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University Library Services

Digitization for Library Reading Lists

These pages aim to share how academic staff can request and add digitized reading resource access to their reading lists.

Digitization for Library Reading Lists

Please be aware that the recent cyber attack on The British Library has had a direct impact on our digitization service.  We rely heavily on the BL to provide us with copyright cleared versions of book chapters/journal articles.  This means that until the BL EHESS service is fully restored,  it may take longer for us to provide access to digitized book chapters/journal articles that the University Library does not have in its collections.  

Digitization for Library Reading Lists

University Library Services are able to offer a reading list digitized extract service under the terms of the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence. This guide highlights the benefits that including digitized extracts on Library Reading Lists can offer and explains how to make digitization requests. 

Why use the digitization service?

If many students require access access to a particular book chapter at the same time, or maybe there is a journal article you would like your students to read for a class, but they are struggling to locate it, or the access route is unreliable?  In these cases, digitising the book chapter or journal article can be a great solution and can help students to locate and access their key reading directly from their module reading lists. 

Key benefits of digitization on library reading lists:
  • Ensure copyright agreement and reporting requirement compliance.
  • Enable quick and easy reading list access to print book extracts.
  • Make ebook chapters and articles available to students irrespective of cohort size.
  • Copies that are requested via this service are fully checked to ensure they comply with the CLA HE License.
  • Make materials which are currently only available in print available to a larger number of students.
  • Our copies are made to the highest standards and include accessibility checks and OCR optimisation as standard.
  • Provide access to reading that the library does not already have within its collections (see section on requesting extracts not available via library search).

Please use this guide to find out what can be digitised and how to add extracts to your reading lists.

If you'd like to find out more information about the digitisation service or have a query about a request you've submitted, please contact the Library Digitization Team at

When will my digitization be available?

Please allow up to 15 working days to process your digitization request. Once the request has been actioned, it will automatically be available on your reading list.

What can be digitized?

The University holds a Higher Education Licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) which allows members of library staff to scan and digitize certain items for teaching purposes. This means that you can ask us to scan a book chapter or a journal article and make a digital copy of the scan available on your module reading lists for all students to access simultaneously.  To be eligible for digitization the library must own a copy of the book or hold a current subscription to the journal from which you wish to copy a section.

Please note that you must not scan and upload copyrighted material to Canvas or Library Reading list yourself. This could be a copyright infringement and may result in legal action against the person who made the scan, the University, or both.  All requests for the digitization of copyrighted material must be made by adding the item to a Library Reading List to comply with the license. Digitization can be requested for UK based modules and for modules accessed by UK based distance learning students (not taught at an overseas campus).

You can request the digitization of extracts from a variety of reading formats that the Library already owns or subscribes to. You can request digitization of up to 10% of reading content or:

  • One book chapter
  • One journal article
  • One paper from a conference proceeding
  • One case / report from a volume of judicial proceedings
  • One scene from a play
  • One short story, poem or play from an anthology

- whichever is greater

Greater than 10%?

If your request exceeds 10%, it may be possible to buy a second extract licence to obtain this content via the CLA Second Extract Permissions Service (SEPS) which offers an option to buy permission to copy and use an additional amount – a ‘second extract’ – e.g., another chapter from the book or another 10% of the total pages.  Please contact your Liaison Librarian to discuss this.

Need reading we don’t already own or subscribe to?

If the library does not have the item you require in the collection, it may still be possible for us to purchase a copyright-fee-paid version via the EHESS service .  There is no guarantee that the service will be able to supply so each request is taken on an individual basis. 

How to submit a request

Watch a step by video guide to walk you through the process of making a request to digitize a book chapter


You can make requests for digitization either within the Library Reading List service or within the Canvas virtual learning environment:
Library website:

To make a request, first log in to Library Reading Lists. Start your request by opening the reading list that you wish to add an extract into.

  • Click Add Items and then select the Library Search icon.

Enter your search criteria, for example an article or book title. Select your item from the search results and then specify which section of the list you want to add it into.

  • Then click Add & Edit.

It’s important to click on Add & Edit (instead of Add) as this enables you to specify more information that we'll need to process your request your request quickly.

  • Click on the Type field drop-down menu to select the relevant type of reading. For digitization requests, you'll need to choose Book Chapter rather than Book or Ebook. If you're requesting an article to be digitized, choosing the type Article is correct.
  • Leave the URL field blank as this will be supplied from the CLA digital content store.
  • Check whether the ISSN or ISBN is correct in terms of your source resource being in a print or digital format. The CLA Check Permissions service can be a useful place to help find this out:

Please supply as much relevant information as you can in the other fields.

Top Tips

  • You can use Amazon, Google Books or the publishers website to check page numbers if you are not in the library.
  • Use the ISSN portal to check the name or ISSN number of a journal.

If you'd any further help with finding information for your request, contact the Digitization Team at

  • Click Save to add and view the item on your reading list.

Complete your digitization request by clicking on the item that you just added to your list. This will open up a new window which contains a section called Requests.

  • Click Digitization request.

The Ask Library For Digital Copies window will open. Check all details are correct and if you wish to, use the notes fields to add any further information you think relevant to your request.

  • Click Submit to complete your request.


When will my extract be available?

Please allow up to 15 working days to process your digitization request. Once the request has been actioned, it will automatically be available on your reading list.

Requesting extracts not available within Library Search

If the Library does not already own or subscribe to the reading extract you need, you can still place a request for digitization. If the extract is available via the British Library EHESS service, the Library will buy an additional copyright cleared licence for the extract you need.

  • To request reading not already owned by the Library, use the Blank Form option instead of Library Seach when submitting your request.
  • Use the Add item details form to complete as much of the item citation details as you can.

Useful to know

Find ISSN serial numbers at: or at the CLA Check Permissions website.

Once you have added in your extract details, please refer to 'How to submit a request' to complete and submit your request.

Contact us

If you’d like to find out more about the digitization service or discuss an active request, please contact us at

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When will the item I requested be available on the reading list?

A.  We aim to process requests as quickly as possible. We require 15 working days notice for digitisation requests to be completed.  Each request is different and the amount of time it takes to source content and gain permissions can vary.  Straightforward requests for content we have in the library collection can usually be completed faster than requests for which we have to source material and get copyright approval or publisher permission for.