Skip to Main Content

Reading lists


This section outlines how you can legitimately add scanned readings and other content into your SOL module pages.  Copyright affects many of the resources used so you need to be aware of what you can and can't do when uploading externally sourced content to SOL.

SOL modules must not include copies of copyrighted readings that haven’t been processed by the library.  You are not permitted to add PDF copies of journal articles, scans of printed book chapters, or saved copies of digitised documents directly into module pages. You should also not assume that something is free to use because it is on the Internet.

There are a number of reasons why these materials are NOT copyright compliant and MUST be removed from SOL pages – and replaced with a legitimate version via the Library that does not breach copyright or usage licenses. 

The sections below explain how to ensure your SOL content is copyright compliant - and outlines the potentially serious consequences if it's not.

Scanning sections from print resources

Why does the library need to scan sections from print books and journals?  

  • The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) aim to “help customers legally access, copy and share the published content they need, while also making sure that copyright owners are paid fair royalties for the use of their work” 
  • The CLA HE Licence covers the Library for making scans from copyrighted material. 
  • Library scans are stored in the CLA’s Digital Content Store (DCS), so the scans need to be uploaded to the DCS to be legal.  The Library is able to do this. As the scanned materials are stored in the DCS, this underpins Solent’s annual report to the CLA and payment of royalties.
  • The DCS also provides the copyright cover sheet for all scanned documents.  Without this sheet, any scanned item is in breach of the licence
  • The CLA can inspect SOL module pages at any time so we must ensure all scanned documents are legitimately scanned under the terms of our license.

Please note: although a login is needed to access Solent resources, the reading list is publicly available so it is important to ensure that it is compliant.

What does the license cover and what requirements must be met?

  • The scanning licence allows the library to scan up to 10% of any title included under the license (or one whole chapter, or one whole journal article if greater than 10%)  
  • There is a permissions check process, an obligation for the library to hold the title and an obligation to upload the resulting scan to the DCS. 
  • Not every publisher grants scanning permission, so it is not permitted to just scan any title and put the content on a unit page.   You can check whether permission is available for a particular title yourself from CLA: Check permissions page.

Uploading other sources to SOL

Can I upload PDFs of content found on the internet as it is already freely available?

  • PDFs of documents can be problematic. 
  • Some do not have any restrictions attached and so can easily be linked to, but you need to be sure of this before using a PDF.
  • Others may have restrictions.  If there is no copyright statement on the actual PDF, you will need to check the copyright or terms of use on the site they come from to see if you are permitted to link to the document, or just the hosting web page or if linking is not allowed at all. 
  • Some websites allow PDFs to be downloaded for ‘personal use only’ – so the site should be linked to for students to download the article for their own use. If the PDF is downloaded and placed on SOL, that could be argued as not personal use. 
  • Some websites allow ‘educational use’, but many stipulate additional restrictions and sometimes the copyright statement is difficult to find or correctly interpret.  Therefore, the safest option is to link to the download page rather than directly to the PDF.
  • Some PDFs you might find should not have been made freely available and copyright and usage licences have been broken – these should not be downloaded or linked to at all.

Remember! PDF copies of journal articles, scans of printed book chapters, or saved copies of digitised documents must not be added directly into module pages.


What are the penalties for breaking copyright?

  • The penalties are potentially serious.  Publishers can sue for breach of copyright and the CLA could impose large fines on those responsible for breaking the terms of the copyright license or revoke our license completely. There could also be an impact on the University’s reputation.
  • The library can advise on the best way to make readings available and may notify lecturers of any potential copyright infringements they notice.
  • Ultimately it is the lecturer’s responsibility to ensure the material they use does not infringe copyright or terms of use.  

Avoiding copyright problems

How can I ensure I do not infringe copyright or the terms of the CLA license?

  • Include all your readings on a reading list so the library can obtain legitimate copies of sources or link to key readings where allowed.  

email If you have a reading list you would like added to your SOL module, please send it to your Information Librarian or the Reading Lists team at