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ReadingLists@UCL pop-up guidance: coming soon!

By Nick Forbes, on 12 September 2022

With the new academic year almost upon us, many academic and support staff will be working on getting reading lists ready for the start of term. This might feel like a daunting task at this very busy time of year. Particularly for those of you who are new to ReadingLists@UCL, or who may not have used it for some time.

We are therefore delighted to announce that on Friday 16th September a series of new ‘onboarding guides’ will be going live on ReadingLists@UCL. This will mean that when you visit ReadingLists@UCL to work on a reading list, you will be offered a series of short (~2-min) pop-up videos taking you through the key features of the system. These will cover:

  • editing and organising your list;
  • structuring your list;
  • adding resources to your list;
  • adding library and student notes on list items;
  • publishing your list.

The idea is to provide guidance on the key elements of ReadingLists@UCL at the point it’s needed most (i.e. when you’re working on a list!). These unobtrusive pop-up guides will only be visible to academic and faculty staff, and they can be “snoozed” or even switched off entirely if you don’t want to see them.

This new feature will sit alongside the existing range of existing support and guidance around reading lists, including:

  • the ReadingLists@UCL Libguide, which sets out in detail how to create and update your lists and embed them in Moodle;
  • the Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) webpages, which outlines the many different services available from TLS, including the course readings service and copyright support; and
  • personalised support delivered by the TLS team: whether you want a complete run-through of the system or just want a reminder on how to add a weblink, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you have any questions at all about this new feature, or indeed about anything relating to reading lists, please don’t hesitate to email us at readinglists@ucl.ac.uk.

Image credit: “Books HD” by Abee5, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Reading list rollover 22/23

By Nick Forbes, on 18 July 2022

The 2022 ReadingLists@UCL “rollover” process is now complete!Library books

What does this mean?

All 5000+ 21/22 reading lists have been copied, and these copies have been badged as 22/23. The 21/22 versions of all these lists have been archived and are now hidden from view. The result is a seamless transition from 21/22 reading lists to new 22/23 versions of those same lists, ready for the new academic year.

What impact will this have on my reading list?

Your 22/23 list is identical to the 21/22 version as at the rollover date (14th July). So when you search for your list in ReadingLists@UCL everything will be the same as you remember it – with the sole difference being that it’s marked as 22/23 rather than 21/22! You can just continue to make changes to it as normal, and published lists will also be visible to students as normal.

Do my digitised readings also roll forward?

Yes, for the most part these will all roll forward into 22/23 and will continue to function as normal.

The only exception to this is digitised readings where we’ve had to request permission directly from the copyright holder (e.g. the publisher), rather than use our institutional CLA licence. This applies to the very small number of readings that aren’t covered by our CLA licence. The link to these readings may temporarily break as at rollover, and we at TLS need to request fresh permission for the coming year for these. Once we have this we will reinstate those links. This is a routine task that we do over the summer each year, and we will be in touch if your readings are affected.

What if I or my students need access to the 21/22 version of the list?

If you ever need to refer back to your 21/22 list for any reason please let us know. We can recover it from the archive if necessary.

Where can I find further support?

General advice and guidance on reading lists can be found on the ReadingLists@UCL Libguide.

If you have any questions about the rollover process, or have any questions on anything to do with reading lists at UCL, please drop us a line.

We also offer informal in-person sessions (either over Teams or in person), where you can refresh your knowledge of any aspect of ReadingLists@UCL with an expert member of the TLS team. Interested? Send us an email and we’ll arrange a session.

If you want to set up a new reading list please complete this webform and we’ll set it up for you.

Reading List rollover

By Pamela Clarke, on 21 June 2021

Each summer the reading lists have a new copy made for the new academic year, much like the Moodle snapshot. This year the rollover is scheduled for the evening of Monday 5th July 2020. From about 5pm that day:

  • Reading lists for 2020-21 will have an exact copy made for 2021-22, which will publish immediately.
  • The old version (2020-21) will archive, which means it will disappear from public view but can be found and re-used in future years if needed.
  • Students will have continuous access to their reading lists: there is no down time for viewing lists.
  • Editing rights remain constant, so list editors are able to edit the new lists as soon as they appear.
  • Lists already set up as 2021-2022 will be unaffected by the rollover.

Please note

  • Unpublished changes will not copy forward into the new list: please publish your lists before 5pm 4th July if you wish your updates to be carried forward.
  • We suggest you stop editing reading lists before 5pm on 4th July, and continue editing when you can see it has the 2021-22 date stamp – certainly from the next morning Tuesday 6th July, if not sooner.
  • The Moodle ‘Library resources’ block needs no maintenance and will continue to link to the most recent year’s list. The optional integration ‘Reading list items’ requires checking and possibly some re-linking of resources, particularly after the reading list has been updated for the new year.
  • To have old courses archived, new lists set up, or current module names amended, email us your requests!
  • It is possible that students may need access to the 2020-21 reading list. This is possible, and they are advised to follow these steps.


