This post was co-authored by Patrick Tooth, Hossain Salahuddin and Michelle Hernandez.

UTS Library’s Reading Lists service has been in place for over a year now, so we thought we’d share some of the key benefits of using it on your Canvas subject site.

Using Reading Lists to improve student experience

Students appreciate it when their required, recommended, and further readings are available from a single place in Canvas from Week 1. This is precisely the outcome that Reading Lists has been designed to deliver.

Setting up Reading Lists for your subject

If your subject had a Reading List in Canvas in the previous session, it should automatically roll over to the next session. You can then edit the Reading List and add/remove resources. If there is no Reading List, you can create one. The Library website has short video tutorials on setting up and using Reading Lists.

Adding eBooks and electronic journal articles from the catalogue

The system is seamlessly integrated with the UTS Library catalogue. This means, you can add eBooks and electronic journal articles to your Reading List with only a couple of clicks, making the resource immediately available to your students. The Library website has instructions for adding resources to Reading Lists.

Placing purchase requests for textbooks

The simplest and fastest way to place purchase requests for resources such as textbooks is via Reading Lists in Canvas. This makes it easy for the library to anticipate and respond to your needs. For example, we can tell exactly how many students are in a course that uses a particular textbook, allowing us to set purchase numbers accurately. This 2-minute video shows how to place purchase requests.

Placing digitisation requests for book chapters

The Copyright Act (more on this below) permits the Library to digitise extracts from books and make them available to students online. This 2-min video shows how to place digitisation requests on Reading Lists. We also recommend these step-by-step instructions that cover more details with screenshots.

Using Reading Lists, you can also gauge student engagement and find out the number of times the reading has been viewed or ‘liked’.

Using Reading Lists for copyright compliance

One of the critical reasons for implementing Reading Lists is to ensure copyright compliance.

The Copyright Act provides Australian universities with a “statutory licence” to use copyright materials for teaching purposes, without needing to ask permission from copyright holders or paying them a fee directly. Instead, an Agency has been set up to pass on royalties to copyright holders, and universities pay the Agency a fee to cover the costs of doing this.

But we have certain obligations:

The 10% rule

There are limits on the amount of material provided under the licence. For example, one digital copy of at most 10% or one chapter of any book can be provided per subject. And normally only one digitised article can be provided from any journal issue. A key restriction is that although several subjects can access the same digital item, it must be literally the same digital item: only one digital copy of any reading can be stored on university servers.

UTS is legally obliged to ensure that the limits are adhered to. Reading Lists allows the Library (and hence teaching staff) to store copies of and keep track of all the material that is being provided under the statutory licence so that we are not inadvertently breaking the law. 

Official copyright notice

Each item provided under the licence must have an official copyright notice attached, warning readers that the item is provided under the licence and solely for their studies. Reading Lists does this automatically to all items it gives access to.

Paying royalties to authors

For royalties to be adequately paid, all universities are periodically audited to see precisely what material they are providing under the licence and, for each item, to how many students. In the past, these audits have been very time-consuming, but Reading Lists has built-in software that monitors copyright material usage for this purpose.

UTS was audited earlier this year, and with Reading Lists in place for the first time during an audit, the process was much more straightforward, more accurate, and less time consuming than previously.

With every reading being made available to students only via Reading Lists in Canvas, we can be sure that:

  • All limits are adhered to.
  • All material has a copyright notice.
  • All material usage can be easily monitored for future audits.
  • Copyright holders are being remunerated appropriately for the use of their work.

Learn more about Reading Lists

Visit the UTS Library website to contact your faculty librarian if you have any questions.

UTS Library is hosting a number of information sessions to help academics get started with Reading Lists. You can select one of the upcoming sessions below to register, or check our Events section for more dates.

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