Digitised Course Readings

How staff can request digitised copies of chapters and articles for reading lists and learn.gold.

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The Library, on behalf of Goldsmiths, subscribes to the CLA HE Licence that is offered by the Copyright Licensing Agency.

This licence allows us to take digital copies of chapters from printed or electronic books, or articles from journals and magazines, for incorporation into readinglists.gold.ac.uk or learn.gold.

All scanned resources for reading lists and learn.gold must abide by copyright licences and UK copyright law.

Please note that there is very limited staff access to the library and the physical book collection, so scanning for reading lists may take longer than normal.

In cases where we do hold an item in our collection that is covered by our copyright licence, but we cannot access it, the scanning team may ask if individual academic staff are able to scan a personal copy of a book chapter and forward it to the Library scanning team at library_scanning (@gold.ac.uk), along with a note of the ISBN of their copy so we can try to make it available and accessible to students.

There are some texts that are not allowed to be scanned under our CLA licence. In these cases, we recommend that other texts are suggested to students. The Library Subject Team can guide students and staff in locating other suitable online texts that can be used for assignments.

Please note that the scanning team is prioritising essential module readings. Any digitisation requests for recommended and further readings will be placed in a queue and will be completed after the essential readings are done.

Requesting scans

Scanning will be done by library staff, who will check each request for copyright compliance before completing the scan, and will check that each scan works with screen reading software.

Please allow as much lead time as possible.

Fill out the digital request form
Select digitisation from within the edit screen of a Reading List

Checking if something is included in our licence

Use the permissions search tool to check if your item is included.

Put the ISBN, ISSN or Title in the search box and select Higher Education from the drop-down menu before clicking the 'show permissions' button.

Who can request digital copies

The licence covers all full-time and part-time members of academic and administrative staff. This includes those employed on permanent or fixed-term contracts, or those providing maternity, long-term sickness or other secondment cover. The licence does not cover visitors, reference users or alumni.

What can be scanned

We are allowed to scan from books and journals published in the UK, and other 'International Territories' that are covered by the CLA licence, as long as the college owns a copy.  

If we don't hold a printed or electronic copy of a book or journal, then we will liaise with the subject librarians about whether to purchase a copy for the library or request a copyright fee paid copy from the British Library document supply service.  

Please note that where we hold an electronic copy, we will only digitise the item if there are restrictions on access to it, for example, if our licences permit only one user to access an ebook at a time.

How much can be scanned

The amount of each book, journal or magazine that can be copied is restricted to a maximum of:

  • 10% or one chapter of a book
  • 10% or one article of a journal issue
  • 10% or one paper of one set of conference proceedings
  • 10% or one report of a single case from a report of judicial proceedings
  • 10% of an anthology of short stories or poems or one short story or poem of not more than 10 pages

(Amounts given are per module, per academic year)

Text book substitution

The main purpose of the rights granted in the licence is to allow HEIs to make full use of their collections in support of the processes of learning, teaching and commercial research. In this context, the making of copies under the Licence is not intended to substitute for the purchase of an original published edition or the commissioning of an original artistic work. 

Scanning notice and reporting

All digitised material must display a fee-paid copyright cover sheet. This is produced automatically by our digitised content management system and will precede the copied material, which is why scans must be requested using the form.

We also have to record bibliographic and module details for each item and report this to the CLA every year. 

Reusing scanned material

If you wish to re-use material that has been scanned for previous years, you must inform the library.

What cannot be scanned

Material personally owned by individuals can only be scanned in exceptional circumstances.

Types of 'Excluded Material' which may not be copied under the Licence are works within the following categories:

  1. printed music (including the words)
  2. maps, charts
  3. newspapers
  4. workbooks, workcards and assignment sheets
  5. any work on which the copyright owner has expressly and prominently stipulated that it may not be copied
    under a CLA Licence

Who can access digital copies

Digital copies stored in a Reading List or VLE can be downloaded and printed out (once only) by:

  • students registered on that course and staff directly involved in teaching the module
  • officers contracted by regulatory agencies such as QAA and REF.

Please note, completed scans will not be visible to users until the start dates put on the request form, or the term dates given for a reading list on the reading list system. They will also expire on the end date selected at the time of request and will no longer be viewable after that date.


There is no cost to departments for scanning or making digital copies of material held in Goldsmiths as the licence is college-wide. There will be no charge to departments for copyright-cleared material requested from the British Library, this is covered by the library.

Rules for use

  • Scanned or copied material may be listed in online reading lists, but must not be included in the library catalogue
  • Strict procedures for secure authentication must be applied (in our case, via Shibboleth username and password) to ensure that access to course collections is limited to authorised persons only for the duration of that module
  • The scanning or digital copying procedure should only be carried out by named library staff


For further information, email library_scanning@gold.ac.uk or talk to the team on Live Chat.