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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Distance Learners and Instructors: Library Resource & Services

A guide for students and instructors enrolled in online or off-campus courses through Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Request an Article

If you have a specific citation to an article, it may be available through one of the following:

  1. Online Journals & Databases
  2. DocExpress
  3. Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Step 1:  Check Online Journals and Databases

Use Easy Search to see if the journal is available electronically.  

  1. From the library homepage, click on the "Journals" tab.
  2. Enter the title of the journal in the box under "Find Journals by Title."
  3. If the library has electronic access to the journal you're looking for, it will appear in the results.

Need some more help with the Online Journals & Databases? Check out our guide on how to use the Online Journals & Databases tool and refer to The Undergraduate Library's Articles Guide to find databases in your field of research.

Step 2:  DocExpress

If an article/book chapter is not available in an electronic journal but the library owns a print copy, you may use DocExpress to order a scanned copy of the article to be sent to you.  To do so:

Verify that the library owns the journal in print by following these steps:

  1. Visit the Library website.
  2. Select "Library Catalog" from the "Catalogs" dropdown menu.
  3. In the search field, enter the title of the journal (e.g., "Africa education review").
  4. In the drop down menu, select "Title (omit first word a, an, the)."
  5. View the catalog record for the journal title and verify that the library owns the volume and issue that you need.
  6. Note the call number and location (e.g., "Main Stacks" or "Engineering") of the item.

Then, place a DocExpress request for the article.

  1. Visit Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery.
  2. Scroll to DocExpress and click "Login to ILLiad to Request Item".
  3. Enter your NetID and password to log in to your ILLiad account (if you have a NetID, the system automatically generates an ILLiad account for you).
  4. With the required information (author, title, date, volume, etc.), fill in the DocExpress Request form to request the article, including the call number and location of the item.
  5. In the Notes field, enter "Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning" and identify the course for which you are requesting the material (e.g., LIS 458).
  6. Select the button that says, "Submit Request."
  7. Your request will be processed and you will receive a scanned copy of the article or book chapter you have requested. Although you may receive your article more quickly, please allow 5-7 days to process your request.

Note:  This service is free to graduate students, faculty, and staff. Undergraduate students are charged $5 per citation to use this service.

Step 3:  Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Use ILL if you determine that the article/book chapter you are looking for is not available electronically or in print from the University of Illinois Library. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery
  2. Click on "Login to ILLiad to Request Item"
  3. Enter your NetID and password to log in to your ILLiad account.
  4. Select the appropriate option under the heading "New Request" depending on what material you are requesting. NOTE: select "photocopy" to receive journal articles.
  5. Fill in the form with the required information (author, title, date, volume, etc.) and be as detailed as possible. Submit your request.
  6. Although you may receive your article more quickly, please allow 5-7 days to process your request.
  7. You should receive an email from Interlibrary Loan when your article is available for download (usually as a pdf file). You may view the article with your preferred PDF reader, e.g., Adobe Reader.
  8. You will have 21 days to download your request from your ILLiad account - after that, access to the article/book chapter will be deleted.

If you have any questions about DocExpress or Interlibrary Loan requests, please contact the Interlibrary Loan office at 217-333-0832 or 217-333-1958.