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Frequently asked questions

Renewals, lost items and cancellations


Secure Electronic Delivery

Renewals, lost items and cancellations

Can I renew an ILL book?

  • You can renew an inter-library loan book. However, if another user has requested the item or it is recalled by the British Library you will need to return the book as soon as possible.
  • Inter-library loan books cannot be renewed online or by the automated renewal line. To renew your inter-library loan, you can email or visit any library counter and speak to a member of staff.

I have lost an ILL book what happens next?

A charge of £129.50 will be invoiced to you for any ILL books lost or not returned. The charge is set by the British Library and we will forward the penalty to you.

I have used up my Inter-Library Loan allowance and cannot make another request, what should I do?

Why was my request cancelled?

Your inter-library loan request may be cancelled for the following reasons:

  • The book or article is available from UEL Library and learning services
  • The article is available from one of our databases
  • The article is available freely online
  • We could not find the item as there was not enough information on the request form
  • The book or article is not available from the British Library
  • You have outstanding fines or your registration has expired
  • You have reached your ILL allowance

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Can I photocopy ILL articles, books and theses?

No, due to copyright restrictions you cannot photocopy any items that have been obtained from the British Library.

Secure Electronic Delivery

What is Secure Electronic Delivery (SED)?

  • Secure Electronic Delivery enables journal articles to be sent directly and downloaded to your desktop via your university email address.
  • An electronic link will be sent to the email registered on your library account (most often your university email). Clicking on the link will download and allow you to print the article. Due to copyright reasons, the link can only be viewed and opened once.
  • Further information on SED can be found on the British Library SED FAQ page. It is worth checking here in particular if you use Internet Explorer 6 or have any questions regarding downloading a thesis.
  • The electronic link to the SED will expire after 14 days.

I am having problems with the SED, what should I do?

  • Make sure the library holds your current email address as the link to your request will be sent to this email address. 
  • Make sure you have correctly downloaded ADOBE DIGITAL EDITIONS by following the instructions included in the email containing the link to your request.
  • Please read the British Library SED FAQ as there may be an answer to your question already.
  • Email the inter-library loans tema on
  • If for any reason you cannot download or print out a thesis, contact the EThOS Helpdesk for advice.

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