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Iowa State University

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Document Delivery

The Document Delivery Service (DDS) at Iowa State University provides rapid, low-cost copying and delivery services to ISU students, faculty and staff, as well as business, industry and individual researchers worldwide. Drawing on the resources of the ISU Library, and other libraries and document suppliers throughout the world, DDS staff will locate, photocopy, scan, and deliver a variety of documents, including:

  • Journal and newspaper articles
  • Technical reports
  • Conference papers
  • Book chapters
  • Government documents
  • Patents
  • Book loans (for individuals with an active ISU Library card)
  • Other types of materials


Requests for document delivery can be submitted via web form, by mail or fax (you must use our form).


Most documents can be sent within 24 hours, with standard delivery by campus mail, first class mail, fax, Ariel, or emailed PDF files as requested. Special handling and expedited delivery options include Fedex, air mail, etc. Prompt status reports are made on unfilled requests.

Charges for affiliated users

Rates for ISU students, faculty, staff, and Library Visitor cardholders are subsidized wholly or in part by the ISU Library.

Copy fees:

For ISUCard holders, fully subsidized, no charge delivery of 5 articles from the ISU Library's print materials (any location) per calendar year.

No full subsidy for Library Visitor cardholders.

For all billed copy requests, $5.00 per document (up to 20 pages); $.10 per page over 20 pages copied or scanned.

Book loans checked out to your card and delivered to:

  • Address more than 25 miles from Ames - ISU card, no charge
  • Address less than 25 miles from Ames - ISU card, $5.00
  • Any mailing address - Library Visitor's card, $5.00

Special services:

  • U.S. fax: no additional charge
  • Fedex: shipping charges only
  • Airmail: airmail costs only
  • University billing: $3.00 surcharge per request
  • Rollover to ILL: no charge of any kind
  • Obtain internationally: $5.00 surcharge for loans only; no surcharge for copies
  • Rush service: $5.00 surcharge

Charges for unaffiliated users

(i.e. organizations without formal libraries; individuals without an active ISUCard or Library Visitor's card; document delivery organizations):

Article fees:

$15.00 per document (up to 20 pages; $.10 per page over 20 pages copied or scanned)

Book loans:

No book loans

Special services:

  • U.S. fax: $10.00 surcharge (20 page limit)
  • Fedex: $10.00 surcharge plus shipping charges
  • Airmail: $10.00 surcharge plus shipping charges
  • Non-Web requests: $10.00 surcharge per request
  • Invoicing surcharge: $3.00 surcharge per request
  • Rollover to ILL: $10.00 surcharge per request
  • Obtain internationally: $10.00 surcharge per request
  • Rush service: $10.00 surcharge per request
  • Copyright royalties: Fee assessed by Copyright Clearance Center (CCC)

Online Access to the ISU Catalog

To determine whether the ISU Library owns an item, check Quick Search. Help screens are available online. Further assistance can be obtained through Ask Us! or by calling Reference staff at 515 294-3642.

Book loans

Loans of returnables, such as books, dissertations, theses, microforms, etc, are limited to individuals who have an active ISUCard or Library Visitor card.

Delivery from other libraries/suppliers

If a requested item proves to be unavailable at the ISU Library, ISU students, faculty, staff, and Library Visitor cardholders can have the item requested from another library or supplier at no charge. This service is available to all other clients for an additional $10.00 fee. The base fee for documents obtained for non-ISU personnel from a supplier outside the ISU Library is therefore $25.00.


Students, faculty and staff currently enrolled in/employed by Iowa State can arrange for payment in a variety of ways. These include prepayment by cash, check, money order, or ISU intramural purchase order; payment by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or Discover); CyCash, SHAZAM, or ISU account. Billing to an ISU account incurs an additional $3.00 billing fee. Library Visitor cardholders have the same payment options available.

Profit or non-profit organizations can pay by credit card, or establish a billing account. Each document shipped will have an invoice including a $3.00 billing fee, which can later be reconciled with a monthly statement. For all non-account holders (i.e. individuals without ISU or organizational affiliation), prepayment or credit card payment is required.

Copyright Compliance

Document Delivery Service (DDS) operates under the "Fair Use" guidelines of U.S. copyright law. For all unaffiliated clients, however, DDS offers a "copyright cleared" service, whereby royalties can be paid to the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) and billed back to the user. This option is available only upon request. If copyright cleared service is requested by the client, but clearance cannot be obtained in a timely manner from CCC, the document will be supplied with a "Not copyright cleared" statement. The responsibility then lies with the client to contact the copyright holder.

For more information

Document Delivery Service
204 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140
Telephone: 515 294-0440
Fax: 515 294-1885

Iowa State University

University Library, Ames, Iowa 50011, Email Webmaster
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