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Frequently asked questions about swisscovery

What is ZHAW swisscovery?

ZHAW swisscovery serves as a single point of entry to search all ZHAW University Library holdings. You will be able to find both print and digital materials with a single search query.

The swisscovery platform lists more than 30 million print and non-print holdings (e.g. books, series, journals and nonbook materials) as well as 3 billion electronic articles from 490 swisscovery and eleven Renouvaud libraries. Within the ZHAW network (on campus or via VPN), you can access the full text of e-media licensed by the ZHAW with just a few clicks of your mouse.

User account

How can I register?

Library customers must have a SWITCH edu-ID account to use the swisscovery services. You can register here.

Please note: 

After you register with SLSP, you can use your SWITCH edu-ID account for all swisscovery libraries. 

How can I adjust my personal details (e.g. new postal address or e-mail address)?

Personal details can only be adjusted by you independently. To do so, log in to your SWITCH edu-ID and adjust the desired data there. The adjusted data will then be automatically transferred to the library account. Please note that correct personal details are required for correspondence with us. The library team cannot make any changes to your library account.

How can I select the preferred correspondence address?

In your SWITCH edu-ID, you can see your preferred e-mail address under Contact address. If you have added additional e-mail addresses, you can change your preferred e-mail address by clicking on the star symbol. The postal address can be adjusted accordingly in the "Personal data" section. If you have entered a residential and a business address, you can select the preferred postal address in swisscovery Administration Library Cards and Administration. If you move, please adjust the postal address so that any correspondence is sent to the correct postal address.

I have a CampusCard. Which number from my CampusCard should I enter as my library card number in SLSP?

In the case of ZHAW members, the barcode on your CampusCard is automatically transferred if you linked your SWITCH edu-ID account to your university affiliation. If this does not happen automatically, use the number right above the barcode on your CampusCard as your library card number.

Is registration also possible for people with a residence address outside Switzerland?

Users without a Swiss postal address can also create a SWITCH edu-ID account. Please note that depending on your place of residence you might have limited services offered to you by the SLSP libraries.

Where can I view my borrowings in swisscovery?

You can see your borrowings in your account in the swisscovery portal. Please note that loans are only displayed per pick-up institution in your account. Go to "My Loans" via your customer account and select an institution on the left side of the account to see the loans from that institution.

Do I have to identify myself at the counter of my library after registration?

No, that is no longer necessary. Your mobile phone number is verified upon registration.

Why are my reservations and my borrowing history not migrated to swisscovery?

Unfortunately, migration of reservations and borrowing histories to the new system is not possible due to technical and privacy policy reasons. You will be able to start reserving documents in swisscovery from Monday, 7 December 2020.

I have completed my studies / I am finishing my work at the ZHAW and would like to continue using swisscovery

After completing your studies, you do not have to open a new account, as your existing account will be adjusted automatically. The ZHAW CampusCard will be deactivated. If you wish, you can obtain a new library card at your library's lending desk.

You can continue to make on-site use of the library and also borrow media from the ZHAW University Library premises.

Leaving the ZHAW will result in the following changes in terms of services:

Further fees will only be charged in the following cases:

An overview of the fees can also be found in our FAQs in the “Externals” column.


Alternatively, e-media can be consulted free of charge on site at the ZHAW locations. Subject to copyright protection, it is generally possible to download and save documents on USB sticks that you bring with you.


How can I borrow documents?

All documents of the libraries participating in SLSP can be found via the swisscovery portal. Documents can usually be borrowed on site in the libraries. A large number of the documents can be ordered from the libraries' own or other libraries.

What is SLSP courier?

SLSP courier connects academic libraries from all over Switzerland. With SLSP courier it is possible for you to have books delivered from one library to another within three working days for a fee of CHF 6 to 8 per ordered document. These fees are waived for ZHAW staff and students.

Who is participating in SLSP courier?

You can find out which libraries are participating in SLSP courier during the ordering process.

What are the borrowing conditions?


How much do I pay for each service?

Fees for SLSP Courier, postal delivery, digitization requests and InterLibrary Loan along the SLSP pricing.

Service ZHAW-staff ZHAW-students Externals
SLSP Courier - Delivery of a document to the ZHAW University Library free of charge free of charge CHF 8
SLSP Courier - Delivery of a document to another Pickup Location CHF 6 to 8 CHF 6 to 8 CHF 6 to 8
Postal delivery home or office addresses CHF 12 CHF 12 CHF 12
Digitization request for ZHAW-non-circulating items free of charge Digital: CHF 5 (per 50 pages) / Paper: CHF 7.50 (per 50 pages) Digital: CHF 5 (per 50 pages) / Paper: CHF 7.50 (per 50 pages)
InterLibrary Loan – Copies from libraries within Switzerland free of charge Digital: CHF 5 (per 50 pages) / Paper: CHF 7.50 (per 50 pages) service not available
InterLibrary Loan – Copies from libraries abroad free of charge Digital: CHF 8 (per 50 pages) / Paper: CHF 10.50 (per 50 pages) service not available
InterLibrary Loan – Physical items from libraries within Switzerland free of charge CHF 12 service not available
InterLibrary Loan – Physical items from libraries abroad (including Subito) free of charge Europe : CHF 24 / UK and Overseas : CHF 36 service not available

How much does a reminder cost?

A fee is charged for every reminder that needs to be sent. The fees are cumulative.

Request for return free
1st reminder CHF 5 per document
2nd reminder CHF 5 per document (total CHF 10)
3rd reminder CHF 10 per document (total CHF 20)

After how many days are reminders sent?

