Reading Lists

Welcome to the Library’s support page for the Online Reading List system

Our Help Pages on Study Direct can be found here:

Online Reading Lists - Help Pages

Below you'll also find some FAQs which provide a helpful overview of the system. 

For any questions, additional help or suggestions on how we can make this page better, please contact the reading list support team by email or phone x7926/01273 877926, and we will do our best to help.

We run regular workshops to help you get started with dreating and editing your lists.

Getting started with your reading list workshopBook a place


Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Online Reading List?

The Online Reading List system is a web based way for you to manage your reading lists. It has more interactivity than a text-only document and allows direct linking to:

  • other web-based resources, including pages on the internet.

Online Reading Lists are built using ‘bookmarks’ (bibliographic metadata linked to items on the Library Catalogue or web) which you simply drag and drop into the relevant section of your List.

My Module Handbook includes my readings and is available via Study Direct. Why do I need an Online Reading List too?

An important reason to have your reading lists online is that it’s the primary way the Library keeps track on what you’re asking your students to read. Without having your reading lists in the system it’s unlikely the Library will resource what your students will need  to access for your taught modules.

More information on how this works can be found on our ‘How to…’ sheet on IX: Completing Your List and on our support page How We Work With Your List.

Another key advantage is the software’s ability to deliver Technology Enhanced Learning. For example, online Lists allow students to click through to items on the Library Catalogue and web, providing real time availability and, where available, full-text access. In addition, each item in an online List is assigned an ‘importance’ (Essential, Recommended or Optional), which provides a very useful signpost to students looking to manage their reading effectively.

Online Lists are interactive and you can add comments to particular items and sections to help students prioritise their reading. Student can also log into a List and add private notes and reminders as a way of helping them organise their reading.

How do I create a List?

See our ‘How to…’ Sheets 1 Does Your Module Have a List? and 2 How to Set-Up Your List(s)

I don't have time to set one up. Can the Library do it for me?

For new Lists or for Lists that aren’t in the system, the Library is able to set them up for you. To take advantage of this see our ‘How to…’ Sheet on 1 Does Your Module Have a List?

Once the Library has set up your List we will make you the ‘list owner’ and email you the permissions to edit the List going forward.

In terms of time and it being “an extra thing to do”, using the system as your first point of call should save you time, after an initial investment of learning how to use it. For example, it’s easy to generate a ‘Bibliography View’ to copy and paste into your Module Handbook, and Lists can be integrated into Study Direct.

What should I include in my Online Reading List?

You can add anything to your Online Reading List. Most important is to include the ‘essential’ resources all students are required to read in preparation for lectures and seminars. By providing direct links to these resources you will help students spend more time reading as opposed to searching for them.

Your list can be as long and complex as you like. However, to make it easier for you to manage and ensure it is kept up to date, we would recommend creating a list which you feel happy taking ownership of. You may choose not to include all of your background readings in your online list and instead find it easier to include these in your Module Handbook. If you do this, please keep the Library informed of your readings by emailing a copy to so we can make sure we have a copy in the Library.

There is a List in the system for a module I'm teaching, but it's out of date or linked to someone else. How can I update it?

Contact the Learning and Teaching Support Team by email or phone 01273 877199 and we’ll be able to make the changes for you.

Does using the system require very good IT skills?

Like any new piece of software, learning how to use the system requires a certain investment of time. To help you get started we’ve created a series of easy to follow 'How To...' help guides that will guide you through the process step by step.

However, if you would prefer more personalised help, The Library is keen to provide whatever support you feel you need. This could be a 1-2-1 session at a venue and time of your choice, or a training sessions for small or large groups in your School. Please contact the Learning and Teaching Support Team by email or phone 01273 877199 to let us know how we can help.

In addition to the above, we run regular, hands-on workshops as part of the Staff Development programme. To book a place, have a look at our current schedule.

What are the benefits to the student experience?

In terms of the student experience, Online Reading Lists increase the availability, discovery and use of paid resources, both print and electronic, and make it more likely your students will engage with the required reading for your teaching.

Other benefits include the ‘1-click’ linkage to the full-text of electronic items and the ability for students to add private study notes and reminders, helping them when prioritising their reading.

How do I add my Online Reading List to my Study Direct site? 

Online Reading Lists can be integrated into their corresponding Study Direct site. More information on how this works can be found in our 'How to...' Sheet 11 Integrating Your Reading List into Your Study Direct Site.

Is it true that the Library can digitise readings for me using my Online Reading List?

Yes, you use the 'Notes for library' function in the ‘Edit notes and importance’ field for an individual item. More about how this works can be found on our support page on Digitisation.

All of my essential readings are available as scans via my Study Direct site so having an Online Reading won’t be necessary.

Many academics have done this in the past but it sometimes breaks the terms of our CLA HE License and Copyright Law itself. You can find out more about this on our Copyright Guide.

We’re very happy to digitise as much material as we’re legally allowed to and host them for you within your Online Reading List. To take advantage of this see our support page on Digitisation.

Can I see who's using my Lists?

One of the benefits of the system is that you can get a proper sense of how well-used the resources are. Go to the reading list site, sign in, and click on the green 'Dashboard' button to see a dashboard showing the number of visits to a list and how many times links to resources have been clicked.

Who provides the Reading List software?