Information Services


Frequently asked questions about the E-reserve service.

If an e-book or e-journal is available will you still provide a scan?

No. If a title is available as an e-resource through library subscription we do not normally provide scans via E-reserve. Please check DiscoverEd before submitting your requests.

Do I need to send a list to you if I intend to use the Resource Lists service?

No, there is no need to contact E-reserve with your requests if you are using the Resource Lists service. Digitisation requests for Resource Lists are passed to us automatically by the Library Learning Services team. We then process the readings and liaise with you directly regarding any problems or copyright restrictions. When the files are ready we add the links and re-publish your Resource List. Please follow the Resource List submission deadlines  to make sure we get your requests in good time.

Can I make digital copies myself for distribution to students?

No. Copyright law does not permit unregulated scanning of articles or book chapters. The University has a licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency which allows scanned extracts to be made available for courses of study. In order to comply with this licence, all scanning must be processed and administered by the E-reserve team.

How do I make a request for readings to be scanned for my course?

Send a list of the material you would like to be provided as digital extracts to This must include the following information:

  • Course name
  • Course code
  • Course duration – Semester 1, Semester 2 or whole year
  • Number of students expected to register for the course
  • Full bibliographic details of each chapter or article – page ranges alone are not sufficient
  • Library shelfmark - check DiscoverEd
  • Order of priority - if requesting more than one chapter from the same publication


The Library can only make and supply digital versions of articles and chapters if it owns or subscribes to the source copy. Please check DiscoverEd before submitting your requests. Go to the Book recommendations page to request the purchase of items not currently in stock. The Academic Support Librarian for your School can also advise on this process.

I’d like to include two or three chapters from the same book on one of my courses. Is this possible?

We would only be able to scan more than one chapter for a course if together they constitute 10% or less of the book. If the amount to be scanned is greater than 10% then you should indicate the chapter you would like us to prioritise. In some circumstances, we may be able to get permission for a second extract to be included on E-reserve but this cannot be guaranteed.

I’ve asked you to scan several short extracts from a book, from different chapters. Is this OK?

Yes, this is OK if the total number of pages constitutes no more than 10% of the whole book.

I own a copy of the source book for a particular reading.  Are you able to scan from it? 

No. Under the CLA Higher Education Licence the Library can only make and supply digital versions of articles and chapters if it owns or subscribes to the source copy. Personal copies owned by academic staff can only be used in exceptional circumstances.

What happens if a reading cannot be scanned for me under the licence?

We first check to see if a suitable e-book is available and arrange for it to be purchased. If no suitable e-book is available and the extract is marked for essential reading we will look into obtaining clearance from the copyright holder. The E-reserve team only carries out limited copyright clearance and there is no guarantee that permission can be obtained. Publishers often take several weeks to respond and the fees quoted can be prohibitive, particularly for large courses. 

If no e-book is available and permission is not obtained then we will not be able to fulfil your request. You will, of course, be notified if this happens and we may be able to accept an alternative reading.

How long will the process take once I’ve submitted my requests?

We aim to process all requests received by the published E-reserve submission deadlines in time for the course start date, although copyright clearance issues may take longer. We will contact you by email with any queries and notify you when the files have been created.

You have sent me a link to the reading I requested. How should I make this available to the students on my course?

Most links can be made available to students on your course in any way you wish. You can place Content Store links in VLEs or email them to course participants. However, students must only access licensed scans through these links and Course Organisers MUST NOT make available a downloaded copy of the scan.

Can I download and store my E-reserve scans in the VLE?

No. In order for us to comply with our CLA licence conditions, you MUST NOT upload E-reserve scans directly to the VLE. Students must only access them via the link you have received.

One of the extracts on my list is required reading on another course I am teaching. Can I use the same file link? 

No, scanned extracts are made available for download by students on a specified course only and are not transferrable. A copyright notice explaining this appears at the front of each PDF file.  If you would like the same reading to be used on another course, please contact the E-reserve team. We will then supply you with a separate link.

The code / name of my course has changed. Do I need to tell you?

Yes, please keep us up to date with any changes to your course, as we need to supply this information to the CLA. Remember to let us know if the teaching staff changes or if the course ceases to run.

Do I have to make a new E-reserve submission if I want to use the same readings again on my course next year?

No, file links are persistent. Once a link is supplied it can continue to be used for that course without needing to contact us again. However, we will contact you about any readings where direct permission of the rightsholder was obtained and may need to be renewed.


Further information and help

For further information or help using the service please contact either the E-reserve team or the Academic Support Librarian for your School.

E-reserve team

Contact details

Related Links

Academic Support Librarians