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Homepage / The way we deliver interlibrary loans is changing

The way we deliver interlibrary loans is changing


From Friday 1 June, the way the British Library delivers Secure Encrypted Documents (SEDs) will be changing.

Wherever possible, we use this service to send you the journal article, paper or report you have requested via interlibrary loan. It ensures you receive the item as quickly as possible, because it is delivered as a link to a PDF in an email.

Here is a quick summary of the changes:

  • You will no longer need to install the FileOpen Adobe plugin. Instead, you will need to ensure you have Adobe Reader 10 (or above) installed on your machine/device.
  • You will need to set up an account with the British Library On-Demand service. You only have to do this once, and then you should use the username and password you have created to access any SEDs you receive.
  • You may still only print one copy of the SED, but you now have 30 days to do this, rather than 14.
  • You can access an SED via the email on multiple devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones although you can only save it once.

What hasn’t changed?

  • You can still only access an SED for 30 days after the email is sent to you. The link will expire after this time, so you need to ensure you have saved a copy of it if you want to refer to it for longer.
  • Saved copies will still expire after 3 years and you will no longer be able to access them.
  • The way in which you place an interlibrary loan request is also unchanged.

We will continue to attach instructions to all British Library emails from 1 June, explaining what you need to do to access them. We just wanted you to be aware that the process is changing so you are prepared for the need to read them!

If you have any questions about the new service, please contact

Karyn Meaden-Pratt

Written By: Cranfield University

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