Using RACER

First Time Users

  • Register here with the barcode on your McMaster ID card (eg. 290050xxxxxxx).
  • Remember the password you choose.
  • Individuals who select Health Sciences Library as their pick-up location will be charged differently for Interlibrary Loan service. Visit HSL Interlibrary Loan for more information.
  • If you are unsure what payment method to select, select Debit/Credit (can be altered later).

Important Information for All Users

  • Requests take from 2 to 5 days (or longer) to arrive depending on availability.
  • There is a $10 charge for any item not picked up within 3 weeks of email notification. This fee is not charged in the Health Sciences Library.
  • There is a $3.00 fee for articles picked up in the Health Sciences Library.
  • Books loans are free
  • Rush service is available for an additional $30 per item. Contact the Interlibrary Loan Department or the Health Sciences Interlibrary Loan Department for rush requests.
  • To expedite your request, please include the ISSN/ISBN in the required field. 
  • Please remember your pick-up location.
  • When searching RACER, do not use the back button on your browser.
  • External Borrowers do not have access to Interlibrary Loans privileges at McMaster. If you are an external borrower, please use the services provided at your local public library.

Requesting Books

  • You may request books we do not own or those labelled "Missing" in the Catalogue.
  • The normal loan period is 3 weeks. You are responsible for returning books on or before the due date. 
  • Overdue charges from lending libraries and replacement charges for items lost are the responsibility of the patron.
  • University of Waterloo video tutorial on finding a book in RACER

Requesting Articles 

  • Under the university's Access Copyright agreement, you are allowed to request 10% of a published work or a single article only from an issue of a journal. Requests for more than one article from a single issue of a journal will be rejected.
  • Systematic, cumulative copying is prohibited. That means that you may not copy 10% of a publication one day, then another 10% the next day, and so on until most or all of the publication is copied. See Access Copyright for more information on how much you can copy.
  • University of Waterloo video tutorial on finding an article in RACER

Requesting Theses

  • Registered RACER users may request theses if they are not available at McMaster.
  • If a thesis is unavailable for loan, Interlibrary Loan will contact you.
  • Check the Theses Canada Portal for electronic theses and dissertations.

Searching for Materials in RACER

  • Use Standard Search for keyword searching and Advanced Search to search in specific fields (e.g. Author).
  • Always include McMaster in the collection of libraries you search. Selecting many collections will slow down your search.
  • When you see the results of your search, click Details to verify that an item is the one you want. If you find no matches, try selecting different libraries, or fill in a blank request form.
  • Click Get it! for the item you wish to get. Details will automatically fill a request form. Only select one record. Multiple possible locations will be attached to it.
  • Health Sciences users: put the PMID in the Notes field (e.g. PMID 23478912)
  • Health Sciences users: if using a payment method other than the one selected at registration, put the necessary information in the Notes field.

Filling in a Blank Request Form

  • Click Blank Request Form under My Account on the left side of the screen.
  • For Journal Articles, choose Photocopy. For Books, choose Borrow.
  • Health Sciences users: put the PMID in the Notes field (e.g. PMID 23478912).
  • Health Sciences users: if using a payment method other than the one selected at registration, put the necessary information in the Notes field.
  • University of Waterloo video tutorial on creating a request for materials not in RACER

Notification, Pickup and Cancellation

Notification

  • You will receive an email when:
    • the item you have requested has arrived.
      • Effective February 1, 2013: all articles will now be delivered electronically via email. Instructions for retrieving the article will be in the email you receive.
    • additional information is needed.
    • the item is held in a McMaster library.
    • a request has been cancelled.

Pickup

  • There is a $10 charge for any item not picked up within 3 weeks of email notification.
  • There is a $3.00 charge for article pick-up in the Health Sciences Library.
  • Mills: pick up your loan at the Library Services Desk. Return books in the regular book return.
  • Thode: pick up your loan at the Mills Library Services Desk. You may return books at any library.
  • Effective February 1, 2013: all articles will now be delivered electronically via email. Instructions for retrieving the article will be in the email you receive.
  • Health Sciences: pick up your loan at the main service desk. Return books to the main service desk.

Cancelling a request

  • Login to RACER and go to My Requests.
  • On the Requests List, click "Cancel" beside the request you would like to cancel. If a request is no longer listed, it may be too late to cancel it.

Tracking your Request Status

  • Login to RACER.
  • Click My Requests. A list of your current requests will be displayed.If an item is no longer listed, check your email for notification about picking up your request.
  • Status codes and their meanings:
    • Idle: we will process your request shortly.
    • Pending: your request has been sent to a lending library.
    • Shipped: lending library has begun the process of shipping your item.
    • Not supplied: local library staff are searching other libraries for your item.
    • Conditional: a lending library has indicated they will supply your tem as soon as some condition is met.
    • Received: item has arrived at the library and will be available shortly. This status only appears for books and other loans.
    • Returned: item is being sent back to the lending library
  • University of Waterloo video on checking the status of your RACER requests

Changing your Password

  1. Login to RACER; under My Account on the left, click on Account Details.
  2. Click Edit and make your changes.
  3. Tick Update Password and click Update.

Forgotten your Password?

Need more help? / Helpful tutorials

  • Try these instructional videos on RACER Usage developed by the University of Waterloo Library.

    • How to find a book in RACER

    • How to find an article in RACER

    • How to complete a blank request form in RACER

    • How to check the status of your RACER requests