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Borrow from Other Libraries: Documents2Go FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Documents2Go? How do I log in? Documents2Go is Himmelfarb's online portal for our Interlibrary Loan service. It is accessible by GW Faculty, Students and Staff, who login with their GW UserID and password. First time users will be able login with their GW UserID & GW email password to create their account.
  • How do I submit a Documents2Go request?  All Documents2Go and document delivery requests are submitted through our Documents2Go online portal. Please be as detailed as possible with your citation; for articles, including the PubMed ID (if your article is indexed in PubMed) will greatly help us in processing your request.
  • How long does it take?   Articles are normally delivered within 24-72 hours. Rush service guarantees delivery within one business day; there is an extra $10 charge for this service. If we are unable to provide Rush service articles within 24 hours from payment acceptance, you will not be charged. Books can take 1-2 weeks to arrive, depending on where they are shipped from, and the shipping service the lending library uses.
  • I have not received my request yet, what should I do? Don't hesitate to reach out to
  • How will I be notified when my material arrives?  If you have requested a book, we will email you when it is ready for pickup. Please pickup and drop off your item at the Himmelfarb circulation desk to ensure that it is checked in properly. When we receive your article and are ready to deliver it to you, we will send you an email informing you that your article is ready to be viewed on your Documents2Go account.
  • What format will my article be in, and how will I receive it?  From your Documents2Go account, you can download the article as a PDF.
  • Will I have to pay?  SMHS, GWSPH, and SON students, staff, and faculty are entitled to 30 free Documents2Go requests per year to support their research. Children's National Health System patrons, residents and fellows of accredited programs are covered by the Graduate Medical Education office or their respective programs. See more information about payment on the Charges & Billing page.
  • Can I include my department's Banner index number?   Yes; we will require authorization from your department head granting us permission to charge your department's Banner account. An email is sufficient for this purpose. 
  • Can I renew my Documents2Go book?  Renewals are granted at the discretion of the lending library. Should you need a renewal, please contact the ILL office at and we will request a renewal from the lender. We will notify you if the renewal is granted, with a new due date, or denied--in which case, the original due date applies. 
  • What happens if I lose or damage my Documents2Go book?  Libraries lend us their materials as a courtesy, and borrowers are expected to treat ILL items on loan with the same care and attention as Himmelfarb resources. Lost or damaged materials are subject to any and all additional replacement fees will be levied by the lending library. 
  • How may I contact the ILL staff? We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the Himmelfarb ILL program. Feel free to reach us at (202) 994-2860 or by email at

Documents2Go Statuses

While waiting for your article or book to arrive through Documents2Go, you may notice the status of your request changes as it is processed. Listed below are a few descriptions of the most commonly seen statuses in your Documents2Go account. 

  • Awaiting Copyright Clearance: Documents2Go staff must verify that each request complies with certain copyright regulations. If the request meets these criteria, it will be routed for further processing.  
  • Awaiting Request Processing: Once a request passes Copyright Clearance, it will remain in this queue until it is processed by a staff member.
  • Awaiting Unfilled Processing: The request has been sent to potential lending libraries, but it has not been filled. We are trying to locate additional libraries that may own the material; this process can take several days before all potential libraries respond and either accept or decline the request.
  • Awaiting Conditional Processing: A potential lending library has responded to the request by asking us to clarify something or comply with special conditions (high cost, restricted use, etc.) before they will lend the item.
  • Awaiting Patron Response: Documents2Go staff have contacted you about this request and are waiting to hear back from you before proceeding with the request. 
  • Request Sent: Your request is being routed to libraries that own the title. 
  • Awaiting Odyssey Processing: This request has been delivered from the lender and is waiting electronic delivery processing on our end. 
  • Request in Processing: The request is being processed by ILL staff.
  • Checked Out To Customer: This means your ILL book has arrived, has been checked out to your account, and is available for pickup. Your request will remain in this status until the item is returned to the circulation desk at Himmelfarb, or until the due date has been reached. 
  • Cancelled by ILL Staff: In most situations, if an article is cancelled it’s because we already own it, it was a duplicate request, or the user has requested us to cancel it. If for whatever reason you are not sure why your request might have been cancelled, feel free to contact us at (202) 994-2860 or by email at
  • Request Finished: This status refers to requests that have been closed.  

Reasons for cancellation

Here is a list of the possible reasons your request may be canceled. For clarification, please feel free to contact us.

  • Available - E-Journals: Himmelfarb has a subscription to the journal you have requested. The cancellation email will contain the link to our holdings listed on our e-journals page. If you're on a networked computer, you can access the article automatically; if you're off-campus, login via the VPN first
  • Available - Open Access: We were able to find an open access copy of your article through PubMed Central, an institutional repository (IR), or through some other freely available channel. The cancellation email will include the link where you can access the resource for free. 
  • Available - (Stacks, Reference, or Reserves): Himmelfarb has one or more copies of your request available in one of these library locations. 
  • Item available at one or more WRLC libraries: The book you have requested is available at one or more libraries in the WRLC, our local consortium. The cancellation email will contain instructions on how to place a Consortium Loan Services request. Also see our CLS guide for more information. 
  • Checked out at owning libraries: All owning libraries have marked your request as in use by one of their patrons. If your request is returned for this reason, you may wish to try again in a few months, at which time the item may have been returned.
  • No library is able to supply this item: We have exhausted all possible resources for your request. We encourage you to contact the reference desk for further assistance in finding similar resources if we are unable to obtain an item for you.
  • Non-circulating: This means that the item you've requested is marked as non-circulating by the owning libraries, and ineligible for loan or copy. Common reasons include: material is too fragile, license does not allow for reproduction via ILL, or the material is on course reserve
  • We could not fill your request by your deadline: This reason applies if we're unable to fill your request by your "Not Wanted After" date. You can always resubmit your request. 
  • Too new for an Interlibrary Loan: Very recently published books and articles may not yet be available for loan or copy. We advise you to try again in 1-2 months, at which time the book may be available for loan or the article will be in press. 
  • Exceeds copy limits: Most libraries set copy limits; most commonly, 50 pages, or no more than a certain percentage of a book. If your request exceeds the amount lending libraries are willing to copy, you may see this cancellation reason. If you have requested a book chapter that has been rejected for this reason, you may try requesting the entire book. 
  • Not within copyright compliance: The ILL office follows all U.S. copyright regulations regarding the sending and receiving of Interlibrary Loans. We reserve the right to cancel any request that is not copyright-compliant.