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Library Resources -- Recommendations and Requests

This guide is about submitting a resource recommendation or request to the Library.


Document Delivery (DocDel) is a service whereby NTU Library source for and deliver publications that are not available from NTU Library, such as journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, government documents, and technical reports. Typically, such publications are obtained for single-use, i.e. not for sharing among Library users.

  • NOTE - Library is unable get the following types of publications under DocDel:
    • Business or market research reports. These are usually too expensive to be acquired on a per-item and single-use basis.
    • Reference articles that are only available online via a subscription

Inter-Library Loan (ILL) is a service whereby NTU Library source for and deliver physical books that are not available from NTU Library.

We source items from local and overseas resource sharing partner institutions (e.g. NUS, NLB), as well as the following service providers: RapidILL, Reprints Desk, and Subito.

Who are these services for?

These services are available for:

  • Faculty
  • Researchers
  • Staff
  • Postgraduate students
  • Undergraduate students in their final year

NOTE: Faculty, researchers and students of NIE and RSIS should contact their respective libraries.

Terms of Use

Document Delivery items are generally provided by our partners on a single-use basis. Hence, before you submit a DocDel request, you must read and acknowledge that:

  1. You will only use this document for non-commercial/research or private study and will not supply a copy of it to any other person.
  2. You have not been previously supplied with a copy of this item by an authorized officer of the Library.

For Inter-Library Loan books, the loan period varies according to the lending institution. Generally the loan period is about 2-3 weeks.

  • Upon notification, you are expected to pick up the item within 7 days, and to return the item by the due date stipulated.
  • Any extension of due date is subject to the approval of the lending library.
  • Like all other library items, please take good care of them. You are responsible for any damage, loss or overdue fines.

Do I have to pay?

  • There may be reproduction, licensing or shipping costs involved to obtain the items.
  • When applicable, we will notify you of the relevant costs and seek confirmation before ordering.
  • Such costs are generally absorbed by NTU Library.
  • However, if the Library runs out of budget, or if the items costs are beyond what the Library can afford, we will ask to charge the expenses to your research funds.


Converting DocDel/ILL requests into Book Purchases

  • Depending on the publication and costs involved, the Library may decide to purchase the title and add to our collection.
  • In such cases, requests for books or book chapters get converted into book purchases.

How do I submit a DocDel or ILL request?

First, go to OneSearch and "Sign In". There are two ways to submit a DocDel or ILL request.

Option 1:

  • From the top navigation menu of OneSearch, locate the form "REQUEST FOR DOCDEL/ILL"
  • Fill in the form according to what you need, click "SEND REQUEST"
  • You will be asked to review the Terms of Use. When you agree, your request will be sent.
  • Go to "My Account", and you will see your DocDel/ILL request with the status "Created borrowing request".

Option 2:

  • Find the article/book/item that you need in OneSearch. Under "Refine my results", you will need to select "Search beyond Library holdings" so as to find items that are not available from NTU Library. Such items will show "No Online Access".
  • Click on the title to go into the full record display.
  • Under the section "How to get it", you will see the form "Request for ARTICLE/CHAPTER (Document Delivery) || Request for BOOK (Inter-Library Loan)". Click on the form and the system will auto-fill in the input fields based on what is available from the record.
  • Input the rest of the empty fields, review all the info and click "SEND REQUEST".
  • You will be asked to review the Terms of Use. When you agree, your request will be sent.
  • Go to "My Account", and you will see your DocDel/ILL request with the status "Created borrowing request".


Help us review your request by providing sufficient info under the mandatory input field "Reason for request".

Below are some guiding questions for you to consider. You may want to write them separately before copying-and-pasting into the form:

  1. Which research project or course/assignment is this for?
  2. How will this be used?
  3. How important is this to you, and why so?
  4. By when do you need this?
  5. Have you looked at what the Library already has or considered alternatives?
  6. Have you previewed the resource or examined the table-of-contents (e.g. from Google Books) to judge the relevance?

When can I get my document or book? How do I track the status of my request?

Turnaround time largely depends on:

  • Whether there is sufficient information for us to review the request
  • The number of sources available, the ease-of-borrowing from the sources, and the location of those sources
  • The speed of our partners' responses
  • The nature of the item, e.g. is it something rare or published in limited quantities? Does it require special processing or reproduction?
  • Time required for shipping (for physical items)
  • The number of active requests we have at any time

For physical books available at local institutions, or journal articles that are available in our partners' collections (via RapidILL), it may take up to 10 working days for you to get the item.

For items that are rare, hard-to-find or with limited availability worldwide, it may take up to 3-6 months---assuming that they can be obtained at reasonable cost.

To track the status of your request, go to OneSearch and "Sign In".

Under "My Account" > "Requests", you will see a list of the active requests that you submitted.

For DocDel/ILL requests, you will see one of the following status:

  • Created borrowing request
  • Locate in progress
  • Request sent to partner
  • Physically received by Library (for physical items)
  • Digitally received by Library (for digital items)


  • For Inter-Library Loan or physical items, you will receive a notification via email when the item is ready for you to pick up.
  • For digital items, you will receive an email from us with the link to download the document.
  • When a DocDel/IL request has been completed, it will disappear from your account. Physical items that needs to be returned will only be marked as completed when Library receives the item from you.
  • You can have up to 12 active requests at any time. When you reach this limit, you will not be able to submit any additional DocDel/ILL request.