Information Services


Frequently asked questions about the E-reserve service.

Can I make digital copies myself for distribution to students?

No. Copyright law does not permit unregulated scanning of articles or book chapters from items still in copyright. 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.

I have submitted a digitisation request through my Resource List. Do I need to send you the details?

No. There is no need to contact E-reserve separately 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. Please follow the Resource Lists submission deadlines to make sure we get your requests in good time.

Resource List submission deadlines

I’m not using a Resource List. How do I make a request for readings to be scanned for my course?

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

  • Course title and 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. A page range alone is not sufficient as page numbers can vary between editions, and it is unclear whether the range would exceed the Copyright Licensing Agency Higher Education Licence limit
  • Library shelfmark from DiscoverEd
  • Order of priority if requesting more than one chapter from the same publication.

Providing this information helps us to carry out copyright checks, locate the source material, prioritise your requests and avoid potential delays in processing your requests.


Please submit completed forms to

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. To request the purchase of items not currently in stock please use the online book recommendation form. The Academic Support Librarian for your School can also advise on this process.

Book recommendations 

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 rights holder was obtained and may need to be renewed.

One of the readings I wish to use has previously been supplied to me for another course. Do I need to request it again?

Yes. Scanned extracts are made available for download only by students on the course for which they were originally requested and are not transferrable.

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.

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 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.

The Library doesn’t hold the source book for the reading I’m requesting, but I have my own copy. Can you scan from it?

No. Under the CLA HE 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. The Library will normally order an e-book where available, or a print copy, which we would use for scanning.

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

We aim to process requests as quickly as possible, and have all requests received by the published deadlines ready for the course start date.

However, external factors may impact on this, for example the process of obtaining permission from rights holders or the acquisition of difficult to source books. You will be notified should any delays be anticipated.

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 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.

I’m not using a Resource List and so you have sent me links to the E-reserve scans I requested. Do I download and store the files in the Virtual Learning Environment?

No. There is no need to do this. You just place the links in your VLE course pages or e-mail them to course participants. Students will access the scans by clicking on the links. By doing so this enables us to obtain usage data (number of views/downloads/prints) which we would be happy to share with you.

Why have you sent me two different types of link?

The vast majority of scans are produced under licence and hosted in the Copyright Licensing Agency’s repository - the Digital Content Store. The links look like this:


If we have to do copyright clearance and get permission to make a digitised extract, then the scan will be held in the Library’s Content Collection on Learn. This is because rights holders impose more restrictive access requirements. Students must be logged in to Learn to access these scans. The links look like this:


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. Using the same links on other courses can raise a number of issues:

  • As indicated on the coversheet for each scan, students on other courses can legally only browse scans made under the CLA HE Licence, not download or print.
  • Where we have obtained the direct permission of the rights holder, the agreement with them covers ONLY the course for which it is requested.
  • If the original course ceases to run, or is not delivered in a particular year, the link is archived and will no longer connect to the reading.

If you would like to use the same reading for another Resource List, you will need to make a separate digitisation request and submit the list for review. If you are not using a Resource List, please contact the E-reserve team who will be happy to provide you with a separate link.

Can I get usage data on my scans?

Yes, please contact us with details of the course and reading(s) concerned and we can supply information on the number of times the scan has been viewed/downloaded/printed.

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.

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

Resource Lists