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Guidance for submitting requests

How to make an Electronic Key Text request

Copyright clearance and the digitisation process

If you would like to make an Electronic Key Text request, please complete either the journal article form or the book chapter form. The details required on the form relate to the information we need to supply to the Copyright Licensing Agency  or publishers. All requests must include the following information:

  • Bibliographic details of the book chapter or journal article
  • Module code
  • Module title
  • Number of students on the module
  • Date range required for during the academic year

Please note that an incomplete form may lead to delays in processing your request.

More information about Electronic Key Text requests:

More information about Electronic Key Text requests:

Textbook substitution

Scanned items should not be used to substitute the purchase of textbooks. The Copyright Licensing Agency has produced a Good Practice Guide for creating course packs.

I've submitted a request. What happens next?

On receiving your request, the Document Supply Team will:

I want to check the item is covered by the Copyright Licensing Agency Higher Education Licence

If you wish to check the item you require is covered by the licence before submitting your request, you can use the Copyright Licensing Agency Check Permissions search tool.

Scanning the article

If the requested material is covered by the Copyright Licensing Agency Higher Education Licence, it will be scanned, converted to PDF format and uploaded to the CLA Digital Content Store. You will be notified of the URL so that you can make it available in Canvas.

We have to adhere to certain terms and conditions when scanning items, including:

  • Digital copies may be made only by Copyright Licensing Agency 'Designated Persons'
  • Retaining the quality and layout of the original article
  • Attaching copyright notices and recording each scanned item in a database
  • Submitting details about material scanned under the licence to the Copyright Licensing Agency

To ensure compliance with these licence conditions, all scanning will be undertaken by the Document Supply Team. 

Copyright clearance

If the material falls outside of the scope of the Copyright Licensing Agency Higher Education Licence, we will have to apply for copyright clearance. We can do this by:

  • Applying directly to the publishers
  • Using a third party copyright clearance agency

Once the request details have been submitted, we then have to wait for permission to be granted, which can take six weeks or longer. There may be costs involved and if a cost is prohibitive we will contact you to discuss substituting less expensive articles where possible.

Some extracts over 50 pages may be refused due to publishers' restrictions.

What happens if the permission fee is acceptable and copyright clearance is granted?

If the permission fee is acceptable and the copyright clearance is granted we will scan the material. Once the scanned article has been quality checked and loaded in the CLA Digital Content Store, you will be notified of its availability by email. The email will also contain a link to the article, which may then be embedded into the Module Content or Reading List areas on Canvas.

If at any time you realise the document links are not working, please contact us immediately.

What happens if copyright clearance is not granted?

Where copyright clearance is not granted to digitise the material, it may be possible to deposit a print version in the library for reference use.

What happens at the end of the academic year?

At the end of the academic year links to course material will be removed from the CLA Digital Content Store. We will inform you when your material is due to expire and you will be given the opportunity to have the items made available again.


Details relating to the cost of articles (if applicable) will be sent to both you and the relevant Academic Engagement Librarians on a regular basis.

Contact us

Please contact the Document Supply Team if you require any more information about the Digital Scanning Service or if you would like to discuss other copyright issues.


Call: 0151 231 3734