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eReserve Frequently Asked Questions for Staff

What is eReserve?

eReserve is a reading list tool that sits inside Blackboard or Moodle. It looks like a reference list, one that students can click on to get access to the readings. Behind the scenes it records what we provide to our students, the ultimate goal of which is the payment of royalties to people who own the rights (as Otago staff sometimes receive when their material is used elsewhere). This is a matter of compliance with NZ law and licences we hold.

Aside from this, eReserve has many benefits: students have one way to get their readings for all their papers, staff can see which readings are accessed by students (and how often), those who find copyright confusing are better supported and the University can see what educational resources are being used.

How do I use eReserve?

Various help guides and videos are on this website. There is also hands-on training and advice available.

Do I have to use eReserve?

If you copy book chapters or journal articles for students or provide access to ebooks or journals to which the University subscribes then, yes, you have to use it. Essentially we must stop putting any PDF copies or links to subscription content in Blackboard/Moodle. eReserve is the means by which we report to licensors about use of copyright materials, through which rights holders receive royalties.

You don’t have to use it if you just provide a list of readings for students to locate themselves or for links to non-subscription sources or if all your content is your own.

What is the process for getting readings for my paper in eReserve?

In most parts of the University teaching staff are responsible for maintaining reading lists, just as they did in Blackboard or Moodle previously; some areas do have support from professional staff for this. The process works like this:

  • You enter some details about the reading you want.
  • The software checks this. If you’ve entered all the relevant information and included a URL it may be automatically made available to students.
  • If it isn’t automatically approved the request comes into a queue for the eReserve team in the Library to check. They’ll organise a scan, link to an online resource or otherwise source a copy as needed.

How long does it take for my requests to be processed?

Always allow at least two weeks for readings to be ready. While it is usually much faster than this, if we don’t hold something in the Library it may take longer. Peak periods at the start of teaching periods are obviously times of high-demand.

What usage stats does eReserve provide?

Inside each reading list, next to each reading you can see the number of times a resource has been accessed by students (total clicks, not individual students).

Is the service for physical books on Course Reserve in the Library changing?


What if I don’t use Blackboard or Moodle?

We realise that some staff do not use these systems; eReserve can only be used within these environments. The University is still required to record the details of copying, so arrangements will be made to fulfil this obligation. Email if this applies to you.

Can we still provide print course packs to students?

Yes. Nothing will prevent those who wish to continue this practice from doing so but details of resources copied will still have to be recorded in eReserve due to our contractual and legal obligations. Of course, all resources must still comply with our legal and licensing obligations; note that some electronic journal licensing conditions do not allow inclusion in print course packs. Check details of what you can and can’t copy.

Can students print their own copies of resources provided through eReserve?

Yes. Our licences allow printing for individual research and study.

Do I have to do this each year?

eReserve has a ‘roll over’ function, so you won’t have to re-create readings each year. Therefore in most cases the bulk of the work will be done the first-time a paper is offered using eReserve, with only updates and additions required each time after that.

Back to eReserve for teaching staff