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Digital course readings

What are digital course readings?

Digital course readings are extracts of material not available as an e-book or online journal that we have scanned and made available on Reading Lists Online.

You can request a digital course reading via Reading Lists Online. If you would like to arrange training, contact your Subject Librarian or the Digitisation Team at  Once scanned documents are uploaded to the reading list and students are ale to read them online or download them for future reference.

Please do not make readings available yourself on Moodle. It is important that Library Services is aware of what copyrighted material is being made available to students, as we are required to report this to the Copyright Licencing Agency.

What can be added to the digital course readings collection?

Extracts added to the digital course readings collection must conform to the terms of the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) licence which City holds. Library staff can advise on whether particular extracts may be digitised, but as a guideline all the following criteria must be met:

  • the number of pages to be digitised must not exceed 10% or one chapter or article of the whole of the published work or journal issue
  • the publisher and title must be covered by the licence. Some publishers or titles are excluded; copy/paste an ISBN into the CLA's title search tool to see if a particular publication is covered for scanning purposes and not excluded
  • the extract may be taken from the most recent edition of the text, or an earlier edition if there is a pedagogical need.

Textbook substitution

NOTE: Students should be expected to purchase their own copies of essential texts. CLA-licensed digital course readings should not be used as an alternative to this. If you are unsure, please see the CLA guidelines (PDF) or contact the Digitisation team at for advice.

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What will it cost?

For material which is in stock in the library, there is no cost involved.

For material which is not in stock in the library, the cost may vary; details can be found on the CLA website.

If the total cost of any single extract exceeds £50 Library staff will consult your department for approval before proceeding with the order.

Readings can be renewed from year to year at no recurring expense. They are made available to students for the entire duration of their course (not just the year in which they take a module).

As with other materials supplied by the Library, any costs incurred are deducted from the library financial allocation for your School.

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What should I do next?

Contact your Subject Librarian if you would like us to order digital course readings for your students.

We will need the following information about the module to which the reading(s) apply:

  • Module name
  • Module code
  • School name
  • Academic's name
  • Student numbers (essential)
  • Term(s) in which module is taught

If the publication is available in the library, the Digitisation Team aims to make the reading available within two working days. At busy periods (such as leading up to the beginning of term) this may take up to five working days. Otherwise, we will notify you of any waiting time.

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May School staff make scanned readings and upload them to Moodle?

No. it is a requirement of our scanning licence that only authorised scans prepared by library staff are shared with students, otherwise there is a risk that copyright law may be infringed. This applies to all published material unless copyright has expired or permission has been granted by the copyright holder.

Further information

Please contact the Digitisation Team at or your Subject Librarian if you would like more information about digital course readings.

Our page on Copyright and Moodle gives advice about making material available to students via Moodle without contravening copyright law or licence terms.

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