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Interlibrary loans: Interlibrary Loan service (ILL)

Information on how to request material not available in the Unisa Library collection.

Request a Literature Search

Need sources for your literature review? Struggling to find sources for your assignment, research proposal or thesis?

The Library can assist with a literature search, which is a systematic and comprehensive search for published, academic material on your specific subject/topic. How do you request one? Simply go to Request a literature search .

If you are experiencing problems accessing the form, please use this link

What is interlibrary loan?

No single library has the capacity to own or subscribe to all the print and electronic publications or databases available.

The Interlibrary Loan service is available free of charge to staff and registered M and D students of Unisa.

If you request an item that is not available in the Collection of the Unisa Library, your request will bereferred automatically to the Interlibrary Loans staff to find out if it is available at another local or international library, or to purchase the item for the Collection.

ILL article download service

When the requested  item arrives from the supplying institution, it is available on the Article Exchange website.

You will receive an email from the Interlibrary Loans mailbox ( to notify you of the arrival of the requested item, and you will be provided with a password and short URL with which to retrieve the document. The message will look something like this:

Your requested article is available at:

Use this case-sensitive password: j6nxnss9


Your next step is to click on the URL in the email, type in the password and click on Get my fileWe recommend that you print out the document immediately.

Article Exchange is a secure website where requested items are temporarily stored for users to access and print out.

It is very important to take note of the following :

  • A file can be picked up a maximum of five times for each URL/ password combination
  • After the file has been viewed 5 times, it will be removed
  • Files not retrieved remain available for 30 days
  • Files that are not picked up at all will beremoved after 30 days
  • If files are not retrieved within 30 days, the article(s) will have to be requested again.
  • It is therefore essential to print the article or book extract on the first view.

Renewing any items borrowed on interlibrary loan

Keep in mind that it is the policy of some local and international host libraries not to permit renewals for books borrowed on interlibrary loan, and that for this reason requests for renewal may sometimes be declined. We recommend that you make prompt use of any books borrowed from other libraries.

Send your request for renewal to the Interlibrary Loans mailbox at:, and include your name, staff or student number, contact details and the details of the book(s) you wish to renew.

When the Interlibrary Loans section notifies you of the renewal, write the new due date on the issue slip in the front of the book..