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Resource Lists

Guidance & Best Practice for using resource lists

Key Principles

Resource Lists is the name of the university's online reading list software (provided by Talis Aspire). Resource Lists are designed to provide a definitive source of readings and resources to support each module and to enhance student learning and experience. Almost all taught modules should have an online resource list containing all essential and further readings required for the module. 

Resource lists should make use of the Library's existing digital resources and collections wherever possible, to support a Digital First approach to content delivery, as approved at LTQC and to enable us to deliver this in budget.

Resource List Framework

The Framework was updated and approved at LTQC in March 2021. The key principles of the Framework are:

• Aim to have 100% digital content for all Core and Essential categories. 
• Clear week-to-week or topic guide as a single source of all resources for students.
• Inclusive, reflecting the diversity of our student body.
• Inform the purchase of library stock.


Collection Development Policy (under review)

This policy is currently being updated and aims to set out general statements, principles and guidelines for:

  • the selection and acquisition of books, journals and other resources
  • the evaluation and editing of stock and subscriptions
  • the provision of access to content and resources, some of which are not necessarily held at the University of Roehampton

For more information about the Resource List Framework see the document below or contact the Academic Engagement Team.

Digital First Policy

Digital First Policy

The University is working towards having all Essential Readings available digitally either as an eBook or as a digitised chapter. Please make use of existing online materials or request digitisation of chapters by using the "Request Digitisation" option on your resource list. We are only able to digitise 10% or one chapter of a book and we require page numbers to satisfy a request. 


Why is a book not available in eBook format?

It is a common misconception that libraries can purchase eBooks as consumers can through publisher sites or companies like Amazon. Publishers or book sellers may advertise eBooks as an option on their website, however these are single personal user licenses. Due to UK copyright law university libraries must purchase institutional licences directly via publishers or aggregators and pay a licence fee, based on various licence models. 

In many cases, books are only available as part of a collection of books or as an eTextbook, and the publisher won't offer to licence an individual text to a library.  A SCONUL report in 2018 concluded only around 10% of academic titles are available to universities in electronic format.

The option to buy eBooks in perpetuity is disappearing from the market. The licence models below mostly need to be renewed annually. The cost per licence can be up to 1000% higher than the cost of print.

When a single or multiple seat licence is available at the time of purchase, the cost of a licence model can change without warning or the title be withdrawn. This makes it challenging to plan, provide reliable access and control budgets.


eBook Licence Models

Single or multiple seat user licences allow for consecutive access based on licences purchased. Students will be turned away if the book is in use by another user.  May be licensed in perpetuity, or on an annually renewable basis.

Credit models most commonly 200-400 per year, allow for access until the number of credits is used up.

Subject collections – the publisher aggregates titles in a collection and these titles are only available as eBooks, when the whole collection is purchased. Annually renewable or in some cases a one-off purchase of archives.

Etextbooks model is a title not available under the previous models and cost is based on the number of students using a title for a specific course or module. Essentially this emulates a model where the publisher sells a copy to each student, but the University pays.  More and more eBooks are now only available to libraries under the eTextbook model.


The library holds the print book, can you scan the whole book to make it available digitally?

Even if we hold the book in print format, copyright law prevents educational establishments from scanning whole books. The only exception to this is for students who are registered with the Digitisation Service for Disabled Students.


I can see that a book is available in another library in eBook format but we are unable to purchase it, why is this?

The most likely reason for this is that the eBook is held at a non-UK institution with different region rights to us, and the eBook is not licensed in the UK. Other reasons may include an unaffordable price increase, or the title is only available as part of a collection to which we do not currently subscribe.


What can I do to explain this to my students?

Your Academic Engagement Librarian would be happy to discuss this with you and give you some advice. One option might be to include the below text to the top of your Resource List as a "New Note".

Not all books are available digitally and some only let one user in at a time due to publisher restrictions. If the resources you’re looking for aren’t available digitally you may be able to find alternatives on UR Library Search. Have a look at our FAQ guidance or the Learning Skills Hub for more information on searching and finding resources.


If you would like more information about the eBook market and the challenges, please contact your Academic Engagement Librarian.


Training and Support

The Academic Engagement Team offer one-to-one and group training on creating and updating Resources Lists, e.g. adding resource list sections, adding content to lists, requesting digitisations and embedding Resource List sections into Moodle. 

We also set up Resource Lists templates for new modules, issue editing rights for academics, update module name/code on an existing lists.

Please contact us to make an appointment or ask us a question.