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Research Guides

FAQ: What does the “Request Article” button mean?

Short, simple how-to and demos of frequently asked questions about using the Libraries and information resources

What does the “Request Article” button mean?

If UW Libraries does not have direct access to the article you are looking for, you can get it by clicking on the “Request Article” button.

1. When an article is unavailable in UW Libraries Search, click "Check availability" / “Check Request Options” or scroll down to the "Get It" / “How to get it” heading. You will need to log in with your UW NetID, if you have not already. 

screenshot of UW Libraries Search record and log in button

2. Click “Request article.”

screenshot of Request Article button

3. A new tab/window will open with information about the article’s availability, with one of the following options:

1. Open Access
This article is available from an open access resource, which may be a preprint or other variation that is not the final version of record. Questions about open access? Ask Us!
screenshot of Open Access screen

Click the Go to Open Access button to view the open access article.


2. Request PDF from Article Galaxy Scholar
If the article is not available through open access, you will see an option to Request PDF from Article Galaxy Scholar, an article delivery service available to current UW students, faculty, and staff.
screenshot of the Request PDF screen in Article Galaxy Scholar

First you will enter your UW email address (only or * addresses will be accepted). Then click the Request PDF button. You will receive an email from Article Galaxy Scholar (Reprints Desk) when the PDF is ready,  usually within one hour.


3. Interlibrary Loan
If the article is not available through open access and is not part of UW Libraries’ Article Galaxy Scholar access, you can request your article through Interlibrary Loan (the form will appear in the new tab/window).

screenshot of ILL form

Fill out and submit the request form. You will receive an email from Interlibrary Loan when the PDF is available, usually within 24-48 hours.

Additional Information

Do I have to pay for this service? 

No. All options available through the “Request Article” button are free for current UW students, staff, and faculty.

 Is there a limit on how many articles I can order?

There is no limit.

How long do I have to wait to receive the article PDF?

Depending on which service is providing the article, you may get it within an hour from Article Galaxy Scholar, or within 24-48 hours from Interlibrary Loan.

How long will I have access to the article I have requested? 

Once you are emailed your article link, you will have 30 days to download the content. You may only download the article once, so please make sure to save the article to your personal device to ensure future use.

 What if I didn’t receive my article request?

Just Ask Us!

I used to be able to get this journal directly - why is the request  process different? 

Due to the requirements of the Libraries’ current  Elsevier contract, some journals that were previously accessible directly are no longer available through UW Libraries. If your article is not available, there are several alternative access options.  UW Libraries has also implemented a new request system that will automatically prompt you to request the article through the three options outlined above - Open Access,  Article Galaxy Scholar (AGS) or interlibrary loan. AGS provides 24/7 service for immediate access. 

Who can I contact if my questions aren’t answered on this FAQ page?

We welcome your comments and questions, and we're always happy to help you find what you need. Just Ask Us!