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Resource Discovery: Interlibrary Loan (ILL) FAQs

Resource Discovery at Pratt Research Library

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) FAQs

What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and how do I get started?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is an interactive system by which libraries share their items. It relies on cooperation among libraries at the national and international levels.

Interlibrary Loan offers access to books, book chapters and journal articles not available within the collections of the Edward L. Pratt Research Library or the University of Cincinnati/OhioLINK. Before submitting ILL requests, we ask that our users search the Pratt Research Library, U.C. library and OhioLINK collections for availability. Articles and book chapters can be downloaded directly from journals and eBooks that we have subscriptions to. Further information on this process can be found here: Finding & Accessing Pratt's Online Collection; Finding & Accessing UC/OhioLINK's Online Collection.

How do I submit a request for Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

All ILL requests must be submitted via online Article Request Form, email Prattlibrary@cchmc.org.

After all library collections have been searched, we prefer articles to be requested from within PubMed by emailing the request following the instructions here. If you cannot find your article indexed within PubMed, please submit your request via our Article Request Form.

How long does it take to receive Interlibrary Loan (ILL) article?

The average turnaround time to receive articles is 1-5 days, often faster! Turnaround time varies depending on availability, time of request, lending libraries, and other factors.

How much does Interlibrary Loan (ILL) cost?

The Edward L. Pratt Research Library covers all costs associated with ILL transactions in their budget, as a shared service for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital community (free to you!). Pratt will only pay lenders up to $25 per article to borrow, as well as pay for copyright on individual articles. ILL cooperative agreements provide access to materials at reduced rates. 

How will I know when my Interlibrary Loan (ILL) items have arrived?

Most articles are received electronically and you will be sent email notifications when they become available. Sometimes articles are sent directly to you, the customer, from the lender. Often, these emails will give you a password to use to sign in to a secure server to retrieve your article, or, the article will be attached to the email as a PDF. Articles usually arrive as PDFs, but sometimes TIFFS.

How do I find and access full-text journal articles via EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS)?

To access full-text articles from the Pratt Research Library website, you must first go to CenterLink and click the Pratt Library link located at the bottom of the page in the blue box. Select and click the EDS Discovery tab at the top of the page, or use the available search box to search for article titles. When you have searched and found the article you desire, click one of the full text link icon options available (such as PDF Full Text, Full Text Available @ Pratt, Full Text Available @ U.C., etc.) to download the full text article. For more information on using EDS visit this guide.

Can I cancel an article request?

It depends…  If we catch the request before a potential lending library receives it, we can cancel it. If the lending library has already updated the request as “filled”, it’s too late. Please let us know ASAP if you wish to cancel a request, cancelling unneeded requests helps us save time and money.

Is there a way I can get articles faster?

Yes, if you include complete citation information, and the PubMed PMID number in your request submissions emailed from PubMed and the Article Request Form, your request will be processed faster. Having the PMID allows library staff to process the request more quickly. Requests can also be designated as “RUSH” requests but this designation should only be used for clinical emergencies. 

How many articles can I request?

As many as you need, but please, make sure you have checked the Edward L. Pratt Research Library and the University of Cincinnati/Ohiolink’s collections before submitting any ILL requests.

What is not available through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

The following types of materials are most often not available through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

  • Archival materials
  • Dissertations
  • Entire issues or volumes of journals
  • Rare, valuable, or fragile materials
  • Reserve and reference materials
  • Some textbooks
  • Entire Xeroxed copies of textbooks

Further Questions?

Please contact the Edward L. Pratt Research Library staff via phone 513-636-4320 or email @ PrattLibrary@cchmc.org.