fair dealing or the standard library exceptions. If you are copying for a commercial purpose, please contact a member of library staff.
  • Scanning: Material can be scanned and sent as an email attachment, stored only on an individual PC's hard disk, floppy disk etc., printed out and distributed as required. Digital copies may not be edited or stored on a central server with the intention of creating an electronic library. Copies may not be placed on or linked to the worldwide web or an intranet.


The British Library provides an online service for requesting UK PhD theses - EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service).

You can search for theses by author, subject or institution and you can limit your search to those theses that are available for immediate download.  You will be required to register with EThOS to take full advantage of the service but this is a one-off registration which is there to help protect copyright in the thesis.

Most universities are making their theses available free, however, a small number will require payment for digitisation of the thesis.  If you are asked to pay for the digitisation of the thesis or the thesis you require is not available through EThOS then please contact a member of library staff.

For full information go to  For more useful sites go to Theses - Useful links


Queries should be referred to the ILL department in any of the libraries listed below:

Alternatively follow the link to access a Resolving Problem guide, available through Queen’s University Belfast.