HomeServicesInterlibrary LoanDocument Delivery Policies and Procedures

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 Interlibrary Loan for information about services we provide to other users.

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 thousands of libraries.

Requesting Documents

Documents may be ordered electronically via:

  1. ILLiad - books, book chapters, articles, theses, patents, and audiovisuals
  2. Tufts University Library Catalog - books from other Tufts libraries

Number of Requests

There is no limit on 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 ILLiad requests submitted by a user within the last three years is available from the user's ILLiad account. After three consecutive years of inactivity (i.e., 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.

A record of active orders requested from other Tufts libraries via the library catalog is available through My Account.  A history of completed/canceled requests is not maintained.

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. 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 the 'Available PDFs" queue in the user's ILLiad account. All other items are available for pick up at the HHSL Library Service Desk on the fourth floor of the library.

Loan Periods

Articles and book excerpts are sent electronically as pdfs and are available from the user's ILLiad account for 30 days. Due dates for books and other materials that must be returned are set by the lending library and are typically 1 to 2 months. Renewals for ILLiad-requested items are made on a case by case basis and can be requested through the 'Request Renewal' link associated with the order information in the user's ILLiad account as long as it is within 7 days of the item's due date.  Overdue items cannot be renewed. Alternatively, email to request a renewal. Please return all items by the due date. A replacement fee will be charged for all items not returned.

Services Charges

Items obtained from... Tufts/Tufts Medical Center Staff, Housestaff, & Faculty Tufts University Students
Tufts libraries Free Free
non-Tufts libraries $4 Free (<20/year)
3 business day RUSH $20 $20
1 business day RUSH 
(articles/book chapters only)
$30 $30

By logging into ILLiad, users agree to pay the fees associated with this service. Charges are doubled for copy requests of greater than 50 pages each. Students are charged $4 per request once they have ordered more than 20 items within an academic year, not including items from Tufts libraries and books/AV materials from BLC libraries. Rush service may include an additional $25 fee to cover expedited shipping (from the lending library to HHSL) costs.

Where applicable, payment is required with the following exceptions:

  • Items needed by Tufts students attending an academic program away from the Boston-area for an extended period of time (please indicate in the "Additional Information" section of the ILLiad request form).
  • Special needs circumstances discussed with interlibrary loan staff (please indicate in the "Additional Information" section of the ILLiad request form).

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/mailed to:

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

Tufts Medical Center cost center numbers cannot be accepted (please request a check from accounts payable instead).  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.