Do you need a refresher on how to edit and manage your lists?  The ReadingLists@UCL webpages have online quick guides including short videos, and FAQs. Though working remotely, the TLS team still offer 1:1 set up and refresher training through Teams. Get in touch and you could walk away with a new list set up and ready to go, have guidance on how to link to non-standard resources, or find out how to embed reading lists in Moodle.

Accessing your old reading list

By Pamela Clarke, on 21 June 2021

Each year, the online reading lists for all modules rollover so that a new version for the next academic year can be made available. Students may need to consult an older version of their reading list for revision, if they are involved in Late Summer Assessements

The reading list rollover on 5th July means that the 2020-21 reading lists will archive.  From 6th July the lists available to view will be the new lists for academic year 2021-20;  these are available to update immediately for the new session.

If you are aware of students who may need access to the 2020-21 version of the lists:

  • students can take a copy of the list by using the ‘View & Export’ button – before 5pm on 4th July
  • or save the URL of the list, which will continue to work even after the list is archived
  • or if a list has already archived, let us know that it needs to be revived, and we can do this.

The Exam papers archive remains available all year round, and the papers can also be searched for via Explore, the library catalogue.  Students will need to log in with their UCL ID when accessing these from off campus

Rollover complete!

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 14 July 2020

The rollover is complete! All your 2019-20 reading lists have been archived and a copy created for 2020-21, which you can edit straight away.

  • If modules are not running this year, please let us know so we can archive the list. This hides it from view to avoid confusion and also saves it for future re-use.
  • To set up new lists get in touch or see our Getting Started help.Image: review, edit, publish

Over the summer you can prepare your reading lists for the new academic year: you just need to review, edit and publish!


Do my digitised readings also roll forward?

When your new list is created, the digitised readings (digitised under the CLA licence and added to your list by the TLS team) also copy forward.  There is a separate, behind-the-scenes process in June where the readings are re-checked automatically for the coming year. If your module is not running let us know so we can archive the digitised readings, ready for another year.

If any digitised readings were not digitised under the CLA licence, but instead had direct copyright permission granted then the links to these readings will temporarily break.  TLS need to re-request copyright permission for the coming year and re-instate the links to the digital reading.  This is a task that TLS does annually and they will be in touch if your readings are affected.


And finally don’t forget the editing interface is being updated on 16th July.  See the Editing Interface Upgrade blog post for more details.


Friday thoughts: Film

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 19 June 2020

https://www.flickr.com/photos/48244560@N05/5423999898 ; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

“Cinema” by Robbee2010 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Teaching with film, radio or broadcast TV is something we are often asked about.  The complex copyright implications of working with audio-visual material is an evergreen subject, as is how to find material to show in the classroom or provide for students to watch at home.  One easy solution is to find viewing materials on BoB (Box of Broadcasts), a service which ties in with UCL’s ERA licence, and works well with ReadingLists@UCL (UCL ID and login needed).


Some related reading and watching, then, for the weekend:

  • Dr Julie Lobalzo Wright (University of Warwick) has curated a BoB playlist entitled ‘Stars, Stardom and Representation’.  Watch an introduction to the playlist (1 minutes 22 seconds), or view the playlist itself (login needed). Other playlists are available to browse or search in BoB’s Teaching Resources.  If you see a gap in the subjects why not co-produce your own playlist with BoB?  UCL has a lot of expertise in niche areas that could be inviting. Contact Learning on Screen to contribute a playlist.
  • Of course anyone can create a playlist on BoB: from academics compiling a list of documentaries for a reading list, to teaching staff creating clips from comedy to show in the classroom, to students gathering resources to watch later.  If you choose to mark your playlist ‘public’ then it will be searchable to other BoB users: similarly, you are able to search all available playlists created by other subscribing BoB members.
  • For a weekend read, dip into Learning on Screen’s most recent Viewfinder magazine on the theme of Decolonising (Issue 114).
  • A post over on the UCL Copyright blog covered an update to accessing BoB from overseas during the Covid-19 emergency, when some students may have returned home.  Read the post Covid-19 update: Box of Broadcasts for more information.


Finally, looking to the future: to help make it easier to teach with AV materials in future, Learning on Screen is working with the brilliant UK Copyright Literacy and academic staff to develop a ‘Code of Fair Practice’ for the use of audiovisual works.  Workshops are being run to find how Film academics currently work with AV material and to develop fair guidelines for our sector.  We will update here when the results are published!


