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Academic staff can use the service to request electronic copies of frequently used book chapters or journal articles in our library collection that are included on module resource lists. These digitised readings are available to every student on a module 24/7. Library staff scan material, as permitted via strict copyright regulations (see below). We are able to provide this service via the Copyright Licensing Agency's Higher Education Licence. 


What can be digitised?

The material requested must be covered by the licence, which means:

  • The University must own a copy of the book or journal article.  Personal copies do not fall into this category.  The licence does cover "copyright cleared" reproductions of book chapters or journal papers from the British Library (published by companies covered by the licence) acquired via the Inter Library Request Service.
  • The following extent limits apply for permitted works for the duration of a specific module:
    • Up to 10% of a published work; or
    • one whole chapter from a book 
    • one whole article from a single issue of a journal
    • one whole scene from a play
    • one whole paper from a set of conference proceedings
    • one whole report of a single case from a volume of judicial proceedings
    • one short story, poem or play of not more than 10 pages from an anthology
  • The publisher must be covered by the terms of the licence. This means:
    • All printed books, journals, magazines, conference proceedings and law reports published in the United Kingdom are covered, unless specifically excluded. Use the CLA Higher Education Check Permissions tool to find out whether a publication is covered.
    • Details of international repertoire agreements can be found on the CLA's International Territories page.
  • Categories of works not covered by the licence include:
    • printed music (including the words)
    • maps and charts
    • newspapers
    • workbooks, workcards or assignment sheets
    • works specifically excluded by the copyright holders
    • For more information on what can't be copied see the CLA's Excluded Works page.
  • Textbook Substitution:
    • A collection of scans from multiple works for a specific module should not substitute a published textbook which could be recommended to students (and consequently have an adverse impact on their decision to purchase the publication).  The Licence is not intended to substitute for the purchase of original material and staff may be contacted if there are issues regarding the combination of digitisation requests made for a particular module.  
  • We are not permitted to digitise extracts from different editions of the same book, as this is beyond the limits of the copyright licence.
  • Requests must be made associated with a module for an academic year, or part thereof. This is automatically handled by the Resource List system.
  • If you are unsure whether an item can be digitised Check Permissions with the CLA.


Making a request

Requests can be made via your Module Resource List and a staff guide on placing requests is available under the digitisation tab of the Resource List guides.  Log in, go to your list and choose the Edit list option.  Select 'Request Digitisation' from the item bookmark you want digitised.  Your request will automatically be checked against copyright legislation outlined above and will either be:

  • Rejected - this means that the item cannot be digitised due to copyright legislation.
  • Referred - the system needs library staff to intervene and investigate further.
  • Referred copy pending - this means that the request has been accepted but Library staff need to scan the article/chapter.
  • Fulfilled - this means that the request has been accepted and an electronic copy has previously been scanned and is sitting in the "vault".  The system automatically finds this copy, adds a coversheet and makes it available to your students.

We do not typically digitise articles or chapters from books and journals that are available electronically.  You should create direct links to these on your Resource List.   See the Resource List guide for advice on how to do this



To ensure your digitised readings are available for the start of your module, your Resource Lists should be updated and new digitisation requests submitted to the following timescales :

  • Lists for Semester 1/Term 1 should be updated by August 1st each year
  • Lists for Semester 2/Term 2 should be updated by December 1st each year
  • Lists for Term 3 should be updated by March 1st each year

If a request is made outside these timescales:

  • Where a university book is available on Library Search and on the shelf the Digitisation Team aim to fulfil requests within 5 working days. Please be aware this cannot be guaranteed during peak times. To ensure your digitisation readings are available for start of each Semester submit new requests by the main timescales as stated.
  • When a university book is on loan or needs to be purchased for the library collection this process will take longer and a member of the Digitisation Team will contact you to advise.
  • We would encourage staff to place requests in advance to prevent delays and complete the ‘needed by’ field on the request form.



All module Resource Lists and associated digitised readings will be rolled over at the end of each academic year.   All digitised readings will automatically be re-checked against the CLA licence to pick up on any changes in copyright and you will be advised if any items must be removed.



If you have any questions about the process, please contact