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Checking Things Out: Requesting Journal Articles

Everything you need to know when checking out books, laptops, movies, or anything else from the Galvin Library.

Finding And Requesting Articles via ILL

If you're looking for articles from scholarly journals or other types of scholarly publications, you should first search the Galvin Library catalog to see if the Galvin Library can provide you with immediate access to the article, or if you can visit the library to view a physical copy of it.

If the Galvin Library cannot provide immediate access to the article either physically or through journal database subscriptions, you can use the library's Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service to request a copy of the article from a library that owns it.

Galvin Library ILL staff will search for potential lenders of the article, and will notify you via email when your request has been fulfilled and you may either view the article online or retrieve a copy from the Galvin Library circulation desk.

You can create an ILL request for an article in one of two ways. If you're searching one of the library's database subscriptions, some articles may display a link to the library's catalog, where you can then submit an ILL request. Or, you can log into MyILL and create a new request from scratch using the ILL web forms.

Within a Database

If you are searching for articles within one of the library's journal database subscriptions, you will find that many articles are already available online, usually in PDF format.

If you find an article that is not immediately available, you may see the Find Full Text button attached to the article.



Clicking this button will take you to the library's catalog entry for the article. On this page, scroll down to the How to Get It section. You may see a link to the library's MyILL request form.

The form will be pre-filled with all the information the ILL staff will need to request the article for you.


Note that the Chicago-Kent School of Law's Library, which is affiliated with Illinois Tech, maintains its own database subscriptions that are available only to affiliates of the Chicago-Kent School of Law. One such subscription is Westlaw. If an article is shown as available through Westlaw in the How to Get It section and you are an affiliate of the main Illinois Tech campus, you will need to create an ILL request for the article.

Navigate to the bottom of the page and click on the link to the Main Campus ILL Form.

Here, the form is not pre-filled with article information. Please provide as much information as possible, filling as many of the fields as you can. If you can provide a DOI number for the article, it will greatly improve the ILL staff's success in locating and providing the article to you.

From Scratch Using MyILL

If you have most of the citation information for an article but have not located it in one of the library's journal database subscriptions or in the library's catalog, you can create a request directly using MyILL.

An example of this situation is if you were reading an interesting article and found a relevant citation in its Works Cited section, or if you found an interesting citation in a book's bibliography.

After logging into MyILL, click the Create Request button to view the request form.


There are three types of forms to choose from: ArticleBook, or Thesis/Dissertation.

Select Article if you're looking for a journal article.

Fill in as many of the fields as you can, as accurately as possible. If you have a DOI for the article, including it in the form will greatly improve the speed and success of filling the request.

When all fields have been filled, click Submit Request. Your request will be reviewed by ILL staff, who will find potential lending libraries and reach out to them to supply a copy of the article.

If the Galvin ILL staff have questions about your request, they may reach out to you via your Illinois Tech email. You will be notified by email when your request has been fulfilled and is ready to view.

Note that not all requests can be fulfilled. Possible reasons that an article cannot be found include:

  • Lack of potential lenders
  • Not enough information in the request to locate the article
  • The age of the article
  • The type of material may not be loanable (maps, standardized tests, etc.)

If your request is canceled, you will be notified via email with an explanation. You can reach out to ILL staff by emailing, and they can assist you in reformatting your request or locating the article you're looking for.