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Readings at JCU

How to get the most out of your subject readings at JCU


  • Ensure your reading requirements are realistic and achievable. Take into consideration the length of your list and the number of readings to ensure students are not overwhelmed and it is not time consuming for you to manage/maintain.

  • Structure your Reading List by using Sections. Label them as weeks, modules, topics, or assessment tasks to organize your list and make it easy for students to identify required readings and tasks.

  • Use the View as Student function in Readings to make sure the resources on the list as displayed effectively and as intended.

Content & Resources

  • As best practice, the prescribed textbook and a link to the appropriate referencing style guide should be in your Readings list, so students know exactly what they need to read, and exactly what style they need to follow for their assignments.

  • Update your list regularly and keep resources current and relevant. Set the Importance of each reading to signify if the reading is required or additional.

  • Choose a variety of formats to support and engage student learning. The library has access to databases that provide a wide range of resources such as books, journals, video/audio, reference materials and learning and teaching materials that can be easily linked through Readings.

    • Check out the Library’s Open Educational Resources guide for information on teaching resources that are freely available under an open licence. 

  • Prescribed textbooks are texts listed as required reading in the subject outline and are intended as a primary source of study material for the subject. Make sure you let students know they need to purchase their own copy. Consider texts that are available electronically rather than in print for quick individual purchase and access for students.

Library Help

The Library has a lot of support for academics for creating valuable Reading lists, access to a wide variety of resources, and guides for student support. Liaison Librarians provide support to all major discipline areas and can assist academic staff in creating engaging Reading lists.

Consider linking to the following Library guides in your Reading list for additional support for students:

  • Liaison Librarians – Liaison Librarians provide support to all major discipline areas and provide consultation support to students to improve digital and information literacy, help with research, referencing and EndNote. 
  • Referencing guides – JCU Library has created easy-to-use guides for the main referencing styles used at JCU.
  • Library Guides – Students can get online support in the form of Library Guides including How-to guides, writing and research guides, subject and subject code guides, EndNote and more.

Naming Conventions

Library staff will create a shell for Reading lists which will include the name of the list:

  • Standard list naming conventions:
    • The standard format for naming lists will be the subject code followed by the subject name. This information will be taken from the Course and Subject Handbook. For Example, WC2001 Australian Women’s Studies.

  • One list used across multiple subject codes:
    • If the name of the subject is the same, the format will be all subject codes followed by the subject name. For example, LA4020 BX3118 Employment, Workplace and Industrial Relations Law
    • If the subject names and codes are different, each subject code and name will be listed. For example, AN3006 Anthropology & Development and AN5006 Asia Pacific Development
  • Subject running in two study modes/periods at the same time:
    • Best practice is to have one list organised by topic rather than week/module etc. Having one list will be easier to maintain and will make linking digitisations easier.
    • If two lists are required:
      • Naming conventions for these subjects should follow the existing format and be easily identified by the study period e.g.
        • ED4995 Education Across Culturally Diverse Contexts (SP2)
        • ED4995 Education Across Culturally Diverse Contexts (SP85)



The Analytics dashboard in Readings helps you discover how students are using your list and provides an overview of usage, including the number of times your list has been viewed and the total number of clicks for each resource. It also provides statistics on student engagement including reading intentions and notes.

To view your Reading list analytics, from your subject Reading list click the View & Export dropdown and select Analytics. 

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Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.