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Make items available for students

Reading list progress

Reading list progress

Our progress in checking reading lists submitted for the next semester is below, last updated on 27 October 2020.

1,596 received lists
1,013 checked lists

We are now working on lists submitted from 9 September. We work through reading lists in the order we receive them, as quickly as possible. We have completed all lists submitted by the "deadline" of 14 August – we are usually confident that we can supply material for the start of term if we receive lists by this date.

Unfortunately, we could not process all the reading lists before the start of term. This is partly due to receiving many more lists than in usual years, and partly because the focus on providing online copies wherever possible has increased the time needed to process each list and place orders for new material.

This means that at the start of term some items on Minerva reading lists will not have links available for students to access material, and some may not have enough copies available immediately.

How will I know when my list has been checked?

We will email you when your list has been checked. We will add comments to your list in Minerva if there are any issues making material available.

At present we are checking any newly added items, any items tagged “core reading” and chapters tagged “OCR” (Online Course Readings).

Why have I not heard anything yet?

If you haven’t heard from us, it may be that your list is waiting to be checked, or that we are in the process of finding suppliers for the items you have recommended. Please don’t email us to ask where your list is, as dealing with these enquiries takes time away from making reading lists available!

Ebooks can be obtained within 3 working days from our regular suppliers, if the publishers have made them available.

However, many textbooks are only available to libraries through specialist suppliers who broker deals per text, based on cohort numbers. We work with a range of suppliers to find items available online as much as possible, but this process takes longer.

We will email you as soon as your reading list has been checked.

What is the Library doing to increase online access?

We are working with a bigger number and range of new suppliers to provide access to core texts. We have set up access to 198 textbooks so far this term with individual arrangements with suppliers. We have increased the capacity of our reading list team to speed up checking lists and placing orders.

We are also reviewing our management of ebooks access. Many suppliers place limits on access so that when the ebook has been used a number of times access to that book is removed. Where we can, we are automating payment for more licences, which means that access is continued even when limits are hit. Where we can’t arrange this, we are increasing our monitoring of “turnaways” so that we can manually increase licenses for access.

How can I optimise access to texts on my reading list?

There are some things you can do to help us process lists more efficiently and so help to get as many lists available for as many students as possible at the start of the semester.

  • Use the “core reading” tag
    Prioritise core readings using the “core reading” tag. This speeds up checking and helps us to prioritise spending on your list. We have specialist suppliers for online textbooks who charge an annual subscription based on cohort size. This approach is only affordable for a couple of key texts per module, so it helps us to focus on the most important items on the list.
  • Digitise chapters
    If students need to read one or two chapters of a book, please reference the chapter and tag the reference “OCR” (Online Course Readings). We can digitise individual chapters without paying for additional online access, if we already own a copy. This is subject to the terms of the University’s CLA licence; some publishers are excluded.
  • Use available material where possible
    Use Library Search to find articles and books already available online (you can limit your search to online only).

How can I help my students?

If your students are reporting difficulties accessing texts from their Minerva reading list, please advise them to use Library Search to check for individual items. We may have acquired the item and created the Library Search record but not yet set up access from the reading list.

The most accurate way to search for a known book is to use the author’s surname and a significant word or two from the title. If there’s a lot of results, then the Resource type filter can be set to limit to books only. There’s more advice in Library Search Help pages.

If the item is not yet available, there may be online material in Library Search around the same subject area. There is now an option to limit Library Search to find online material only.