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Supporting Research.

Supporting AFBI.

Inter-library Loans

Requests for material not held by AFBI or the Library at Queen's are processed as inter-library loans (ILLs). Our main supplier of ILLs is The British Library. The quickest way of obtaining photocopies from The British Library is via the DRM Lite service.  Items requested this way are usually emailed to you within 48 hours.  Before you can view your article you will need to have registered for this service with The British Library. Registering is free, just takes a few minutes and will only need to be done the first time. Once you have registered please inform the Library, so that you can use your username and password to access articles that have been supplied to you. You can register at any time by clicking here.

Making a Request

Requests for material can be placed online.  You can do this in two ways:

  • using Place request via the My Account link; log in with your AFBI Library username and password, hover over the words ‘My Account’ and then click 'Place Request'.  Please ensure when completing the form that the details are as full and accurate as possible.
  • within your Article Search or Database search results, click on 'Check full text availability'.  If the record is not available in full text, click Request an Inter Library Loan to access the online request form.

Receiving a Request

DRM Lite

  • The British Library delivers a link to the pdf document directly to your email usually within 48 hours.
  • You will receive an email from Sender: with an active link to your document.
  • Click on this link to go to the document retrieval page and click to download your document.
  • You will be prompted to enter your British Library On Demand username and password.
  • We recommend that you print off your document and also save the document to a drive or memory stick.
  • Click here for a DRM Lite troubleshooting guide.

 Postal Delivery

  • Photocopied articles are posted directly to you. 
  • The postal delivery of  photocopies and books varies from under a week for straightforward requests to several months for material which is 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. 
  • For books requested, AFBI staff will receive notification to collect them from the Branch Library where they made the request.  Books can also be posted out to staff at their branch if required.
  • Restrictions are placed on some material, e.g. theses and rare books, by the lending library requiring that it be used in the library only.

Loans and Returns


Items for loan can usually be borrowed for four weeks.  The return date will be written on a yellow slip covering the book. It may be possible to extend the loan period of an item, providing it is not in demand at the British Library. 


Inter-Library loans should normally be returned to the Issue Desk from which they were issued.  If you are returning an item by post, please remember that you are responsible for its safe return.

In Demand, Overdue, or Lost Items

AFBI staff will receive notification of overdue and in demand items.

The British Library charges a minimum of £179.20 for the replacement of items which are long overdue or damaged or lost.  This cost is charged to the borrower responsible and includes a non-refundable administrative charge of £89.60 plus VAT.

Items in demand which are not returned promptly will also incur the above charges.


Detailed guidance on copyright law is available in the library guide.  Most photocopying for members of AFBI is covered by Library Privilege.  This applies when you need the photocopy for your private study and research, and for a non-commercial purpose.  The main points to note are:

  • we can only request a copy of one article in each issue of a journal or alternatively, we will try to borrow the whole issue for you or obtain additional articles on payment of a copyright fee - interlending staff can give you more information
  • if you need a photocopy for a commercial purpose separate rules apply - this guide gives further information on what constitutes a "commercial purpose"

Most copies sent to AFBI staff are made under Library Privilege, and may not be further copied, stored electronically, or used for commercial purposes.  However, readers whose needs are not met by Library Privilege copies or who require a copyright cleared copy will pay an additional copyright fee to the publisher via the Library.


The British Library has introduced a new 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