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Borrowing & membership

Resources for research students and research active staff

British Library On-Demand Service Current Service

If there is an article or book that we do not stock you "usually" should be able to obtain these items from the British Library for free. However, some aspects of these on-demand services via the British Library are currently not available at the moment. The British Library can supply some online articles but is unable at the moment to supply books. Until the full service at the British Library is available we will look into purchasing any books required that are not currently in our collection, either electronically, or in print and we will get the book sent out to you, to enquire about this contact Vicki McGarvey, Resources and Library Systems Manager, providing the title, author and isbn.  

When full service is resumed at the British Library

If a book or article is not available from the British Library or if after receiving a book from the British Library you think you would require it for a longer period to support your research we will still look into purchasing the item for you. To request a purchase contact your subject librarian, giving the full bibliographic details, and stating if you have used the British Library service and you require the book for longer, or if you are unable to source the item elsewhere. This purchasing service is only available for, final year undergraduate and postgraduate taught students undertaking a final year project, postgraduate research students for any part of their research, and research-active staff. 

Document Delivery service

This service is for requesting books, journal articles, reports and conference proceedings that are not currently stocked by our libraries, and which are not freely available online. 

The majority of requests will be fulfilled by On Demand, the document supply service from the British Library. 

You will need to register for a British Library Online Account (select On Demand as the service) and then associate that account with Staffordshire University Libraries.  You can then order books for loan, or request documents for electronic delivery direct to your registered email address. 

Follow the step-by-step instructions in our guides on how to use the British Library On Demand service.

This service is provided free of charge and is strictly for use by Staffordshire University students and staff. 

Please note that there will be a charge of £5.00 for any loan item that is not returned promptly after it has been recalled.  

The British Library charges a minimum of £182.80 for long overdue, damaged or lost items - this includes an administration charge of £89.60 plus VAT, which is non-refundable even if the book is returned.  This charge will be passed on to the borrower.     

There is no limit to the number of requests that you can make, but please bear in mind that the service is expensive, so try to be selective.  Before requesting an item, please make sure that it is relevant to your studies and research - the journal article abstract will help with this, and Google Books may help with books. 

Open Access resources

What are Open Access resources?

These are resources (for example books, conference papers or journal articles) that have been made available to read or download free of charge and without having to log-in for access.  

Please check that the material you need is not freely available online before making a request via the On Demand service. 

The following search tools provide a quick and easy way to check for resources, when you can't find what you are looking for in stock at our libraries.  



Tools to find Open Access articles and book chapters

  • Google Scholar - provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature
  • Open Access Buttonfree, legal research articles
  • Summon (our library search) - filter your results to Open Access only
  • Unpaywalldatabase of free, and legally sourced, scholarly articles

Doctoral theses

We are unable to order theses on your behalf, but many of these are available digitally from the British Library. 

You can search over 500,000 doctoral theses using EThOS (the UK’s national thesis service) and in many cases download a copy for your research.  If a thesis is not immediately available you can order a scanned copy (charges will apply). 

Other useful open access resources include:


Contact us

If you have any questions about using the On Demand service, or you cannot find the article or book that you need, please get in touch.