Information Services

Paying for Interlibrary Loans

Details of how much it costs to use the ILL service, and how to pay for the service.

How much does it cost?

Staff and students of the University each have a quota of interlibrary loans that are provided free of charge. Details of the quotas are listed below.

Staff or Student Quota of free loans
Staff 30
Research Postgraduate 30
Taught Postgraduate 30
Undergraduate 5

If you use your quota of free loans, there will be a charge of £5.00 per item for the supply of any subsequent loans or renewals.

Any unused parts of the 2020/21 quota cannot be carried forward to the next year. They are void after 31/7/2021.

Within this arrangement, staff and students of the University may request up to 150 items within any year (1st August to 31st July). If you request more than 150 items you will be charged the full cost of £18 per item.

User category Cost for each fulfilled request
University of Edinburgh staff and students – first 150 requests £5.00
Full rate (requests above the 150 limit) £18.00
External readers [including Alumni] £18.00


You may request up to 2 renewals per item. However they are at the discretion of the lending library, so there is no guarantee that they will be permitted. Most lenders do not charge for renewals. However, any additional charges will be passed on to the borrower.

Please note, each renewal for which the Library has been charged will count as a single request from the quota of free ILLs.

Requesting from other University of Edinburgh Library Sites

Requests from other University of Edinburgh Library sites are supplied free of charge.

How to pay for the service

If you have exceeded your quota of free ILLs, you will be charged for any subsequent items. Advice notes are sent to you by email, detailing all charges for items supplied.

Payment should be made via the University's ePay system. Please do not attempt to pay until you receive an advice note.

Some Schools and courses will pay for ILLs for their staff and/or postgraduate students. Before paying, check with your School's administrative staff or Academic Support Librarians, to find out if your School covers the cost for you.

The most important thing to remember is that you should not ignore any advice notes. The charges will not just disappear, and non-payment of bills may affect your future access to the ILL service.

School administrative staff who would like more information about paying for their members' ILL requests should contact

Library Academic Support