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Reading Lists

Students generally receive reading lists for each module they study. These provide guidelines to the most relevant texts to student learning. It is important to ensure that reading lists are accessible, up to date and entail a manageable workload. Reading lists - who benefits?

In 2008/09 TIC conducted a Reading List audit (Word, 150kb) identifying guidelines for good practice.

On this Page:


Inclusive Guidelines for Reading Lists: image of a book

  • Follow Accessible Information guidelines (Word, 431kb).
  • Provide reading lists to students in advance of term,
    • Avoid adding new material throughout the delivery of the module.
  • Ensure reading lists are available online,
    • Agree a location in which to store reading lists on school / departmental websites, where they will be available both to current and prospective students of the module, and to subject librarians,
    • Include hyperlinks to relevant catalogue pages. The Library catalogue provides persistent urls for every record at the prompt "Bookmark link for this record".
  • When hyperlinking to e-journal articles ensure you use the elibrary access stem. For Library subscription services, all urls should have the prefix:
  • Include a link to a style manual for referencing.
  • Where appropriate annotate reading lists and indicate key texts.
    • It can also be useful to indicate to students how you wish them to use the reading list (e.g. should they be aiming to read most of the resources or a small selection?)
  • It is useful to indicate texts which correspond with the lecture material each week in advance of term.
  • Ensure reading lists provide the most relevant and recently published texts for a given topic,
  • Update on an annual basis.
  • Where you suggest online resources, ensure reading lists are checked regularly for dead hyperlinks.


Good practice for communicating reading lists to the library:

For Schools / Disciplines:

Appoint at least one designated library liaison officer who takes responsibility for liaising with the relevant subject librarian regarding the resource needs of the School / Discipline. Names and contact details of subject librarians can be found on the Library's Subject Guides page.

The liaison officer is responsible for gathering reading lists from teaching staff and forwarding them promptly to the subject librarian. The subject librarian must receive the lists well in advance of the beginning of the teaching term. To ensure material is available for the start of Michaelmas term, final orders should be placed with the subject librarian by mid July.

All new members of staff in the School should be made aware of the role of the library liaison officer.


For all academic staff: student reading

  • Highlight the following in the reading list to be sent to your subject librarian:
    • Additions and deletions to reading lists,
    • New editions of current texts.
  • Clearly mark key texts on copies sent to subject librarians and to students.,
  • Advise subject librarians of the introduction and termination of programmes / modules.
  • When requesting new books from the subject librarian include the following:
    • Purpose (e.g. personal use, suggested reading, module key text)
    • Number and level (undergraduate/postgraduate) of students who will use this book,
    • Semester in which module will be taught,
    • Full publishing details (including cost if known).
  • If using WebCT/Moodle it is useful to allow access by the subject librarian to the VLE.


For programme handbook creators:

  • Put the contact details of subject librarians for your course into your programme handbooks for students.
  • Send a copy of your handbook to your subject librarian/s.

Printable Version of these guidelines (Word, 20kb)


Video: Greg Sheaf: Subject Librarian for Nursing and Midwifery explains why it is important to advise the library of all recommended reading (2m 46s).

A note on provision for print disabled students who use assistive technology

Resources often have to be adapted, or alternatively formatted, for print disabled students using, for example, screen readers, or screen magnifiers.

The lecturer can help ensure the provision of accessible materials to students with print disabilities when preparing lecture handouts and reading lists. If these resources are prepared in accordance with accessible information guidelines, the need for editing and formatting is reduced.

Consider electronic resources when compiling reading lists. Increasingly material published after 2002 (particularly journal articles) is available electronically.


Sample Reading List:

Sample Reading list from the School of English, showing annotation and use of hyperlinks to aid student retrieval (Word, 20kb).

Sample Reading List using hyperlinks

(Key text**) Brunner L.S., Smeltzer S. and O'Connell C. (2010) Brunner & Suddarth's Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing. Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Online Version - Check out the additional slides and videos available for students at "thePoint"!
Dougherty L. and Lister S.E. (2008) The Royal Marsden Hospital Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures. 7th edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. Print Version
Dougherty L. and Lister S.E. (2008) Royal Marsden Manual Online. 7th edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. Online version of above

(Chapters 1-3 and 7 are most relevant in Dougherty and Lister).

Last updated 28 September 2016 by Trinity Inclusive Curriculum (Email).