7.7 Document supply

The supply of photocopies to users who cannot visit the resource centre, or to other resource centres, is often called document supply.

Users may need to see articles in periodicals or chapters in books that are not held by the resource centre. Resource centre staff can enable them to do this by asking other resource centres for document supply services. Staff can develop a knowledge of what materials are available from other resource centres by providing referral services (see Section 7.8: Referral services).

Document supply is one of the services that network members often provide for each other (see Section 8.3: Networks and networking). This is usually on the basis of mutual support - resource centres are expected to supply a similar number of materials to the number that they request.

If document supply is requested from resource centres and libraries that are not part of a network, they will usually make a charge. Charges vary, but can be quite expensive - for example, up to GB£5/US$10 for an article.

To comply with copyright regulations, it is important to keep records of photocopied materials obtained and supplied via document supply. Records of requests for materials should include details of what was requested, who requested it, the date it was requested, the date it arrived and the organisation that supplied it. Records of materials supplied to other organisations should included details of what was requested, the organisation that requested it, the date it was requested and the date the photocopies were sent.