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Digital copies for teaching


This service provides PDFs of in-demand articles and book chapters to teaching staff, for course provision via Moodle.

For digitised chapters/articles for personal use, please contact the Inter-Library Loans team

Updated August 2016.

What is it?

For educational use, the College annually purchases the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Comprehensive Licence. This allows Library staff to make scans of material held in the library, or request a copyright-fee-paid digital copy from the British Library of material not held at Royal Holloway. Under the terms of this licence, all requests for Digital Copies or reports of in-house scanning should be directed to the Digital Copies Team.

Digital Copies are provided as PDFs and emailed directly to the requester so that they can be uploaded on to Moodle for students to access. 

Why use it?

The service incurs no cost to the requester, and it allows quick (within 7 days) provision of specific, in-demand chapters and articles that cannot be accessed via the library's print holdings, or online via the library's online subscriptions. 

PDFs uploaded to Moodle can be accessed on- and off-campus.

Every effort will be made to obtain the article or chapter needed, however the Service must comply with copyright restrictions as specified under the terms of the CLA digitisation licence

What can be copied?

The CLA licence defines what can be provided

  • One whole chapter from a book
  • One whole article from a journal issue
  • One short story, poem or play (not exceeding 10 pages in length) from an anthology
  • One whole scene from a play
  • One whole paper from a set of conference proceedings
  • One whole report of a single case from a volume of judicial proceedings
  • OR 10% of any of the above whichever is greater
  • Where a digital publication is not organised in a similar way to conventional printed items, you are advised to exercise your best judgement to copy reasonable extracts.

Please note that the CLA Higher Education licence which runs from 1st August 2016 to 31st July 2019 increased the permitted limits from 5% to 10%.

Checks will be made by the Digital Copies Team to ensure that requests meet these guidelines, and staff will be contacted if there are any issues with the provision of digital copies. If there are any questions, please contact the team at:

Online Availability

Content already accessible via the library's online subscription will be provided as a link.

Textbook Substitution

The CLA licence states that Digital Copies are not intended to substitute already existed books or collections. "Textbook Substitution" is defined as "a particular collection of photocopies and/or digital copies made available through a course pack [that has] an adverse impact on a student's decision to buy one or more textbooks for their course."

How to request

Email with the following details: 

  • Course Code
  • Title of book/journal
  • Title of chapter/article
  • Author's name, editor if relevant
  • Publisher, Year of Publication, ISBN/ISSN if known
  • Page numbers required

There is no limit to the number of requests that can be made, although please be aware of the copyright restrictions.

Please try to make requests as early as possible - the start of term is a very busy time and staff are advised to place requests as soon as possible.

Need help?

Tel 01784 443823
Web Feedback

Royal Holloway's Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Audit, March 2013


Annual Review of Digital Copies