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Unit Readings Support

Unit Readings is UWA's system for sharing reading lists with students

Why can't I upload readings directly to the LMS?

Learning materials cannot be directly uploaded to the LMS unless:

  • you own the copyright in the material 
  • the material is openly licensed (more information can be found in the 'Free to use resources' section on the Copyright at UWA page)
  • the material is out of copyright or copyright-free

Access to published material needs to be mediated by the Library through Unit Readings to ensure copyright and accessibility compliance across the University. 

More detailed copyright information is available on the Copyright and Teaching web page.

Why can't students see my list in the LMS?

If your students can't see your list in your LMS unit, check that you have: 

  1. Linked your list to the correct LMS unit. Click on the abbreviated unit code in the heading to see the full code including the teaching period


  1. Sent your list to the Library to be processed. Library staff will publish your list, and ensure all items are available for students.
  2. Checked the Unit Readings link in the LMS is visible. This link is visible to students by default. If you cannot see the Unit Readings link in your LMS, contact the e-learning team for assistance. 

Unit Readings link menu in LMS. Show Link


Alternatively, please contact UWA Librarians for assistance with this and we would be happy to help.

Why can't I find a list for my unit?

When you are logged in to Unit Readings, 'Lists' is the first page displayed on logging in, showing the lists you have access to. If the list for your unit is not there, contact UWA Librarians for access to any existing list from the previous year or teaching period. It may be that Unit Readings hasn't been used for the unit before, in which case, you can create a new list from scratch. 

Why do I get an error message when I try to open the list from Student Preview in the LMS?

If you click on the Unit Readings link while in the 'Student Preview' mode of the LMS, it does not display the list. This is because the LMS to Unit Readings link only allows access to the list if you are an enrolled student. To view your reading list, exit 'Student Preview'  in the LMS. Once you're back in the Staff view of LMS, you will be able to access the reading list from the Unit Readings link. As long as the link to Unit Readings in the left LMS menu is Shown to students, and the list has been sent to the Library, it will be visible to enrolled students.

Staff can preview lists as a student within the Unit Readings system.

What is the difference between Essential, High Demand and Recommended readings?


  Definition  How many copies will the Library provide?
Essential Textbook

An essential textbook forms a core component of the unit, is integrated into the learning, used frequently for the duration of the unit, and linked to assessments. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required to interact with the content.

Use the Essential Textbook tag to indicate your Essential textbook to the Library and your students. 

Depending on the format and purchase options available, the Library will aim to provide 1 print and 1 electronic copy. Additional copies will be purchased based on unit enrolment numbers. 

The Library aims to provide online access but not all books are available as ebooks for libraries to purchase as an institution. The Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) stipulates that a textbook can only be required for a unit of study if the text is readily available free of charge through the university library. Therefore, the Library will always purchase at least one print copy of an essential textbook which will be placed in High Demand. Where a title cannot be obtained by the library, it should not be marked as an Essential text.

High Demand book

High Demand relates to high-use print books. Items in the Library's High Demand collection are available for 3hr loans (or overnight if loaned after 4:30pm), giving students more equitable access to high-use resources. High Demand titles are not essential for students to purchase. 

Use the High Demand tag to request items be moved into High Demand

Depending on the format and purchase options available, the Library will aim to provide 1 print and 1 electronic copy. Additional copies will be purchased based on unit enrolment numbers. The Library aims to provide online access but not all books are available as ebooks for libraries to purchase as an institution.

Recommended reading

Recommended readings are supplementary to the unit learning materials and students are not required to access the content to successfully complete the unit. 

The Library will provide at least one copy of a Recommended title, either in electronic (preferred) or print format.


Why aren't my Essential textbooks appearing in my Unit Outline?

Once your reading list has been sent to the Library, books and ebooks that have been tagged 'Essential textbook' in Unit Readings will appear in the Textbook section of the Unit Outline. 

To ensure your unit textbook appears in the Unit Outline:

  1. Add the tag 'Essential textbook - students recommended to purchase' to the textbook
  2. Ensure the item type in Unit Readings is "Book" or "ebook" 

Screenshot showing the e-book type label highlighted in the reading record.

  1. Ensure you have sent the list to the Library for processing.

Then, open the Unit Outline Builder, and refresh the textbook section.

If the textbook still does not appear after completing the steps above, please contact UWA Librarians for assistance.

Why hasn’t a book I’ve placed in my Unit Readings list been placed in the High Demand section?

Use the High Demand tag to request a print book be made available in the relevant libraries High Demand section. If only a chapter is required, you may like to request that the chapter be digitised and made available via Unit Readings. 

How do I know how many users can concurrently use an ebook and why isn’t this unlimited?

For electronic textbooks, publishers may limit the number of concurrent users that can access the book at once (typically 3 users). Often only 1 copy is able to be downloaded onto a device, with the other copies made available for online reading only. Where possible, we limit download days to one day and there is a timeout function of 30 minutes if there is no activity online, which helps free up books that are not actively being used. These user limits are determined by publishers.

Both the Unit Readings and OneSearch records for the book will indicate how many concurrent users a book permits. For example:

Screenshot with the "unlimited concurrent users" labled highlighted in an example book record.

How do I report a broken link?

To report to the Library that an online item in your list can't be accessed, click on the item to show the full record and click 'Mark as Broken' in the Links and Availability section.

Screenshot showing the "mark as broken" link in an example book record.

How much of a print book can be digitised and uploaded into Unit Readings?

Under copyright law, 1 chapter or 10% of an item can be digitised and added to Unit Readings. Please do not send or attach a scanned document. The Library will create a copy that is accessible and complies with copyright requirements.

See the instructions for adding a scanned copy of a print book chapter or journal article

How do I provide supplementary content in e-textbooks?

Publishers sometimes include supplementary material for teachers or students with textbooks.  This can include content such as slides, test banks or lecture notes, homework sites, quizzes and interactive learning material or videos. These should be investigated carefully if you intend to rely on them in your course as:

  • An additional payment may be required from students or teachers
  • The license may limit how you are able to use the content. For example, though you can use content in class, it may not be available to integrate with the LMS
  • Access to content can require sharing of personal information with a 3rd party
  • Supplementary content is often not available for the Library to purchase and is usually locked to a personal account or individual one-use code. Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) requires that students can access all essential content free of charge and this is usually done through the Library purchasing copies of all textbooks.

Please contact UWA Librarians for assistance.


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