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Readings at JCU

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

Key Messages

There are two things we really, really want to push home about Readings:

1. Readings stops us from breaking the law

If it wasn't created by someone at JCU (i.e., we don't own the copyright), then it needs to go into Readings, this helps make sure we don't break copyright.

2. Readings provides the best experience for our students.

All students know to go to their Readings lists to find out what they need to read for each subject.

As best practice, at the very least, the required textbook and a link to the referencing guide for the appropriate style for subject 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.

Readings workflow

Below is the process for using Readings. Each point links to further instructions and details. 

  1. Login to Readings and Create a profile (note this only needs to be done once)
  2. Request a Reading list shell (only required once per subject code- lists will rollover each year)
  3. Accept invitation to be List Publisher
  4. Install Browser extension to add resources
  5. Add sections to your list
  6. Add resources to your list using Bookmarks
  7. Request digitisation for chapters, articles or PDFs not legally available online
  8. Publish your list
  9. Link your list (full list or sections) to LearnJCU

Don't forget to â€‹regularly check your list and keep it up to date

Each subject only needs a list created once. Existing published lists are 'rolled over' to the new time period each year (or teaching period if necessary) by library staff - more information on Rollover here.

What is Readings?

Readings is a tool to manage your subject or class readings.

Any text or audio-visual material that was not created specifically for the subject should be placed into the Readings list. The system includes copyright management functions to manage the University’s use of third party materials.

Important information for academic staff

  • Subject coordinators are responsible for ensuring that all subjects have a list in Readings.  
  • Lists can be edited and published by any member of staff with permission, however one person (usually the coordinator) must claim ownership.
  • If you require assistance please contact your Liaison Librarian or use the 'Submit a question form'.


Benefits to using Readings for all third party material, in addition to copyright compliance, include:

  • Students have a consistent experience when accessing reading materials
  • Links are checked and maintained by library staff and content quality is regularly reviewed
  • Reading lists can be divided into sections and delivered within the Week or Module of your subject in LearnJCU
  • All readings can be viewed in one place and in the relevant referencing style for the subject
  • Although directly linked in LearnJCU, readings are available 24/7 independently. This means readings can be accessed even if LearnJCU is not available.

What needs to go where?

LearnJCU Readings
  • Subject outline
  • Lecture notes e.g. Powerpoint presentations and documents
  • Lecture recordings
  • Unpublished material created by JCU staff for the subject
  • Journal articles (links or PDFs)
  • Books (link to library catalogue or ebook)
  • Book chapters (link to ebook or request digitisation)
  • Youtube videos (and similar)
  • Podcasts
  • Links to other online resources (please note NOT all online materials are available to use legally)

Copyright notice

There are severe consequences for breaches of copyright. Readings is our management tool to ensure copyright regulations are met when using third party resources. The University policy on use of copyright materials for teaching states that:

“Materials can be copied for teaching purposes under the University's AV, Music and Copyright Agency Ltd licenses’. In accordance with University policy, scanned materials for teaching must be saved to Readings” (Copyright - For Lecturers).”

If you want to know more- please contact your Liaison Librarian.

Further information


We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

Creative Commons Licence
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.