Support for reading lists during COVID-19

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 31 March 2020

The TLS team are working remotely while UCL Libraries are closed due to Coronavirus (Covid-19).

We are setting up reading lists as usual, sending editing access and helping you link to Moodle and add resources.  Whilst we cannot currently offer 1:1 training, we are able to meet you virtually on MS Teams where we can voice-call and share your screen.  This is particularly helpful if you have having difficulty with something sepcific like linking to Moodle!

The TLS team has extra capacity for adding new reading lists from scratch, so if you now find online readings more necessary than ever as you teach remotely, send us your reading list and we will create it for you and give you editing access.  We work with your Subject Liaison Librarian who will help purchase new e-resources where possible.

To help you get started see our two guided videos getting started with reading lists for teaching staff.  They demonstrate how to set up a reading list, add resources and link to Moodle.

Our ‘Getting started’ webpages may also be helpful, and contain online quick guides as well as contact details.


The software behind ReadingLists@UCL is developed by a company called Talis, who have their own brief guides.  Here are some of the more adavanced features some people have asked about (note, the branding looks different as it is for their imaginary ‘Broadminster University’):

Importing a RIS file

Citation styles

View analytics 

Please email us to let us know any other way we can help.



New Moodle integration

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 13 September 2019

Image of readings embedded intoMoodle.

Click to enlarge image!


We are pleased to announce that a new integration between Moodle and ReadingLists@UCL is now available.


The ‘Library Resources’ block is still an excellent, stable way to link from Moodle to an online reading list, and something we recommend whether you use the new integration or not.  (How do I add the Library Resources block into Moodle?).  It works year on year with no need for any updating and gives students a consistent experience across modules.

However some teaching staff prefer the flexibility to also be able to embed readings directly into the the body of Moodle, and have used the activity ‘Reading list items’.  An updated version of this integration has been developed by the ReadingLists@UCL software owner (Talis) which embeds readings in Moodle in the same way, whilst having better accuracy at maintaining the links after the annual rollover.  The ISD team have worked hard this summer to implement this integration.

The update works in a very similar way: you can embed a whole list into Moodle, or a section from a list (as in the image here).  For academics this can be a useful way to highlight key readings for a particular seminar, which students can view inside Moodle while still having the option to link out to view the full list.

There are helpful Moodle Guide instructions on integrating ReadingLists@UCL, and also a ReadingLists@UCL guide to Moodle integration.

If you previously used the ‘Reading list items’ activity you remember that each year after the Moodle snapshot / ReadingLists@UCL rollover, it was necessary to re-do these links (and if you used this in 2018-19 you will as usual find the links no longer work). This older version will be removed from Moodle on 20th September.

For help do get in touch with the reading lists team by email or telephone, come to one of our Wednesday afternoon drop-in sessions, or we are very happy to visit you at your desk for a quick set up!









Does the blue ‘Preview’ button mean there is access to the full text?

By Pamela Clarke, on 11 July 2017

Alas no, as this would not comply with copyright regulations, but there may be selected extracts and contents pages available which is still really, really useful!

The Preview automatically links to Google Books and pulls in text from there, so is only available for some books.  Do be aware that the preview could be removed by Google at any time!

If the chapter you need is not available from the preview, which I know is very frustrating, you can always enquire about the possibility of digitisation from Teaching and Learning Services (TLS), who are happy to assist you.  We use UCL’s copyright licences to make copyright compliant copies for teaching with.

The example below shows how the preview is displayed in an online reading list: you can use the search box, and arrow buttons to navigate through the preview. Happy previewing!


preview_screenshot for blog



ReadingLists@UCL this summer

By Sandra Bamborough, on 8 June 2015

As many of you will be aware, online reading lists are a fantastic way to present course materials to your students in order to better and more fully engage them.  Feedback from students has been very positive!

There are benefits for you, too:

  • Update readings and publish immediately
  • Flexible layout makes them suitable for a few essential readings, or fuller lists.
  • Ideal for a variety of resources, such as film or TV clips (e.g. using YouTube or Box of Broadcasts), professional body webpages, image database resources etc.

Over the summer the TLSS will be happy to help by setting up reading lists for new courses. You can then take ownership and share editing rights with your colleagues. We will also be showing new colleagues how to use these lists.  For those of you who may like a quick reminder, would like some tips, or have questions for us, we will also be running refresher sessions.

We will be holding drop-in sessions in the TLSS office (room 317) on the 3rd floor of Senate House every Wednesday afternoon, 2.30-4.30 p.m, throughout June-August.  In addition we welcome the opportunity to visit departments for ‘Getting started’ sessions or one to one trouble-shooting.  See our summer poster for more details, or email us for further information, or to book a session!