Library Services


ReadingLists@UCL for teaching staff

Information for teaching staff, including how to set up a reading list and link it to Moodle.

Getting started

Full instructions on how to set up and manage your reading lists can be found in the ReadingLists@UCL Guide.

Contact information

The service is supported by the Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I link to a reading list from my Moodle course?

Yes. Detailed instructions can be found in the ReadingLists@UCL Guide.

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?

First add the item you wish to digitise to your reading list. Then add a library note to that item specifying the extract(s) you wish to digitise, plus your initials and the date of the note. It's important that you provide as much information as possible about the extract(s) you wish to digitise, to ensure we digitise exactly what you need - e.g. chapter numbers and titles, and page ranges. Finally click 'Publish'. The libary note will then be picked up by the library and your readings digitised, subject to copyright restrictions. Where digitisation is permitted we can usually only digitise up to 1 chapter or 10% (whichever is greater) of any one book for any one course. Further information about digitised readings can be found in our Course Readings Service pages.

I would like to enable a colleague to edit my list

At the top of the reading list click 'Edit' then select 'Invite List Publishers'. Insert the UCL email address of your colleague and click '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

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…').

Some links don't appear to work when off campus

When off campus, e-resources will not always recognise you as a member of UCL. The easiest way around this is to access Desktop@UCL Anywhere which mimics on-site access.

You could also use the 'findit@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 findit@UCL button, or using Desktop@UCL Anywhere to mimic on-campus access.

If a link to a course reading pdf is not working (i.e. a reading digitised by the TLS), please email us and let us know if the reading is needed urgently.

I am having trouble linking to Westlaw and Lexis+

Bookmarking from some databases is slightly more complex. See our document 'Bookmarking from legal resources' for a step-by-step guide (please note this document is currently being updated and a new version will be added shortly).

Alternatively, please send an email to readinglists@ucl.ac.uk with detail of the link you're trying to add, and the reading list you're trying to add the link to, and we'll sort this for you. 

Which web browsers are supported?

ReadingLists@UCL is supported for use on Internet Explorer (IE), Edge, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. This is optimised for the latest versions of these browsers.

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, 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? (Rollover)

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 you can edit your new reading lists immediately: the reading lists remain available throughout the rollover period. 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 rollover date. Rollover usually occurs in early July and your subject librarian should notify you in advance of this.

Archived lists are not available to search publicly, however should you wish to use them in future, just email us at readinglists@ucl.ac.uk and we can make them live again.

I'm a list editor. Is there anything else I need to do after rollover?

Once rolled over, you will notice that your 'My lists' section contains lists from last year, which will have been archived. Any updates you make to these will not appear 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 of the screen.

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'.

What is a review and how do I request one?

A review involves an expert member of the Teaching and Learning Services team looking through your list and checking that:

  • all weblinks are working correctly;
  • all items marked 'essential' are checked;
  • student notes are consistent with the associated items;
  • library notes are checked and, where necessary, acted on.

The list owner would be notified by email once the review has been completed.

To request a review, click 'edit' and the top right of you list, and then select 'request review' from the drop-down.