Services and Facilities

Inter-Library Loans

If you're looking for an item that's not available in our collection then we can try to obtain it for you from another Library. We can request loans of books or journals as well as scans of book chapters or journal articles.

This page gives details on the Inter-library loans service where we can try to obtain items for you from other libraries in the UK. If you are looking to request a scan or postal loan from an item that is held by RGU Library then please take a look at the appropriate sections in our Borrowing pages instead. The inter-library loan service should only be used for items that RGU Library does not hold.

How it works

The Inter-Library Loan (ILL) service can try to source items for you if they are not available from our own print or electronic collections.

You can request the following:

  • books
  • reports
  • single chapters from books *
  • journal parts *
  • journal articles *

* No more than one article from any issue of a journal, or one chapter of a book (or up to 10% of the whole item, whichever is greater), may be requested. These limits are set by UK copyright law and the Library cannot exceed them. If your request exceeds these limits then it will be rejected. You will be advised to submit a new request that complies with the legal limits.

Who can make a request?

Any RGU student (with the exception of those on short courses) or member of staff can place a request for an inter-library loan. Before you make the request, please note the following:

  • Check! Around 50% of the requests we receive are already available within RGU Library collections or are freely available on the internet. Please ensure you have checked LibrarySearch and the relevant databases. You may find it useful to install the LibKey Nomad browser extension as this will help identify RGU subscribed content when searching online. Google Scholar is also a very useful tool for checking both RGU subscribed content and whether the item you require is available on open access terms. To set RGU Library in Google Scholar go to the three bars at the top left of the home page, choose Library Links, and search for Robert Gordon University.
  • Prioritise! We know it can be tempting to request a whole list of articles or books but we ask that you be sure that you really need the item before submitting the form. Inter-library loans incur a cost to both your School and the Library.

Place a Request

University staff and students can place inter-library loan requests using the library catalogue - LibrarySearch. If you find something that does not offer full text, ensure you are logged in to your account and then just click on the inter-library loan link to place your request.

Alternatively, you can place a request using our blank request form.

Request Charges

Currently there is no direct charge to students for a standard ILL request. The charge of £4 per request will be paid by your school or department. If your school or department chooses not to authorise your request then you may pay personally. If the item you receive is a physical book and you ask to renew it, you'll be charged £4 for the renewal. This cost will be payable by yourself and not by your school.

Inter-Library Loan Authorisers

When requesting an inter-library loan, you will be asked to enter your authoriser's email address. Details of authorisers can be found at Inter-library loan Authoriser Contacts

How long will it take to receive my request?

*Unfortunately due to a cyber attack at the British Library there is currently a significant delay in fulfilling Inter Library Loan requests as this is our main supplier*

We cannot guarantee to obtain any item within a specified period. Articles from mainstream journals often arrive within a few days, but more obscure items may take several weeks or longer. We may occasionally be unable to source an item due to availability or copyright restrictions.

Can I renew the book I received?

To renew an inter-library loan, please email - there will be a charge to you of £4 for each renewal. Renewal costs are the responsiblity of the individual and this charge is not billed to the school or department. Please be aware however that a renewal request may not always be permitted by the lending library.

How do I collect or receive my Inter-Library loan?

  • Books for staff and students who are not online learners should be collected from the library.
  • Online Learners based in the UK can have inter-library loan books posted to their address via recorded delivery. As with our regular postal loan system, you will be responsible for the return postage costs.
  • Scans of journal articles and single chapters from books will be emailed to your RGU email address.

   Need any help?

If you have any questions, please contact the inter-library loan team at