Reading List Survey

Book shelf

Many thanks to everyone who responded to our short reading list survey, we had 97 responses, including a lot of thoughtful comments which are going to help us target areas where we can improve the service.  There were two questions:

How easy are the reading lists to use?

When asked to rate how easy the online reading lists are to use, on a scale of 1-5, we were pleased to see that around 60% of respondents found the reading list easy/very easy to use, while further 20% said that they found them neither easy nor difficult.  We would like to improve on this though, and this summer we are planning to make some changes to the format of some of the lists, and improve our help resources. We’d also like to remind you to let us know if you’re having any problems, you can call 020 8938 2520 or email

What new features would you like to see?

We also suggested some new features which we thought might be useful, the most popular of these were:

  • At-a-glance indicator of which references you’ve previously linked to
  • Ability to favourite individual readings on your lists
  • Help options at the top of your reading lists

We’ll raise these as enhancement requests with our support company and will keep you posted.

Now see below for specific responses to some of your comments…

Library's Responses to your Comments

'I need continued access to reading lists from previous years of my course.'

You can! If you are studying on a multi-year course you can access all of your reading lists from your previous years of study.  You will find a link to them in the Online Reading Lists section on Moodle.

'…why can’t you just scan all of the papers and email them to me/upload them onto Moodle?'

All of our scanning is produced under the terms of the CLA UUK/GuildHE Higher Education Licence.  Under this licence there are restrictions about which publications and how much of them we are allowed to copy/scan for each course.  A basic guideline is 1 chapter, or up to 10% of a book, whichever is the greater, or 1 article from a journal issue.
The other aspect of this is that providing scanned documents takes up a lot of staff time – as well as scanning and uploading the papers we also have to record them for auditing purposes, so if course material is already available from one of our full-text collections we wouldn’t scan it as well as we just don’t have time.

'Please let us know if our reading list has been updated'

We do! We post messages on Moodle to let you know if changes have been made to your list, however we realise that not everyone sees them so we’re going to standardise these messages so that they’re easily recognisable. You can add and to your email contact or safe senders list just in case our messages end up in your spam folder.

'I can’t find my reading list on the website'

There is a search feature on the reading list website, but it isn’t always easy to find the list that you need.  We recommend that you follow the link to your reading list from your Moodle course page as this should direct you to the right lists.  However we realise that this isn’t always possible so this summer we’ll look at renaming all of the lists to improve the search results. Please always check that you’re using the lists for the current academic year though – searching for lists returns the older lists first, so you’ll need to check the date which is displayed after the title.

'Navigating between lists is tricky'

We agree! It isn’t straightforward to know whether you need to click on the title, or the expand icon to get into your list.  We’re working with the support company on improving this, but we’re also going to try some new list formats next year which will hopefully make a difference.  If anyone would like to test out the new formats for us please get in touch, email, it would be really helpful to get your feedback.

'Please indicate clearly which papers are essential and which are recommended'

This is already available for a lot of the reading lists, but we’re going to work with the tutors on lists which don’t yet prioritise readings

'Printing reading lists loses the tags underneath the reference'

This is a bug in the system; the green tags which include additional information such as whether references are essential or additional reading, should be printed out. We’ve reported this to the support company who are working to rectify this.

'We need earlier access to reading lists'

We try to obtain all reading lists by early July so that our small team has the whole of the summer to update them.  We have to prioritise lists which are for the Autumn term or which apply to the whole year, before starting on the reading lists for the Spring and Summer terms, so you may find that you don’t see your whole year’s readings straight away.  Unfortunately we don’t always receive the reading lists in time, and once the new academic year has begun we have a lot less time available to update the lists, which means that some lists are not available as soon as you need them.  We’ll continue to work with the tutors to improve on this as we know how important it is for you to have access to your reading lists in good time.

'Accessing the full-text papers can be really tricky!'

This was a recurring theme! We try to source the easiest full-text papers for you to access, but this depends on our subscriptions and who the publisher/provider is. Each of these sites looks very different and it isn’t always easy to find the pdf straightaway.  The other issue is that the content may not exist in pdf format, so downloading/printing chapters and articles can be awkward (ie Freud’s Standard edition, and a lot of the early psychoanalytic journals).
Over the summer we’re going to develop more help resources to assist you when you link out to a publisher’s site, and we’re looking into ways of making it clear where you’ll be linking out to.

The Tavistock and Portman