Using the Interlibrary Loan service

You must be registered to use the ILL service. When registering you need to enter your Heriot-Watt University username and password (the username and password that you use for Vision and your HWU email).

To register for the service:

  1. Go to
  2. Login using your Heriot-Watt username and password
  3. Fill in the Personal Information form.

Please note:

  • We use email to communicate with you about your requests and to deliver materials in digital format, so make sure your email address is entered correctly.
  • Contact if you're having problems logging in to the online ILL service, mentioning the Clio ILL system.

Making a request

Books, periodical articles and other documents can be requested through our online request service. To ensure prompt delivery of the required item:

  • Make a separate request for each item you require.
  • Give all the details you have EXACTLY as given in the reference - do not either expand or abbreviate periodical titles.
  • Always make sure you can provide us with a copy of your original source of reference (i.e. where you got your information from) if requested.
  • Make sure you indicate your agreement to the Copyright statement in the space provided on the form. We cannot process your request until this has been done.

Software for British Library Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) Service

Most article and chapter requests are delivered via Secure Electronic Delivery (SED).

Adobe Reader 10 or above is required.

All users are required to be registered with the British Library on Demand service.  A link to the document is delivered by email; the link will take you to the download page.
Note: you must be online

If you are already registered and the system does not recognise your email address, you will be prompted to enter your Username or your British Library registered email address before you “Click to download your document”

If you are not registered, you can register by clicking Register for On Demand
Note: it can take up to 5 minutes for records to be updated with a new registration

Before requesting an item

Please be sure you really need it, as the university has to pay for each request.

  • Check the Library's catalogue, or the A-Z list of journals we subscribe to, to make sure that the item you want is not already accessible.
  • If you only need the item in order to check a reference, e.g. to find an author's name, the information may be available in the Library - just ask if you simply want to verify a reference.
  • An abstract of the item may be available in one of the databases and other electronic resources to which the Library subscribes. This may help you to evaluate the reference and may make an interlibrary loan unnecessary. Please ask if you need help tracing an abstract.
  • If you need to refer to the item on a long-term basis, or if it is likely to be of continuing use to others, it may be more appropriate for us to purchase a copy for the Library. Please contact your School Library Representative in such cases.