The article looks at a number of possible reasons for the current downturn in the volume of interlibrary loan (ILL) and document supply (DS) requests in the UK higher education (HE) sector. Figures quantifying the demand for these services are examined at the outset by means of a short survey that was circulated to ten HE institutions. The impact of electronic journals on ILL and DS services is scrutinised and proven to be a significant factor. The bibliographic searching behaviour of university researchers is investigated by means of a short questionnaire, and the results of the survey are evaluated. The recent rise in the number of postgraduate students in UK universities is confirmed. The topics of library budgets and the impact of end‐user services are also examined. The article concludes that it is the increase in the number of electronic journal subscriptions that has had the most significant impact on the recent decrease in demand for ILL and DS services in UK academic libraries.
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