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Document Delivery Policies and Procedures

The following policies and procedures apply to document delivery services available for members of the Tufts Boston campus community, including all students, faculty and staff at Tufts University's Health Sciences Campus, as well as clinical faculty at Tufts-affiliated hospitals. Please see Request Articles & Books for information about other services we provide.

What is Document Delivery
Document Delivery, which includes Interlibrary Loan (ILL), is a library service used to obtain documents (journal articles, book chapters, books, theses, and audiovisuals) for HHSL library users from the Tufts collection and beyond. Its cornerstone is a cooperative program among libraries that share their collections. Tufts University shares resources with libraries that are members of the Boston Library Consortium (BLC); the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM), which includes the National Library of Medicine; and an international network of nearly 4,000 libraries.

Requesting Documents
Before ordering a document, please check the Tufts Library Catalog to make sure the library does not own the document in either print or electronic format. Students may not order documents owned by the Hirsh Health Sciences Library (HHSL), unless under special circumstances - see, Library Services for Special Needs.
Documents may be ordered electronically via:

  1. ILLiad - books, articles, theses, patents, and audiovisuals
  2. BLC WorldCat - books, theses, audiovisuals from BLC libraries
  3. Loansome Doc [faculty/staff only] - articles indexed in PubMed

For more information about these options, see Request Articles and Books.

Number of Requests
There is no limit as to the number of requests per user however, in cases where a large number of requests have been submitted by one person, a minimum of 5 requests per day will be processed until all have been completed.

Request History
A history of all requests submitted by a user within the last three years is available from the user's ILLiad account. After three consecutive years of inactivity (meaning the user has not placed any new requests within that time period), though, the user's account is deleted and the request history is purged. Users may re-register for a new ILLiad account, if still eligible.

Turn around Time
Allow five to ten working days for items that are not rush requests. Articles copied from the HHSL collection are available within five business days. See the Turn Around Time Report to help gauge present timing for all Tufts Libraries.

Rush processing is only available for requests through ILLiad (not BLC WorldCat or Loansome Doc). One-day rush is only available for non-returnable items, such as journal articles and book chapters, which are sent electronically. Variable delivery charges for one and three-day rush requests may apply in addition to the standard rush fees.

Notification & Pick Up
When items arrive, users will be notified by email. Articles and chapter excerpts are sent electronically and can be viewed from your ILLiad account by clicking on "Electronically Received Articles" under "View Requests." All other items are available for pick up at the HHSL Library Service Desk on the fourth floor of the library.

Returning Items Borrowed from Another Library
Articles and book excerpts are sent electronically and are available for viewing for 30 days. Please return all other items by the due date. Due dates for returning materials are set by the lending library and are typically 30 days. Items borrowed through ILLiad from Tisch Library have a 45-day loan period with no renewals. Renewals for other ILLiad-requested items are made on a case by case basis. All BLC WorldCat items have a 56-day loan period with no renewals. A replacement fee will be charged for all items not returned.

Service Charges
See ILLiad Charges for a complete listing of fees. Fees listed below apply to Tufts and Tufts Medical Center community users of ILLiad or Loansome Doc. Payments can be made via personal (US) check or by using an appropriate Tufts account number. Through ILLiad, students at the Health Sciences Campus may order 20 articles free of charge per academic year after which the following charges apply. By supplying their Tufts username and associated password, students agree to have the charge entered on their library account. All BLC WorldCat requests are free of charge for all users.

Journal Articles/Book Chapters:
From other Tufts libraries
From non-Tufts libraries
$4 (per 20 pages)
RUSH (within 3 days)
Same Day RUSH
Copied from HHSL collection
$4 (per 20 pages)

From other Tufts libraries
From non-Tufts libraries
RUSH (within 3 days)
$20 plus delivery costs

Payment is required with the following exceptions:

  • Items supplied by other Tufts libraries or through BLC WorldCat.
  • Items lost from the HHSL collection.
  • Items needed by Tufts students attending an academic program away from the Boston-area for an extended period of time.
  • Special needs circumstances discussed with interlibrary loan staff.

N.B.: Charges do apply if these items are requested as rush.

Invoices are sent out monthly. Once received, payment can be made via appropriate Tufts deptID, credit card (no Tufts Pcards), or (U.S.) check made out to Tufts Hirsh Health Sciences Library and brought in-person/mailed to:

Document Delivery Department
Tufts University Hirsh Health Sciences Library
145 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111

Interlibrary loan privileges may be suspended, if outstanding invoices are not paid in full.

Document Delivery Contact Information
Please contact the HHSL Library Service Desk, 617.636.6705; or Document Delivery 617.636.3787 (phone); 617.636.4039 (fax); for more help.

Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions
Under certain conditions specified in the copyright law of the United States (U.S. Code, Title 17), libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later users, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.