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A guide to the Physics subject resources available from the University of Florida Libraries.

When To Use ILL (And For What)

ILL is used when the item you are looking for is not available at UF or through the UBorrow system. When you need a book quickly, ILL is usually faster than requesting a purchase. Not all items can be requested through ILL - because we are borrowing from another library, we are subject to that library's lending procedures. For example, any books that are on restricted loan somewhere (1-week loan, course reserves, dissertations, etc.) may not be available for ILL. We will try to obtain an item whenever possible.

The following types of items can be requested via ILL:

  • (Journal) Article - usually electronic
  • (Whole Book) Loan - physical item
  • Book Chapter - usually electronic
  • Conference Paper - usually electronic
  • Thesis - can be physical item, microfiche, or electronic

Note: If you are requesting a Book Chapter, and the chapter pages total more than 10% of the entire book (i.e. more than 10 pages out of a 100-page book), copyright rules mandate that you have to request the entire book rather than just the chapter. Copyright laws do not allow for more than 10% of a book to be reproduced electronically for ILL purposes.

In general, media items such as DVDs tend to be on restricted loan at their home institutions and are not available for ILL.

Different types of citation information are needed for different types of requests. When filling out an ILL request, required information fields will be marked with a *.

Filling Out An ILL Request

UF Interlibrary Loan Office Contact Information:
245 Library West
Gainesville, FL 32611
Hours: 8:00am - 5:00pm, Mon-Fri
Phone: (352) 273-2535
UF ILL Website

When you first log in, you must create an account - log in with your UFID and the password ill, as directed. When registering, please note if you are a Distance Education student - more information about ILL for Distance Education students can be found here.

In general, the following information is needed for any request:

  • Title of the article, conference paper, or book
  • Title of the journal or conference proceedings in which the article or paper appears
  • Author of the article or book
  • Year of publication of the book, journal volume, or conference proceedings

The more information you can provide, the faster it will be for ILL to process your request!

After you log into ILL you will see a menu on the left side of the screen with the options listed in the previous section available.

In particular, for journal articles, including the title of the article, the year it was published, and the ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) will submit the article to the RAPID ILL program, which will usually get your article to you within a day or two.

The next two sections will discuss how to find ISSN's or ISBN's (International Standard Book Number), and OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) numbers. Including these numbers will speed the processing of your ILL request.

Finding an ISSN Number from the Catalog

For a journal title that the UF Libraries own, but do not have the specific volume or issue for which you are looking:

1. From the Library Catalog, type in the title of the journal.

2. When you find the journal you need from the results list, click on its title to see more details:

3. Look through the information and find the ISSN. The ISSN is an eight digit number, usually with a hyphen (e.g. 1345-1999).

4. Copy and paste this number along with all other relevant information into the Interlibrary Loan request. For items in our catalog, it usually is not necessary to include the OCLC number.

When you don’t find a journal in the Library Catalog, click the UBorrow button in top right. UBorrow doesn’t supply copies of articles, but if a participating library has the needed journal, you can click on its title to see the ISSN.

Finding ISSN, ISBN, and OCLC Numbers from OCLC WorldCat

For a journal title, conference proceedings, or book that UF does NOT own:

1. From on-campus, or off-campus using the VPN, go to the Florida Electronic Library WorldCat Basic Search.

2. Enter as much information as you have into the search boxes:


  • Enter the full, un-abbreviated journal title for best results.
  • For a particular edition of a book, enter the year of publication if known to narrow the search.
  • In either case, use quotes if the exact title is known.

3. When you find the title of interest from the results list, check that your desired year is covered in the date range (which is listed in the publication line), and then click it to view more details:

For journals, you may see many electronic listings. Print versions of journals and electronic versions of journals have different ISSN's - for ILL, the version for either one is acceptable. For books, however, use the record for the print version, not the electronic version.

You may also see some journals listed with a UNIV OF FLORIDA designation. This means that part of the journal is available at UF - make sure that the volume or issue you are looking for is not, and explain that in the Notes section of your ILL request (i.e. "UF only has volumes 34 to the present, and my article is from volume 19").

For books and journals, you may see several different records for the same title. This is because OCLC contains records in different languages for the same item. In particular for books, make sure you have the English-language record so you enter the correct OCLC number (usually this record is the one that corresponds to the highest number of "Libraries Worldwide"). For journals, as mentioned previously, make sure your desired year is covered in the date range (listed in the publication line).

4. Note the ISSN/ISBN number and the OCLC from the record and include them in your ILL request. The ISSN is an eight digit number, usually with a hyphen (e.g. 1345-1999). The ISBN will be either a 10-digit number, or a 13-digit number usually starting with 978.

If you have any questions or problems, please do not hesitate to contact me.

After Your Request is Sent

You can track the progress from the main ILL window, under Outstanding Requests.

If you requested a journal article, conference proceedings, or book chapter, it will likely be sent electronically. You will receive a notification when it has been received and processed, and you can download it from the main ILL page.

Hard copy items (including whole book loans) will be available for pickup at Library West, at the Circulation Desk on the 2nd floor.

Subject Guide

Sara Gonzalez's picture
Sara Gonzalez
University of Florida Home Page

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