Reading Lists

Welcome to the Library’s support page for the Online Reading Lists.

   Get started!

   → Online Reading Lists - Study Direct Help Pages ←

    ...for practical guidance, including:

  • How to request an online reading list
  • How to get editing rights
  • How to edit and manage your list
  • How to make purchase suggestions and digitisation requests
  • How to embed your reading list into Study Direct


Submission Dates for Reading Lists

For modules running in the Autumn: 1st July
For modules running in the Spring: 30th November

The time taken for us to acquire new items for the Library can vary considerably. It is therefore essential that we receive your reading list in good time to ensure availability of items.


Reading List Training

One-to-one training: we are very happy to visit you on campus, please email us at or call x7926 / 01273 877926 to arrange at suitable time.

Group workshops: we run regular workshops to help you get started with creating and editing your lists: Book a place. Departmental sessions can also be arranged on request. Please contact


Further Information

How we work with your list

The Review Process

(See our Online Help Pages on Study Direct for information about creating and managing your online reading list.)

Once your list is completed and you have clicked on 'Request Review', the Reading List team receives an email prompting the start of the review process. We work through all of the items on the list, checking that the links work, requesting digitisations where indicated and making purchasing decisions. Once we have finished, you will receive an email informing you that the review is complete.

If there is a list on the system, it will automatically roll over at the beginning of the new academic year, but will be in draft form and will need to be published in order for it to be visible to students.

It is important to make sure you keep your list up to date and check through it in the next academic year. The Library will not know if you have made any changes to the readings listed in your Module Handbook, so any changes need to be communicated through the reading list system: you will need to edit the list or notify us and ask us to make the changes on your behalf.

Our purchasing policy
Purchasing Ratios

The Library uses the online reading list to purchase resources for students. When we receive your list, we consider the estimated number of students on the module and how important the item is for those taking the module: for example, is it a core reading to be used over multiple weeks or is it suggested background reading to be used for a particular essay question?

For us to be able to make the right purchasing decisions, the online system allows you to tag the importance of each item and we have four categories to choose from:

  • Essential Reading
  • Recommended Reading
  • Optional
  • Suggested for Student Purchase

Print books are purchased using the following ratios:

Type of reading (indicated on reading list)Number of copies purchasedLoan status allocated


1 per 10 students

(max 20 copies)

1 x Core (2 if 100+ students)

Short Loan (remaining copies)

Recommended 1 per 20 students Short Loan
Optional 1 copy Main
Student purchase or included in course pack 1 copy Core

See the Library Borrowing Information for details about the different loan statuses.

We don't aim to provide enough resources for each student to have their own copy so students should be advised that they will need to plan their reading to get the best out of the Library's resources. If they do need a particular text for the duration of a course then they should give serious consideration to purchasing a copy. 


The availability of academic ebooks is increasing all the time. Thousands of titles are now available and the cost is often comparable to print, so we are keen to develop our collection further.

Where possible we will purchase ebooks, particularly for courses with large student numbers and for those in which students have placements. All ebooks are made available via Library Search and can therefore be linked to from your Reading List. 

The exact ratio of electronic to print copies will vary depending on the type of ebook licence and access model provided by the publisher. For more information about ebook purchasing, please contact

Out of Print Books
Be aware that out of print copies in good condition can be difficult to source with resultant delays. If they are core or recommended reading for your course, we will endeavour to obtain at least a single copy of these titles and place the item(s) in the Core Collection. If further copies are required we will need to work with you to find a solution.

The Library provides a digitisation service through the Online Reading List System and is happy to digitise any material under the terms of our CLA Scanning Licence. The licensing is complex but means that we are usually able to reproduce either 

  • a single article from a journal
  • a single chapter from a book or 10% of the total page numbers
  • We can in some cases request a second chapter from a book, although this is not always possible.

We will either scan the item internally or obtain a copyright fee-paid copy from the British Library, before then linking the digitised item to your Online Reading List. Please see our Copyright page for more information.

How do I request a digitisation?

Please indicate in the 'Notes for Student' section on your reading list if you want your students to read a single chapter or article and add 'PLEASE DIGITISE'. Once you have requested a review, we will receive this instruction and request the digitisation. Once the digitisation is ready it will be uploaded onto your list as a PDF.

This cannot be done instantly, so please allow the same amount of time as you would for a book purchase request.

To request digitisation for a book chapter, please supply the following information:

Author | Title | Year | Edition | Publisher | Chapter title | Page numbers

For a journal article, please supply the following information:

Author | Year | Title | Journal | Volume | Issue | Page numbers


For any questions or additional help please contact the reading list support team:  x7926 / 01273 877926