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Library Document Delivery Services: Library Scanning Service For Teaching Staff


The University subscribes to the Copyright Licensing Agency's (CLA) Higher Education licence. This grants library staff permission to make digital copies of articles and chapters for embedding into a unit's Library List/Moodle course as long as the material meets the terms of the Licence. The benefit of this is digital rights management free access to book chapters and journal articles held within and beyond the Library's collections. 

What can be scanned? 

  • Printed and electronic material held in the Library's collections (publisher's exceptions apply)

  • Material obtained via the British Library's copyright-fee-paid service

  • Normal extract limits:
  • Up to one chapter of a book or 10% of the total, whichever is greater
  • Up to one article from one journal issue or 10% of the total, whichever is greater

The Licence should not be used to facilitate the substitution of a course textbook. For more information please refer to CLA guidelines:

How do I make a request?

You can make a scanning request using the Library's central reading list management system Library Lists.  You need to add a separate reference for each chapter/article or page range and place one associated request at a time.

  • Access your unit's Library List via Moodle. If the unit does not have a Library List associated with it, follow the instructions in our Reading lists guide to create a Library List.
  • In the Library List, click the 'Add Item +' button to use the 'Library search' to find the print book or print journal for which you want to request a scan and add it to the Library List. For scanning requests from books or journals that are not currently available through the Library, use the 'Blank Form' option instead to create a reference from scratch.
  • Once the book or journal has been added to the list, you need to change the reference type to 'Book Chapter' or 'Article' before you can make a request.
  • Click the '...' button next to the title and select 'Edit item'.

  • Click on the 'Type' drop-down menu and change it to 'Book Chapter' or 'Article' as appropriate.

  • Enter the chapter or article details (chapter title, page range etc.) and click 'Save'. The more details you provide, the quicker our turnaround time can be.
  • Click on the 'Book Chapter' or 'Article' reference which will open in a pop-up window.
  • Scroll down and click 'Digitisation request'.
  • Check the information included, especially correct page range, and click 'Submit'.

If you are not currently using Library Lists, you can click on the button below and complete a separate request form for each chapter/article or page range. You will need to provide the unit code and full bibliographic information. 

What happens next?

  • The Library will check your request against the CLA's Licence.
  • If your request is covered by the Licence, library staff will scan the item and make the scan available through the Library List.
  • The scans are rendered accessible by an Optical Character Recognition process that works with most screen readers. Unfortunately, this process does not work on mathematical or scientific equations, formulae or symbols.
  • You will receive an email once your request has been completed or if there are any issues.


What does digital rights management mean?

Digital rights management (DRM) is a method of digital copyright protection employed by publishers. DRM is fairly common in e-books where you may find access restricted to three or fewer users. DRM is less common in e-journals. 

Can I check to see if my request will be covered by the CLA Licence? 

Yes. CLA offer a check permissions tool which can be found here: CLA Check Permissions Tool.

It is best to search by ISBN or ISSN but you can also search by title. Look for the green ticks against scanning (for print material) and digital (for electronic material).

Is it possible to scan an extract from material not covered by the CLA Licence? 

It is sometimes possible to arrange permission to scan material not covered by the Licence. However, this quite often comes at a cost which may be prohibitive.

How long before I receive a link to the scanned extract? 

Material covered by the CLA Licence and available in Library stock can usually be supplied within a few days. For other material it may take up to 4 weeks. 

Can I use the extract supplied to me for another unit?  

Each scan is made for a specific unit of study, which is represented on a copyright statement included with the scan. If you would like to use an existing scan for another unit you will need to place a new request. 

What is the Library's role?

The CLA lays down stringent guidelines for any scanning done under its terms. The Library scanning team can: 

  • Facilitate checking of material to confirm eligibility for scanning
  • Produce, manage and archive high quality scanned documents 
  • Manage the mandatory reporting to Copyright Licensing Agency 

Why can't I make copies for Moodle/Library Lists myself? 

Unless you hold the copyright of a text, or have explicit permission from the copyright holder, making a copy available in Moodle is likely to contravene copyright.

The University holds a Copyright Licencing Agency (CLA) licence which grants limited permission to designated persons (i.e. library staff) to scan copyright protected publications for use in teaching.

Scans are reported to the CLA in an annual report from library staff and often result in royalties paid to authors. Library staff also produce scans that have been OCRed (Optical Character Recognition) so that they work with screen readers.

Can the Library send me a report listing the scanned readings available for my unit(s)? 

Yes. Please request a report by emailing

Does the Library provide guidance on linking to its electronic resources? 

Yes. Please refer to Linking to Library Resources.

Why does the link to my scan no longer work?

There are three reasons the link to your scanned material may no longer be working.

  1. The scan may have been archived at the request of other teaching staff on the module.

  2. The scan may be from our old system and the link redirect has stopped working. Please contact us using our contact details below.

  3. If the link you have looks like this,

    then it is a temporary session link and was only ever visible for you during the browser session when you copied it.


    The link you are sent for your scanned material is a permalink and this is the link you should use. The temporary session link is in the address bar when you're viewing the scan.

You've scanned material for me in the past, but I've lost the link. Where can I find it?

You can search your email inbox for emails from or else send us a new email and ask for the link.

However, we also add all scanned material to your module's Library List. If you haven't linked your Library List to Moodle, then you can find it here:

Contact us.


Tel: +44 (0)1225 387739

Post: The Library, 2.15, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK