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Interlibrary Loan & Copy Requests: Students

Welcome Students

Tips for getting what you need:

  • In PubMed, do not limit your search to Free journal articles, because your results will omit many subscribed journals that your tuition has paid for.  
  • Allow time for research so that you can request all best articles, in addition to those conveniently available today at Life West.  This is so important when your research informs patient care management.  Interlibrary loan is easy and quick.  
  • Library covers up to $50 in interlibrary loan expenses for assignments each quarter. 
  • Are you submitting > 10 requests?  Please prioritize.   
  • Talk to the librarian if you are involved in a special research project.
  • Check if your article is available in library collections.  Library staff does not provide copy service for these materials unless accommodation is necessary due to exceptional circumstances.

Check Our Library First

Journal Articles

These databases can link directly to available full text of journal articles. 

Learn more at Find Full Text tab.

  • PubMed @ Life West
  • Google Scholar (easy to set-up)
  • EbscoHost 

Links to full text from these databases are convenient but not 100% foolproof.
Searching for a title in Journals List is certain.


Logo Full Text Finder

Looking for Books and More?

Find Books and Audiovisuals

Logo OCLC WorldCat

Which is the best option?

Each database has unique means for submitting a request

Please review the tabs for easiest methods to use within each database. 
Submit accurate citations copied from research databases whenever possible, using the most concise but complete format. 
Sending only the DOI number (Digital Object Identifier) is acceptable, if that is all you have, but it can be problematic.  

Emailing citations is always an option 

Copy & Paste the complete citation into an email  message to    
PubMed has a shortcut feature.   Please see the PubMed tab.

See the Email tab for tips on including essential information.


For citations discovered in reference lists

Please copy the citation exactly as it appears.  Librarians will attempt to verify any incorrect or incomplete citations.  

Send an email to

Most research databases and journal sites enable exporting a citation.  Copy & paste the complete citation into your email message.

Important things to include when requesting journal articles:

  • Your full name
  • Article Title
  • Article Author
  • Journal Name
  • Date of Publication
  • PubMed ID, if available

Important things to include when requesting book or media resources:

  • Your full name
  • Book or Media Title
  • Author
  • Edition
  • Date of Publication
  • ISBN or OCLC Number, if available


If you can't find all of that information, that's absolutely fine. However, the more information you provide, the easier it is for us to find what you are looking for!


Recommended method 

Scroll down to the tutorials, or request a demonstration at the reference desk to clarify these instructions.  

  1. a)  Search PubMed@LifeWest in order to easily identify which articles are already available at Life West Library.  Change Format to Abstract view in order to see Life West icons.  OR 
    b)  Login at MyNCBI and set up Filter preferences to show LIfe West subscriptions.  See a librarian for assistance.
  2. Identify citations that require interlibrary loan.  You might want to store them Clipboard while you search for more citations.
  3. Open Clipboard, and use the feature Send to: Email, choosing Summary format.  Summary is a concise and complete citation format.
  • Send to your own email address, and then forward to


  • From PubMed, enter your name and email address in the Subject and Notes boxes; then Send to 
    You MUST include your contact information in the Notes box.  Without this, library staff has NO IDEA who sent the request.

Screenprint of form for emailing citations from PubMed

TIP:  Even if you prefer to send your request directly from PubMed to, you can still save a list of which requests you already submitted for interlibrary loan by saving the selected citations to a custom MyNCBI Collection named ILL requests.  A free personal MyNCBI account is needed to use Collections feature.  


Request a demonstration at the reference desk to clarify these instructions.

  1. Search any EbscoHost database and select articles of interest.
  2. Add articles that require interlibrary loan to the storage folder.  
  3. Open the Folder, and checkmark the articles.  
  4. Click Email and fill out the form, choosing Vancouver format.   
  • Send to your own email address, and then forward to


  • From within EbscoHost, enter E-mail to;
    Enter your name and email address in the Subject and Comments boxes.
    You MUST include your contact information in the Comments box.  Without this, library staff has NO IDEA who sent the request.
  • Click Send button

Screenprint of EbscoHost articles displayed in storage Folder

Screenprint EbscoHost form for emailing citations


Life West library owns 99% of journal articles in the Index to Chiropractic Literature.
It is rare that you will need to request an interlibrary loan.

But...just in case the link to an online article fails, or you cannot find an older issue on the shelf...

  1. Checkmark the article that you cannot find 
  2. Scroll down, and fill out only the Email portion  
  • Send to your own email address, and then forward to


  • Enter your name in Subject box
    Enter your email address in Message box
    Then Email to 
    You MUST include your contact information in the Message box.  Without this, library staff has NO IDEA where to send the article.

Screenprint of ICL form for emailing a citation

Reminder:  Only faculty, students and staff can request a book from another library.  It must be somehow relevant to Life West's mission.

  1. Verify which edition is of interest, and find a complete citation if possible.
  2. Send citation in message to


Sources of citations:

Online booksellers and publisher websites will have accurate title, author, edition and ISBN number.  All of these elements help identify the book you need.

Email feature at OCLC WorldCat database will generate and send a citation

  1. Click on the title of interest to display its details
  2. Click on Email
  3. Complete the form
  • Send to your own email address, and then forward to


  • Enter Recipient:  

    You MUST include your contact information in the Notes box.  Without this, library staff has NO IDEA who sent the request.

Screenprint of OCLC WorldCat form for emailing a citation


Scope of Service

We primarily accept requests that relate to the mission of the college.  For strictly personal needs, please contact your local public library or talk to us about fee for service.

  • For current students, faculty and staff:  The library covers the expense of interlibrary loan charges until the individual's quarterly cost cap is reached.  The cost of each article is determined by the lending library.
  • For all other users: Library staff provides both interlibrary loan and document delivery service (copies of journal articles or a book chapter from Life West's collections) on a fee for service basis. 

Copies and Copyright Compliance

Any journal articles or book chapters copied at Life West library, or received through interlibrary loan, are for your personal use only.  Copies should not be further redistributed without permission of the copyright holder.

  • Educators should refer to copyright law regarding "Fair Use" or talk to a librarian if portions of borrowed materials are useful in the classroom.  
  • Library staff fills requests that are within the guidelines for the number of articles from journal or the extent of content from a book permitted by copyright law and licensing agreements.  Requesting copies cannot substitute for the need to subscribe to a journal or purchase a book.
  • Notice: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.  Licensing agreements for online materials supercede copyright guidelines.

Turnaround time for copies is usually 2-5 days.

We deliver copies by PDF via email; by OCLC Article Exchange when publisher's license requires secure transmission; and by mail when license explicitly prohibits file sharing.

Returnable Loans

A nationwide community of libraries participates in interlibrary loan, mostly for lending books.  
Most libraries do not share audiovisual materials; however Life West will place the request.

Turnaround time for returnable loans is usually 2-4 weeks.  

  • Anyone requesting returnable materials must reside in the SF Bay Area and hold a current Life West library card.
  • Loan periods are typically 3 weeks.  Ability to renew is at the discretion of the lending library.
  • For overdue materials, the library sends a reminder after five days, and a billing notice for the replacement value of the item plus $20.00 processing fees after 10 days.  Some items are difficult to replace and will be charged at market rate.


Please Email Us

The staff acknowledges your request within 24 hours.

Interlibrary loan request -

Reference Assistance, Off-Campus Access and Questions -


Not everything is online...

Life West Library is committed to preserving the history and evolution of chiropractic represented in print journals that may never be digitized. We will scan and send articles in PDF format.

Students in the shelves,looking for a print journal