Skip to Main Content

Borrow & Request: DocuServe (InterLibrary Loan)

DocuServe (InterLibrary Loan)

Illustration of a masked moped rider making deliveries Log in to DocuServe

What Is DocuServe?

DocuServe is an information delivery service available to Caltech faculty, students, and staff. We participate in resource sharing partnerships and networks to provide you with alternative access to materials that we do not own or subscribe to. DocuServe includes InterLibrary Loan, document delivery, and more.

What can I request? Request materials related to your research, teaching, study, or employment at Caltech, such as books, journal articles, book chapters, theses, or media. We are not able to provide textbooks through DocuServe, but Course Reserves may be able to help.

How much does it cost? No charge for article, book, or book chapter requests. Some items like patents and standards require a charge which varies per item.

How long does delivery take? Most journal article requests are fulfilled within 48 hours. Physical items are usually delivered within one week.

How do I access the material? Once the item arrives, you will be notified via email, and you can check out the request at Sherman Fairchild Library (SFL) Circulation Desk. Access articles and book chapters through email.

About DocuServe Services

InterLibrary Loan (ILL)

Request materials such as books, journal articles, book chapters, theses, or media that are not available in the Caltech Library, through ILL.

How much does ILL cost? No charge for article, book, or book chapter requests. Certain items like patents and standards involve a cost that varies per item.

How do I receive ILL items? Once the item arrives, you will be notified via email, and you can check out the request at Sherman Fairchild Library (SFL) Circulation Desk. Articles and book chapters will be accessible through email.

Some items might be difficult to obtain from other libraries, such as:

  • Reference materials
  • Textbooks
  • Whole volumes or issues of periodicals
  • Audiovisual materials
  • Rare, fragile or archival materials
  • Multi-volume sets
  • Patents
  • Recently published materials


What Is RUSH Delivery Service?

Use RUSH rapid delivery service to receive articles that we don't have immediate access to.

How long does RUSH take? Requests are typically filled within 15 minutes. Sometimes more time is needed to retrieve and deliver a hard-to-find article.

How much does RUSH cost? Caltech faculty, students, and staff receive ten free RUSH-delivered articles each academic year. We will keep track of your usage and notify you when you have fulfilled your ten free articles for the year. 

When do I get charged? On the eleventh RUSH article request, you will be charged $15. We will invoice you using the information from your DocuServe account. You can also pay by credit card at the Sherman Fairchild Library. On October first of each year, your ten free RUSH requests begin again.

What is the cost limit for RUSH items? The typical cost to the Library for RUSH articles is approximately $30 per article. For articles that cost $100 or more, RUSH service is not available. You will be notified if this occurs and we will try to acquire the article through InterLibrary Loan instead.

How to Submit a DocuServe Request

1. Search for your item before placing a request

Search LibSearch, Web of Science, JSTOR, or another database to verify that we do not already have access to what you are requesting. You can also try searching the open web or Google Scholar.

If you prefer us to check multiple items, email us with thorough citation information at and we will create individual requests for each article on your behalf.

2. Create a DocuServe account

The first time you log in to DocuServe, you will see the new user registration form. Enter your personal information then select Submit Information.

Payment information: For most requests, you will not be charged. Some items require a billing account. Please include your billing account information (UID or PTA). DocuServe staff will always contact you for permission before processing a request that will result in a charge exceeding $20.

3. Submit a request through DocuServe or a database

To submit citations through DocuServe:

  1. Log in to your DocuServe account. Select the type of request under Main Menu/New Request. For assistance, select "Help" and complete the web form.
  2. Fill in all required fields. Any extra information provided will make it easier to process your request.
  3. Submit Request.


To submit requests through a database:

  1. Select the Get-It@Caltech button for the item you want to request.
  2. Select DocuServe or RUSH:
  • DocuServe it (always free): Submits a normal DocuServe request. A DocuServe window will appear with most of the appropriate citation fields already populated. Select "Submit Request" to complete the request.
  • RUSH it (first 10 free): Submits a RUSH delivery request (usually fulfilled within minutes). Make ten RUSH delivery requests at no charge each academic year. At the eleventh RUSH delivery request, a $15 charge will be applied to your account unless otherwise indicated.


Contact Us

Location: Room #124 at Sherman Fairchild Library

Phone: 626-395-6437