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University Library

Library Digitisation Service

The service scans book chapters and journal articles, making the PDFs available to your students on specific modules. The service operates under the Copyright Licensing Agency's Higher Education Licence for photocopying and scanning.

Please note: the Library no longer provides a service linking directly to online articles from reading lists in DUO, as most articles are available by searching Discover. Please contact library.resources@durham.ac.uk if this causes any problems.

Why should I use the service?

Scanning chapters, articles or extracts currently only available in hard copy improves their acessibility to students, making essential reading available 24x7 to all students enrolled in your module. We undertake the checks and paperwork necessary to ensure compliance with copyright law.

What can be scanned?

  • The original text from which we take the scan must be owned by the university, or be a copyright fee paid extract supplied by an organisation holding a document delivery licence with CLA (e.g. British Library).
  • The original text must be published by participating publishers in the UK or participating international territories and not be exluded from scanning by the rightsholder.
  • The CLA's Check Permissions tool allows you to check whether or not we can copy from a particular text.

The proportion of a work that can be scanned consists of whichever is the greater of 10% of the total page count or:

One chapter of a book | one article of a journal issue | one paper of one set of conference proceedings | one report of a single case from a report of judicial proceedings | one short story or one poem of not more than 10 pages in an anthology.

We cannot scan:

Printed music (including the words) | maps and charts | newspapers | unpublished material | any work in which the copyright owner has expressly stipulated that "permission is not granted for copying under licences issued by The Copyright Licensing Agency"

What should I do?

To allow the digitised resource to be opened in DUO please ensure that the Library Resources button has been enabled and added to the module menu, the instructions to do this are available here.

If you have a complete reading list for your module that contains clearly identified digitisation requests, send us the whole list via the reading list pages. If you do this there is no need to make separate digitisation requests.

Alternatively, you can make ad hoc requests using the forms below:


The library will process your request as soon as possible, however, please be aware that this could take longer at peak times particularly between July and September. As such we cannot guarantee a time scale for this service, and it is advisable that you submit your digitisation requests in good time.

What happens next?

When we have received your request we will:

  • Check that the material is covered by the licence.
  • Retrieve the source materials from stock or acquire a copyright cleared version from the British Library.
  • Scan the extracts requested and convert them to PDF files.
  • List the extracts in the Library Resources list of your module on duo with a link to the PDF.
  • Collect and submit the required information to the CLA.
  • Remove materials as required by request or licence.

If you have any questions about any aspect of digitisation or taught course reading materials please contact us