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Make items available for students

Online Course Readings

Our Online Course Readings (OCR) service provides digitised book chapters or journal articles for student use. Requests for digitisation should be submitted via the Reading list tool on Minerva.

We digitise all chapters and articles marked as “core reading”, as long as it complies with licensing restrictions.

We can also digitise other chapters and articles upon request. Please select the item(s) from your reading list and then select the OCR icon.

Please help us to carry out your request as quickly as possible by giving as much information as you can.

Make sure that you submit any requests for digitisation by the end of July so that we can digitise your items before the start of teaching.

We will not turn down requests made after the deadline, but we will prioritise those made on time and cannot guarantee when late requests will be available on Minerva.

What can be digitised

The OCR team checks each request for digitisation against the list of criteria set down by the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) scanning licence.

In summary, we can scan:

  • one chapter, article or 10% of the total pages (whichever is greatest) per book/issue
  • only items owned by the University
  • books or journals published in the UK or one of the 38 approved international territories
  • books or journals from US publishers that have opted in to the licence.

We cannot scan:

  • newspaper articles
  • items that are already available in digital format (unless you can make a strong case that the current digital version is unsuitable)
  • items on the CLA’s exclusion lists
  • books that students have recommended for purchase.

Scanning must be done by our "designated scanners", who are named on the University’s CLA licence.

All digitisation must come through the Online Course Readings service, unless otherwise agreed with the Library’s Copyright Officer.

For further information, email the Online Course Readings team

Please be aware that scans provided by Online Course Readings cannot be used to substitute for the purchase of textbooks by students.

What happens once a request is made

When a digitisation request has been processed, eligible chapters and articles are scanned in PDF format, then uploaded to Minerva.

Students can then access these scans via the Online Course Readings folder, usually found within the Learning Resources area of a module.

In the event that Learning Resources doesn’t exist or has been renamed, we will attempt to place the Online Course Readings folder in the most suitable area.

OCR will notify the module leader when we’ve completed all requests for a module.

Using the digitised items

You can use the same extract multiple times across different modules. However, please DO NOT copy material without contacting the Online Course Readings team, as this breaks the terms of the CLA licence.

Only students registered on the appropriate module may access the PDFs, but there is no limit on the number of times they can use them.

Compatibility with screen readers

We add optical character recognition to all our PDFs before putting them online (essentially changing them from images to text-based PDFs). The results of this are not 100% accurate, but it does mean the PDFs are compatible with screen readers.

If you know of a visually-impaired student on the course, please let us know when you make your request and we will try to ensure that the optical character recognition is as accurate as possible.

Removal of items from Minerva

The information we put in Minerva must be relevant to its associated module(s).

We will contact you before your material is due to be used again to confirm it is all still required. If any items are no longer relevant, copyright law dictates that we have to remove them.