The timing of the reminders depends on the loan period of the respective item.

Request for return 1 day after expiry of the borrowing period
Items with a loan period of 7, 14 or 28 days 7 days after previous request for return
Items with a loan period of 1 day 1 day after previous request for return

Why am I receiving a bill from SLSP?

In your user account you will find a summary of your chargeable services on swisscovery and, if applicable, library reminders. Active fees can be paid directly by cash at the information desk in the ZHAW library in Winterthur. Transferred fees will be invoiced via SLSP.

SLSP operates the swisscovery platform on behalf of 490 libraries in Switzerland and handles billing on their behalf.

How often will I receive a bill for services subject to a fee on swisscovery?

For transferred fees, a monthly invoice is issued by SLSP. These refer to the fee-based services you received on swisscovery in the month before last (e.g. in May for March).

How can I pay the bill?

To pay the fee, refer to the QR bill sent to you via e-mail. You can pay the QR bill using your mobile banking app or via e-banking. The QR code contains all of the relevant information needed for the payment process. When entering payment data manually, please note that the reference number must be provided. Payments for which no reference number is stated cannot be assigned and have to be refunded, meaning your bill remains unpaid.

Alternatively, you can pay open fee-based services and incurred library reminder fees from swisscovery directly by cash at the information desk on the first floor in the ZHAW University Library Winterthur before receiving an invoice.

How can I pay a QR bill if I don’t use mobile banking or e-banking?

The QR code for mobile banking and e-banking represents an additional function on the bill. However, the bill still works like a conventional payment slip. It contains all of the information required for the payment, including the payment recipient, account, reference number, currency and amount. This means that the bill can also be settled using existing payment methods. If you don’t have mobile banking or e-banking, the bill can be paid at the counter of a Swiss Post branch or by issuing your bank a payment order in an envelope.

Can I pay my fees directly at the library?

At the ZHAW University Library Winterthur it is possible to pay on site. At the Zurich and Wädenswil locations, open fees cannot be paid. In some cases it is possible to pay on site in other libraries. Please enquire in advance whether this service is still offered. However, fees that have already been billed by SLSP can no longer be settled on site and must be paid using the QR bill. The libraries only have access to the university platform and cannot access the central SLSP billing system.

Who should I contact if my bill contains an error?

Should you have any questions about individual items listed on your bill, please contact the library stated on the bill directly for the relevant items. Complaints will only be accepted by the responsible library within 30 days of the bill being dispatched.

Why are services from different libraries listed on the bill?

SLSP issues a collective bill for services subject to a fee provided by libraries affiliated to swisscovery. The bill shows at which library each service was used. It may be the case, however, that individual library services are not listed on the bill, as these are not part of swisscovery and/or are billed directly by the respective libraries.

My contact details are incorrect. How can I correct them?

You have to change your personal details (e.g. postal address, e-mail address for billing) directly in your SWITCH-edu-ID account. Libraries are unable to update your personal details. Bills are issued via e-mail and also include your preferred postal address, which you can adjust on the registration platform and where you can choose whether you would like to use your business or private address as your preferred postal address (swisscovery – Library Card Management and Settings).

Your preferred postal address is printed on it, which you can adjust on the registration platform.

What happens if I do not pay a bill?

If SLSP does not receive a payment from you by the payment deadline, you will receive a reminder from SLSP. Should you ignore the payment reminder, you will be sent a final reminder after 30 days. If payment is still not received, the library at which the charges were incurred reserves the right to temporarily block your access to swisscovery until the payment is made. Should you be unable to pay the outstanding amount by the final deadline, please contact the specified library directly.

Can I see an overview of my outstanding and paid services in my swisscovery account?

In swisscovery, you can view the fees related to your account under: My account > Fees. Fees that have been billed and/or already paid are no longer shown, as these fees are transferred to the SLSP financial management system and processed further from there.

How can I pay a bill from abroad?

SLSP recommends making transfers in Swiss francs, as the net outstanding amount is owed in Swiss francs. Fees relating to international payments will be borne by you in full. To ensure that SLSP and the library receive the full amount and your bill is settled correctly, the details provided on the bill (incl. the reference number) must be entered exactly as they are stated. If you are unable to transfer the amount in Swiss francs, please contact the library where the fees were incurred. As an alternative to expensive international payments, SLSP recommends paying bills in Switzerland at a branch of Swiss Post, the country’s national postal operator. QR bills can be paid easily there.

I deleted my bill by mistake / I never received a bill. Where can I get a copy?

To receive a new bill, please send an e-mail to with your contact details. Please make sure in advance that the billing e-mail sent by SLSP is not in your spam folder.

Data protection

What happens with my data?

On registration, SLSP imports your personal data (names, addresses, telephone numbers, etc.) from your SWITCH edu-ID account into the swisscovery research portal. You will be asked during the registration process to consent to your data being passed on to SLSP.

You can change your personal data or affiliated institution/university at any time in your SWITCH edu-ID account. The changes are automatically transmitted to swisscovery. Library specific data such as borrowed media, orders and fees are recorded directly in swisscovery.

You can delete your user account at any time provided that there are no open transactions (borrowed media or fees). To delete your user account, either delete your SWITCH edu-ID account or contact SLSP by email:

Transaction data is regularly anonymised and accounts in swisscovery are erased after 10 years of inactivity.

For more information on the privacy policy and data protection, please see the SLSP website.