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Frequently asked questions

What content is available through this service?

All materials covered by the CLA Higher Education Licence can be supplied through this service. A list of excluded categories of content and excluded publishers can be found on the CLA website. Please also note that we are unable to supply content from a small number of publishers through this service (see below).

You can order materials that you own in your library and materials that you do not currently own (a copyright fee is payable on non-collection items. See below for details).

 What content is excluded from this service?

This is the type of content that we cannot deliver through this service.

  • CLA Excluded Content - CLA licences do not authorise photocopying or scanning from some general categories of published works as well as some specific publishers and works themselves. For a full list of this content, see the CLA website.

 How much will my document cost?

There are three separate pricing elements to each document that you order through the HESS service. A service charge and VAT will be applied to all orders and a copyright fee, specified by the publisher of the material, will be charged on material that is not owned by your institution. Details of our current prices are available here.

If you need your document urgently, 2 hour guaranteed response and a 24 hour guaranteed response services are available at our published list price.

Can I order book chapters?

Yes. You can order one complete book chapter per course and a standard copyright fee will be charged on all orders.

 How do I pay for my document?

Your order will be charged to your British Library account. If you do not currently have an account or would like to open a separate account, specifically for HESS orders, please contact our Customer Services team.

 How do I order a document?

Once you have registered, you can order an HESS documents through the ARTTel, ARTEmail and Online services. If you are using ARTEmail please insert one of the following three Message Keyword Codes: PTW (Standard Service), PTW*24* (24 hour) and PTW*2* (2 hour) into the Message Keyword Code field. This is also the field where you need to tell us whether a copyright fee needs to be charged. You do this by entering the term (copyrt) in the Message Keyword Code field (if this term is not entered no copyright fee will be charged). An example of an Artemail request utilizing these terms (shown in bold) is shown below. Please note if you have not registered for this service and try to place an order using the PTW codes, your order will be failed.

Construction of a standard HESS Artemail request.


On binary signed digit representations of integers Ebeid, N. Hasan, M. A.
Springer Science Business Media


If you have registered for an online account you can also order using our BLDSS ordering service.

Please contact our Customer Services team for further information.

 Can I order documents through my Library Management System?

You cannot currently order HESS items through your Library Management System. All orders need to be placed via our ARTEmail, ARTTEL or online services..

 Is there a minimum order?

No. You can order as many or as few documents covered by your license as you need through this service.

 How is my document delivered?

Your PDF ® document will be loaded on to a British Library server and you will be sent an email (containing a link to your specific order) informing you that your document is ready to be downloaded. Your document will be available for download for 14 days before being deleted from the server.

 How quickly will my HESS document be delivered?

A document ordered via our standard service will be delivered within 2-5 days of your order. However, over the past 12 months over 90% of standard service orders have been delivered within 48 hours. Two premium services are also available that guarantee a response within 2 hours and 24 hours.

 In what format will I receive my document?

Your document will be delivered as an Image PDF ® and will be readable on any supported version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

 Does the service include Cover Sheets?

Cover sheets are not included with this service. However, your PDF file will be unlocked, allowing you to add your own.

 Will I have access to my HESS document for 14 days, as with Secure Electronic Delivery

No. Your file will be delivered as a standard image PDF and once you have downloaded it you will be able to use it locally for as long as you are permitted under the terms of your CLA Higher Education Licence..

 Do I need to record documents ordered through this service on my Digital Copy Record Form?

Yes you do. Every institution ordering materials through this service are obligated to record them on the Digital Copy Record Form.