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Reading Lists Online - guide for academic staff

Reading List Essentials

This online reading list contains a range of resources relating to reading lists which help provide an evidence base for the best practice guidelines in reading lists at SHU. The resources will help you explore and better understand:

  • the pedagogy underpinning reading lists
  • students expectations and use of reading lists
  • what makes a good reading list such as annotating

eBooks are a good way of improving the accessibility of resources for students.  The presentation below highlights some of the licensing issues.

Making your RLO more accessible and inclusive

It is important to consider how you can make lists accessible for all students, the following three techniques are all very effective.

Include online resources

  • More students can access these where and when it suits them, for example off-campus.
  • Students can also use specialist reading software to access these resources if they require it

Provide clear sign-posting and navigation

  • Giving guidance on what is essential and what is further reading allows students to prioritise their reading

Get your lists published and reviewed in good time

  • This gives students who may have difficulties with reading more time to find and read materials
  • Also it allows the library more time to digitise chapters or buy e-books


Digitisation of print items

Use Request review if you bookmark chapters or articles that are not currently available electronically.  Wherever possible we will digitise these (licences and copyright law permitting). 
We recommend you liaise with your Library faculty team if you have any questions regarding resources that need ordering.

Digitisating readings across lists

You can tell if an item on an RLO is a chapter or article digitised by the library services Digitisation team by grouping the items by section.

The digitised reading will have been made purposefully for that particular module, and details such as the module code and student numbers will have been recorded for copyright auditing. Therefore, please do not copy the link across and use it on an RLO for a different module. If you need a digitised reading for a new RLO, please either add it to the RLO and set it to review or complete the form below and send it to

Decolonising the Curriculum

One of the areas of focus for Hallam’s work around the degree awarding gap is for us to think about what strategies could be put in place – with care and involving students – to ‘decolonise the curriculum’.

Decolonising the curriculum requires us to consider, and then address, how the values, norms, thinking, beliefs and practices that frame the curriculum perpetuate white, westernised hegemony and position anything non-European and not white as inferior.

You can read more about Decolonising the Curriculum at Sheffield Hallam here.

Working with Pre-arrival reading lists

This document provides information about how to use a new pre arrival reading list template which has been set up to help staff create an online pre-arrival reading list for students. It also provides students with information about SHU Library and provides a short introduction to academic study at university. 

Working with Work Based Learning courses

Following the 5 points in this document will help support the development of best practice in reading lists for students on WBL courses by anticipating the needs of students who may be new to HE or returning to HE after a substantial break and students who are doing a course alongside 30+ hours of employment who therefore may not find it easy to come into SHU libraries.

The document includes information about a reading list template developed to support course designers developing new work based learning modules. This has been endorsed by SHU's Work Based Learning Framework Panel.


If you need further help with your Reading List please contact your Learning and Teaching Librarian, who will be able to arrange a 1 - 2 - 1 appointment.