Interlibrary Loan

How do I get a conference paper or journal article that is not in the MSU Library?

Here are the steps that are recommended that you follow to obtain such a paper/article:

  • First, find out the affiliations of the authors; i.e., the university or companies that the authors work for. Then go to the websites for those universities/companies. Particularly, if one of the authors is a faculty member or a recent student at a university, you will often find that the author has a web page with the article you desire available online. Sometimes, but less frequently, you can find articles for corporate authors this route as well. How do you find out the authors' affiliations if you only have their names? Try looking for other papers written by the authors on IEEE Xplore — download a recent paper and you'll probably find affiliation information on the first page.
  • Suppose you have no luck finding the article on the web. The next step would be to email one of the authors of the paper and request the paper directly. Particularly for a recent paper, the author may be able to email you the paper quickly.
  • If you have no luck with the above two approaches, you can try Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

The essence of interlibrary loan is that the MSU Library has a reciprocal agreement with other libraries — our library gets copies of papers held by other libraries for free providing our library returns the favor. The usual situation is that the ILL staff will be able to obtain your requested paper for free from another library, and it will take about 10 days for you to get it. If none of the libraries in the ILL system has the paper, the ILL staff can turn to several non-free sources to attempt to obtain the article. If the ILL staff gets the article from a non-free source, it will usually cost $10-$20, although you are asked to specify a "max cost" when placing the request to allow for higher amounts. To pay for the paper, you will need to give a Banner number, which means you can charge the item to a research contract. To a request material through ILL, use the online ILLiad system.