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ReadingLists@UCL for teaching staff

Getting started

Step 1: Complete this webform and the TLSS will set up a reading list and send you an email invitation to give you editing access.

Step 2: TLSS will send you brief instructions to get started and also offer you a short (20 minute) orientation session.

Step 3: You will receive an invitation by email from Talis Aspire. The first time you accept an invitation you will be prompted to set up a ‘Profile’ - this takes just a minute. More details about the profile and how to set it up are here. Once you’ve done this you will be able to start bookmarking and editing your lists straight away.

The next step

If you need a reminder on how to use your lists, here is a ‘Quick guide’. If you need a reminder, here is how to add your bookmarking button.

Online training guides

View a reading list presentation produced by our colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital Medical Library for a teaching support day held there in May 2013 showing the benefits of reading lists and how to get started using them.

Contact information

E-mail: readinglists@ucl.ac.uk

The service is supported by the TLSS:


How do I link to a reading list from my Moodle course?

If a reading list has been set up for your course by the TLSS, then in Moodle switch on the ‘Library Resources’ block. This block contains a link called ‘Reading list for…‘ which will automatically link to the reading list with the same course code.

See how to switch on the ‘Library Resources’ block.

If a reading list has not been set up, or if the link from Moodle does not work, please e-mail us at readinglists@ucl.ac.uk

Remind me, what are the benefits of the online reading lists over, say, Moodle?

  • Documents added to Moodle may infringe copyright if they contain third party material, however linking to e-journals via a reading list does not infringe copyright. The links will be stable and available to students on and off-campus.
  • If, for example, a pdf taken from an e-journal is added to Moodle, usage statistics to these journals will not be counted, which may have a knock-on effect on whether UCL maintains its subscription to the journal.
  • Off-campus access can sometimes be a problem from links to e-journals or e-books in Moodle. Although linking via a reading list is very simple, there are underlying technical steps which automatically creates an SFX button, to authenticate off-campus UCL users. Students will always be recognised as a UCL user, giving them seamless access to subscribed resources.
  • As well as creating seamless access to e-materials for students, the online list also integrates a live lookup to the library catalogue - to see if a book is on the shelf at a glance; and to dip in and request the book, search for an alternative edition etc.
  • Reading lists already integrate with Moodle via the ‘Library Resources’ block: if the block is on, and a reading list set up, then the link should appear automatically. Students are becoming accustomed to looking here for their reading list.

How do I add digitised readings to my list?

It is easy to stay copyright compliant whilst adding digitised readings to your reading list. The TLSS will check your reading is copyright compliant, before digitising the reading and adding it to a citation in your reading list. More information about the Course Readings Service is available separately.

I would like a colleague to also be enabled to edit this list

At the top of the reading list click ‘Edit’ then select ‘Invite List Publishers’; insert the UCL email address of your colleague and press ‘send invite’. They will be sent an email inviting them to edit this list.

Alternatively, email us your colleague’s name and their UCL email address, and we will arrange for them to have the same level of access as you.

Students cannot see the changes I have made

If you click ‘Save Draft’ the work you have done is only visible to you; return to the list and click ‘Publish’ to make the changes visible to your students.

Only part of the metadata has pulled through into the reading list. What can I do?

You can edit the record to add more data manually, using the drop-down menu ‘Add field’. Alternatively, paste the full bibliographic details into the ‘Library note’ field and when you have completed the list, press the button ‘Request review’. (See the next FAQ item ‘How will the library see the notes I have written for them…’).

How will the library see the notes I have written for them on the list?

When you have finished updating your list, click ‘Request review’ and this alerts TLSS to check your list. Notes regarding buying new books or other materials are forwarded to your Subject librarian immediately. TLSS will process any other notes, including requests to digitise material; they will also double-check that links to e-resources work.

Some links don’t appear to work from off-campus

From off-campus, journal websites will not always recognise you as a member of UCL. The easiest way around this is to access Remote Staff WTS which mimics on-site access.

You could also use the ‘SFX@ucl’ button, instead of the ‘web link’. This takes you via UCL library, which will recognise you and allow you in. You may be asked to sign in using your UCL ID.

E-journal or pdf links don’t work

If a link to an e-journal or an e-book isn’t working, then begin with the advice for ‘off-campus’ access, above and try using the SFX@ucl button, or using Staff WTS to mimic on-campus access.

If a link to a course reading pdf is not working, please email us using the dedicated email address readinglists@ucl.ac.uk – and let us know if the reading is needed urgently.

I am having trouble linking to Westlaw and Lexis

Some databases are slightly more complex to bookmark from: please see our document ‘Bookmarking from legal resources’ for a step-by-step guide. Alternatively, when you bookmark the page, paste the full citation into the ‘Note to library’ field and ask TLSS to complete the link for you. (You need to click ‘Request review’ to alert TLSS to look at these notes).

I am having trouble linking to a news story on Nexis

Some databases are slightly more complex to bookmark from: please see our document ‘Bookmarking from Nexis’ for a step-by-step guide.

I have a problem publishing the list

Very rarely there may be a technical hitch which is easy and quick for the software company to resolve. Send an email with full details to readinglists@ucl.ac.uk in the first instance.

Can my students see my reading list before they start at UCL?

Registered UCL students can review their lists before commencing study, with current students being able to prepare in advance of teaching should they wish. Prospective students can also view the reading list, which is a tangible asset that they may use in assessing which university to attend and which courses to take.

Reading lists form part of the general drive on openness, with social connectivity and collaboration leveraging the power of open access material. UCL is not alone in having open lists - the system we have is used by over 50 HEIs in the UK, including many of our peers, so in fact all reading lists being generated (and put online) by academics in these institutions are visible.

Students and users of the lists will still need a valid institutional ID to be able to access any of the subscribed resources being delivered via the lists. If you have concerns regarding the intellectual property of your reading list please note there is an ‘All rights reserved’ copyright notification present at the end of all lists. The list remains your intellectual property and is protected by copyright legislation.

How do I create a new reading list for the next academic year (roll over)?

Each summer, all the reading lists are duplicated for the next session and the current year’s lists are archived. This is similar to the Moodle snapshot and archive process. Editing access remains the same, so everyone can start editing their new reading lists immediately: the reading lists remain available throughout the roll over period. The only point to stress is that only published changes are copied over into the new year’s lists: if you have any unpublished changes you wish to carry forward, please click ‘Publish’ before the roll over date. The roll over usually occurs in early July, and the TLSS will email subject librarians to notify you of the date in advance. We would be grateful if you could forward this to the relevant administrators and teaching staff in your departments.

Archived lists are not available to search publicly, however should you wish to use them in future, just let us know and we can make them live again.

I’m a list editor. Is there anything else I need to do after roll over?

Once rolled over, you will notice that your ‘My lists’ section contains lists from last year - now archived. Any updates you make to these will not occur on the new reading list. To remove these archived lists from view, select the check box next to the relevant list, then click the ‘Remove from view’ button at the top.

To add new lists to your ‘My lists’ area, go to ‘Home’, search for a list, then click the top right hand button marked ‘Add to my lists’.

Last modified 19 June 2014

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