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Reading lists - student guide

Your online reading list provides quick and easy access to a wide range of resources recommended by your lecturers.

It allows you to:

  • see real time information about availability of books 
  • directly access ebooks, journal articles and other online resources
  • link to external websites and multimedia
  • access scanned extracts of key readings requested by academic staff 
  • create a profile to save personal notes and set your reading intentions

We've made improvements to the student online reading list experience by upgrading to a better designed interface, with easier to use functionality. To see an overview of the new interface here is a video from our supplier Talis. It’s a couple of minutes long and is a handy way of getting used to the new reading list envronment.

Search reading lists View video of new interface


Help and Support

Call us on 0115 95 16393 

Email Library Helpline


Getting started

How do I find my reading list?

You'll find your reading lists either:

  • In your Moodle module - as a link in the Module Resources block, which will take you directly to the reading list; or embedded as sections within your course page.
  • by searching - search by module code, title or lecturer's name

Why can't I find a reading list for my module?

Not all modules have an online list, please refer to your lecturer who will be able to advise further. 

What will I see when I access my reading list? 

Items are ordered and displayed in sections as your lecturer has chosen - often by week, topic, or type of reading. 

Each item will include a brief description and any notes from your lecturer, including importance of the reading (e.g. Essential, Recommended, Suggested for student purchase). You'll also see a book cover or an icon to indicate the type of material.

An online reading list showing the first two items

Click on an item title to expand and see library availability and full bibliographic details. Blue clickable links through to NUsearch or online resources help you access the items you need. 

 Expanded item showing library availability and bibliographic details


My list is very long can I jump to a specific section

Click on Table of contents in the top menu bar to see section headings used in the list - these might be weeks, topics or type of reading.

Click on a heading to go directly to that section's resources. 

 Showing a reading list table of contents


How can I search for a particular item?

Using the keyword search in the top menu you can search across all item data, including by author or title. You can also search for particular resource types e.g. chapter, article, book.

Once matching items are displayed, an orange bar at the top of the screen shows your active filter with the option to clear the search. 

Showing the keyword search box


Can I filter my list, such as looking for resources that are available online?

In addition to keyword searching, there are a number of filters available in the View menu in the top menu bar. 

View menu showing the filters available

 Filters include:

  • Resource type - Online resource, Physical resource
  • Personal reading intentions (added by you) - Undecided, Will read, Have read, Won't read, Reading now
  • Importance of reading (set by your lecturer) - Essential, Recommended, Suggested for purchase, Alternative
  • Personal notes (added by you) - Notes, Without Notes

Once you have selected a filter, you'll see only items in that category. An orange bar at the top of the screen shows your active filter, with the option to clear the filter. 

 Filtering by Online Resource with the option to clear a filter


Is it possible to view my list in a particular referencing style?

You can view your list in a referencing style of your choice by clicking Citation style in the top menu bar. Select the citation style you prefer. You can choose from 16 styles.

Showing the citation style menu

Once a list is displayed in a citation style you can save or print a bibliography in the same style. Click PDF-Bibliography from the View & Export menu at the top of the list. 



 How to access recommended items 

How do I know if an item is available online and how can I access it? 

You will normally see a blue View Online button next to the title if it's available online. Click this to open the resource in a new window. You may need to login with your university username and password first.

A book showing the View Online button

If there is no View Online it is worth clicking on the title of an item to check for online access. Under availability you may see either of the following:

  • Available Online - this indicates when an online version exists. Clicking on this will normally provide full text access, but this might not always be the case depending on library holdings.
  • Check for full text - this allows you to check if we have full text access to journal articles via our online providers. Where we don't have access there will be the option to Check the library for a print copy which will tell you whether we have print holdings of the journal in NUsearch. 

Article showing Available online and Check for full text links under Availability


How do I find recommended print resources in the library?

Click on the title of an item to see library availability of print copies.

Showing the Availability section of a book with details of library copies

You'll see the library, classmark, number of copies and how many are available on the shelves. Click on the blue link to go to NUsearch to find out more, or reserve a copy. 

There is an additional option to View other formats/editions, which will search NUsearch by the item title to check for ebooks or other editions. 


How do I access scanned articles/chapters?

