Online reading lists - info for staff: Info for module coordinators

Guidance for teaching staff on creating and editing online lists for their modules

Reading materials for your module

The Library's reading lists team coordinates provision of reading materials for module teaching. We have a couple of basic principles:

  • Particularly for large classes, we're keen to provide online access to key readings; where this isn't possible we want to ensure sufficient numbers of print copies are available.
  • We also want to make it as easy as possible for students to locate reading materials for their classes.

To help us achieve these aims we'd love to hear from module coordinators about the following.

What to let us know about

Books to be ordered

At busy times around the start of each semester it can take a while for us to source and process books: please let us know as early as you can about key books to be ordered for your module.

As well as regular textbooks we can check for:

  • e-books  –  we have a range of suppliers we can check
  • Second-hand copies for out of print titles can be sourced
  • New editions
  • Video  –  on DVD and via streaming services

How to forward order requests to us: Either e-mail with the book details, plus:

  • what week the book will be needed for;
  • whether multiple copies are required;
  • if the item should go on short loan/3-day loan.

Or, send us your module reading list with items to be ordered annotated as above.

Books to be ordered

Online reading lists

You can either ask us to create/update your list, or if you'd prefer to work on it yourself we can provide instructions/1-to-1 training for using the reading lists software.

If you'd like us to create/update your list, either

  • send us a copy of your module reading list (or a near-final draft) marked up details of books to order plus short loan and scanning requests
  • if you've updated last year's module reading list if possible send a version with changes indicated using tracking or comments
  • if you have fairly straightforward requests, or if last year's list can be rolled over without changes just let us know in an e-mail

In all cases, contact us at

Online reading list

Scanned readings

Scans of chapters and articles in printed works can be made available via the Online Reading Lists system.

Important: Digitised readings are subject to strict copyright conditions limiting how much can be scanned and which works can be scanned from – see Scanned readings: what can be digitised? for details.

How to forward order scanning requests to us: Either e-mail (indicating week of semester scans will be required for), or send us your module reading list marked up with chapters to be scanned.

  • If we're not able to scan an extract we will investigate other options, e.g. checking e-book availability
  • Scanned readings are made available for the current academic year only (this is a legal requirement). If you wish to re-use scans from a previous year you will need to contact us to ask for them to be rolled over.
Scanned chapter

Short loan / 3-day loan

Print books and DVDs likely to be in high demand can be made available on short loan (4-hour loan) or 3-day loan.

Our preference is to make key readings available electronically where possible, but if no e-book version is available we can purchase additional print copies of textbooks for short loan/3-day loan.

How to forward short/3-day loan requests to us:

  • Send a marked up version of your reading list as above (specify number of copies if possible)
  • If you've taught the module before we can send you a copy of the short loan list used last time (with borrowing figures) to review
  • or just e-mail with us with the details at

[The J F Allen Library (Physics & Astronomy building) does not offer short loan, however key books can be made Reference Only for a semester where needed.]

You can check whether your module already has books on Short Loan here.

Short loan books

When to let us know by


Due to the amount of work involved in putting module reading in place, we ask that you pass on details to the Library as early as possible.

For Semester 2 2018-19 modules:

  • If you contact us by Revision Week (3rd-9th December 2018) with information about short loan, online reading lists, etc, we would expect to be able to process your requests in time for the start of semester.
  • If you contact us after that, we may need to prioritise how we deal with requests - this will depend on criteria such as class size, priority of items, week required, and length of list. While we'll do our best to deal with requests quickly we won’t be able to guarantee that everything will be in place for the start of semester.

Scanned readings: what can be digitised?

Copyright restrictions

It is a strict requirement of the University’s copyright licence that digitised chapters and articles comply fully with a specific set of regulations governing scanning. Library staff are happy to check copyright compliance for any items you indicate you wish to have scanned, but there's a handy online compliance checking tool where you can enter a book's title or ISBN if you want to check this yourself.

The main points of the copyright licence related to scanning are as follows:

Extract length: a maximum of

  • one complete chapter from a book
  • or one article per issue from a print journal
  • or one poem or short story (max. 10 pages) from an anthology
  • or 10% of the total work. [More details]

Library holdings: the University Library must hold at least one print copy of the work a scanned extract is taken from. In some cases it may be possible to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce an extract from a work.

Publisher restrictions: while most UK-published works may be scanned, some categories and works are excluded from the terms of the copright licence. Arrangements for other countries vary, but in general regulations governing scanning are more restrictive. Information on restricted works and regulations regarding overseas territories can be found here.

Uploading: scanned readings must be made available via the online reading lists system - you should NOT upload scans to MMS or Moodle yourself. Readings uploaded to online reading lists are checked for copyright compliance and have a copyright coversheet attached.