Suggest items for purchase


Please allow us time to buy the resources you need: at least six weeks for British books and two months for books from other countries.

This gives us time to process the orders and add the items to stock. These are average figures - ebooks will be available more quickly.

As a member of academic or research staff, you can suggest items for purchase in three ways, depending on whether you want to suggest an individual book (or other item), a new journal subscription, or a more expensive item for a specific teaching or research need. For most suggestions, you should complete our Purchase Suggestion Form:

See below for information on requesting a new journal subscription, or a new investment in a specific teaching or research resource.

We are obliged to order books which are in print from one of our contracted library suppliers, with whom we have negotiated preferential rates, and who provide us with a range of value-added services.

We use a wide range of internet booksellers for out-of-print books, and follow well-established procedures to search for and purchase suitable out-of-print copies.

Our purchasing process

The purchasing process has been designed to ensure that we purchase required resources promptly, and make best use of available budgets.

Don't buy it yourself!

If you find something in a bookshop or on a website that you think we should have, please don't buy it yourself. Contact us so that we can buy it - booksellers will normally let you reserve items for the Library.

Send our Acquisitions Team details of the bookseller and the book(s) you've reserved. We'll check to see whether we have the book(s) already, and whether there is enough money in your departmental allocation to cover the cost, before contacting the bookseller to confirm or cancel the order.

Ebooks vs print

We purchase ebooks to give as many students as possible access to core texts. If an ebook is available, we'll buy this as a first preference.

Titles on resource lists

We always purchase items included in resource lists for courses. If you add something to your online resource list in EARL which isn't currently in stock, we are automatically notified that it should be ordered. You don't need to email us or complete a separate Purchase Suggestion Form.


The Library uses ratios as a guide to ordering resources, which are updated as departmental needs change. These include information about:

  • number of copies to be bought in relation to student numbers
  • maximum spend per item

Need to know more?

Speak to your Academic Liaison Librarian (ALL) to find out about:

  • Departmental ratios
  • Monthly budget reports
  • New subscription requests
  • Strategic research and teaching requests

Visit our Subject Guides to find out who your ALL is.


The Library budget for resources is initially top-sliced for journal subscriptions, interlending, and general, interdisciplinary and electronic resources. It is then divided across academic departments and used to purchase one-off teaching and research resources.

The financial year runs from 1 August to 31 July: we encourage departments to place all requests by the end of May to ensure that we can process orders before the end of the financial year. Your ALL can help you monitor expenditure throughout the year.

Requests for new subscriptions

In order to manage budgets for resources with ongoing costs, we have to carefully consider the impact of taking out new subscriptions. If you would like the Library to subscribe to a journal or database not currently available in our collection, please speak to your ALL in the first instance, who will advise you how to complete the following form:

Expensive research and teaching requests

Additional funds are available to support strategic investments in library research resources at faculty level.

Funds are also available for expensive, one-off, teaching resources that cannot be afforded out of a department's regular library budget.