If your lecturer has asked for particular chapter or article to be digitised by the library these will be available on your online reading list.

You can access them like other online resources by clicking on the View Online or Available online links. 

Scanned chapter from a book showing View Online and Available Online links

All scans are provided as searchable pdfs and have a copyright notice giving the details of the extract. File names start with "DCS". 

Depending on your browser, scans will either download and you can click to open them, or you'll be given the option to open or save the scan first. If you are off campus you will be asked to sign in with your university username and password. 

Please note that only students enrolled on a particular module are permitted to download or print these scanned extracts. 


Why aren't all items on my reading list available online?

Not every item on your reading list can be available online. It will depend on what your lecturer has recommended and the availability of online versions and library holdings.

The library has access to a large number of e-books and e-journals, many of which will be available on your reading lists. 

We are also able under the university's Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) licence to digitise some extracts from books and journals. However, due to licence terms we cannot digitise every chapter or article recommended by your lecturer. 

If you need to access a book or journal article which we don't have electronically click on the title to see library availability of print copies. 


Can I see a preview of print books?

Where a Google preview is available you'll see an icon next to an item title. Click this to access the preview.

Previews can be useful when we only have a resource in print to help you decide whether to prioritise readings before going to the library or reserving a copy. 

A book with the clickable Google Preview symbol

If there is no Google Preview available you might also find one in NUsearch. Check the Explore section of a resource record to see if there is a Look inside option.


Your reading list account

Why should I create an account?

You can use reading lists without logging in, but if you create an account you can:

  • Set reading intentions to help manage your reading
  • Make personal notes about items you've read

How do I sign in and create a profile?

From the reading list home page click on Log in at the top menu bar. Enter your university username and password. 

 Reading lists log in in the top menu bar

If it is the first time you have signed in, click on the option to Create a Profile. Complete all the fields including your name, email, and type of user and discipline. Click to save your profile.  

Create and edit your profile screen

Once you have a profile you can save all your lists to My Lists, and add reading intentions and personal notes to your lists which only you can see. 


What are reading intentions?

Setting reading intentions can help you to plan your reading and keep track of your progress. They are displayed when you are logged in and are private to you. 

You can annotate each item with Will read, Reading now, Have read, or Won't read as appropriate.

To add and view your reading intentions you first need to log in. Against each item click on the reading intention symbol (by default a grey circle) and choose from the list of options:

Showing reading intention symbols next two items

The selected colour symbol displays against each item to show your reading intention. You can go back and update these as you read items on your list. 


You can also filter by your reading intentions using the View menu at the top of the list. 


How can I add personal notes?

You can add personal notes about any of the items you've read. Notes are private to you.

To make or view your notes, you first need to log in. To add a note click on the three dots menu to the right of each item and select Personal note. You can also edit, or delete existing notes in the same way.

Add a personal note menu option showing a note being added



Saving, exporting and printing your list

How do I save or print my reading list?

Use the View & Export menu, at the top right of the list, to download and print a copy of your list.

Select PDF – List and you’ll be given the option to open or save a PDF version, which you can then print.   



Can I create a bibliography of my list?

You can create a bibliography of your list in your preferred referencing style.  

First select a particular referencing style to display your list in by clicking Citation Style in the top menu bar. There are 16 styles to choose from.  

If you don’t select a style your bibliography will be in the default “ACM SIG proceedings” style.  


Once a list is displayed in a citation style of your choice you can save or print a bibliography in the same style. Select PDF – Bibliography from the View & Export menu at the top right of the list.  



What other export options are there?

Under the View & Export menu there are additional options to export your list as csv or RIS formats.  

  • csv format – provides a comma separated listing that can be opened as a spreadsheet.  

  • RIS format – is a tagged format for expressing bibliographic citations. This can be used to import references into a referencing tool like EndNote


Further help

Where can I report a problem?

If there is a technical problem with your reading list contact the library helpline or use the feedback button at the top of the list.   

While broken links to online resources are hopefully rare, a new broken link feature is coming soon. This will make it easier to let the library know if you can’t access an online resource. 

Please note that the content of the list is designed by your lecturer so do check with them for queries about the choice of readings, or clarification on the notes. 



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