Rollover FAQs - Talis Aspire Reading Lists

Below are the frequently asked questions regarding Talis Aspire Reading Lists (TARL) rollover. If you have questions on rolling over in Talis Aspire Digitised Content (TADC), please see the Rollover FAQs - Talis Aspire Digitised Content support article.

Here is a list of areas covered in this article:

Rollover performance

Q - How long will the rollover take?

A - When configured to create new lists in draft-only mode, the bulk rollover process is tuned to process around 1,000 lists per hour. This is reduced to approximately 500 lists per hour when creating and publishing new lists.

Q - Will the rollover process affect the performance of my tenancy?

A - No. The rollover process is specifically designed to run at a steady, controlled rate. Even if all customers scheduled multiple rollover jobs at the same time, system performance would be unaffected.

Q - Can I choose a date and time in the future when my job will be picked up and run?

A - No. Jobs generally will be picked up within a few minutes of request, but in peak times may take as long as 48 hours to be picked up.

Q - My job has stopped progressing but is not reporting any failures - why?

A - Once a day we back up all the data in your system (usually very early in the morning). During this period, jobs will pause whilst the backup takes place. They will resume soon after the backup process has completed.

Q - Can my users continue to work in Talis Aspire whilst the backup process takes place?

A - Yes, however any updates made to the original list after the rollover job has copied the source list into the new time period will not be carried over.

Q - Can I bulk roll over lists more than once?

A - No. Once a list has been rolled over once it cannot be rolled over again. This is by design, to ensure you don’t end up duplicating lists by submitting the same rollover job more than once by mistake, and also that in the case that a rollover job completes with some failures, that it can be resubmitted at a later date without rolling over lists twice.

Q - At rollover, what happens to bookmarks/lists created by students?

A - Bookmarks are untouched by the rollover process, and lists created by students given the List Creator role, if they are attached to a time period and published will be rolled over like any other list.

Q - Do all the rolled over lists appear all at once in my tenancy on job completion?

A - No, they gradually appear as the job progresses. Clicking on “Show Details” link against an in progress job in the Review Jobs screen gives you an idea of how many lists have already been created.

Q - How does rollover work with Hierarchy Changes, such as new modules?

A - Rollover and Hierarchy are two separate updates, Hierarchy Updates need to be done either before or after rollover, and either way you shouldn’t have any issues. The lists as they roll over retain their link to the hierarchy to match the list they were rolled over from. If the hierarchy was changed before rollover the new module link will also show on the rolled over list. If the hierarchy was updated after rollover the linked module would change on the new version of the list as part of that process.

Q - Are we able to rollover specific subsets or individual lists for rollover?

A - Yes, please see the Targeted rollover - bulk list action article where you can select subsets or individual lists for rollover, giving greater flexibility in the rollover process.

Q - Can you merge time periods using rollover, for instance moving from Semester set up to one Academic Year, rolling over multiple source time periods into one target time period. But can you split time periods?

A - Yes, please see the Targeted rollover - bulk list action article where you can select subsets or individual lists for rollover, giving greater flexibility in the rollover process.

Q - Can we bulk change the academic year, rather than the full rollover?

A - Yes we can just update the label given to those lists instead of rolling over. You could still create a time period for the previous year, example 17/18 to manually move backlists that are no longer running. If this is something you are considering do raise a support ticket so we can advise and plan in the change. 

Q. Does rollover process check for recent editions?

A - In Talis Aspire Reading List no, we would suggest you use the Dashboard to help with this task when reviewing the new list.

Q - Can lists that are in the past time period still be edited?

A - If not archived yes though there is a clear message saying this list ended on… and there is a newer version of this list link.

Q - Do lists retain the privacy setting once rolled over?

A - Yes, if the list is currently private this will be maintained on the new rolled over list.

Time periods

Q - Can I roll over lists not assigned to a time period?

A - No. Only lists assigned to a time period are eligible for bulk rollover.

Q - In that case, can you help me assign time periods to my existing lists?

A - Yes, we may be able to help you through consulting. The sort of things that we might be able to do are, to assign current lists without a time period to either a default time period of your choice, or even a range of time periods. If you have previously and consistently labelled lists with a time period string in the list title (e.g. named lists “Financial Account Autumn Term 2011”). Depending on your requirements there may be a charge for this service. Raise a support ticket to discuss your options.

Q - Can you rollover to a blank Time Period?

A - No not on bulk rollover, but if you needed to remove the time period from an individual list that can be done on the list itself in the 'Edit' menu, 'Assign a Time Period' option.

Q - Can you rollover a selection of reading lists at a time, so some rollover to Trimester 2 and some to Trimester 3?

A - Yes, you are able to do this with targeted rollover. For more details on how targeted rollover works see our support article: Targeted rollover - Bulk list action. 

Q - We don’t currently have time periods so if we don’t rollover what are the disadvantages?

A - If you have Talis Aspire Digitised content then time periods can populate the request dates and by rolling over ensures the bundle is linked correctly to the Reading List, year on year.

If you don’t have Talis Aspire Digitised Content then by not adding time periods means your dashboard figures can’t be compared each year. You also don’t have an accurate version of the list at a point in time, should list content come under question via a student appeal for instance you only have the list that is updated not an older version. If a list owner changes for a year and then returns to the original owner, you could go back to their version, prior to any changes being made by the interim owner.

Q - Do the start and end dates of our time periods have an effect on when lists can rollover?

A - You don't have to rollover around the date that your time period ends. When your new lists are generated by the rollover, they will display a message at the top of the list stating the name of the time period they are associated with and the date when that period begins.

Once you get to that date, the message will disappear while the older lists will display a message warning that this is an older version of the list, and offering a link to the newer version.

Q - Does the start date of a time period mean that the lists are only publicly viewable once that date has been reached?

A - If a list is published, a student can view the list, the key is the digitisations. For example, if a student was viewing a 19/20 list in August 2019 that was published, they could see the list but not the digitisations, they would need to look at the 18/19 list to see the digitisations. For further details on rollover in Talis Aspire Digitised Content, refer to our Rollover FAQs - Talis Aspire Digitised Content support article.

Q - Our time period is currently in the format 2018/19. if we roll over to 2019/20, can we then change this so that when published, owner is forced to say Academic Year 19/20 as this will help us prioritise lists at the review stage

A - We don’t have a mechanism to mandate this, you could use the homepage message as gentle persuasion, alternatively raise a support case and we maybe able to help with bespoke consultancy.

Q - Do time periods disappear from the selection once related lists are rolled over?

A - No, when you request your new time periods and let us know the date you plan to run rollover also let us know if you would like older time periods hidden. Note this must be after rollover completes.

Q - If, after we rollover, a new list is added to the original time period, can we request a rollover for this list?

A - Yes, if new lists are added to a time period that has already been rolled over, the time period will become available again in the rollover from drop down.  This will only locate those newly created lists that have not already been rolled over.

Q - Can we set up multiple time periods for different departments or schools? So having some units start in July and others for September?

A - Yes it is often the case for a certain department or school to have a different start time to the majority of other modules. You can have as many or as few time periods to suit your institution, if you want to discuss this further please raise a support ticket so we can arrange a call.

Q Will a reading list rollover if it has the relevant time period but isn't linked to the hierarchy?

A - Yes, reading lists will still roll over if they have the relevant source and target time period set at the point of rollover request.

Q - We have departments that will want to roll over in first week in June (Reading lists and scans) majority will rollover in August are there particular points to consider in this?

A - If these are in a separate time period this is easily managed as per the previous question. If you want to discuss this further please raise a support ticket so we can arrange a call.

Archived lists

Q - Does rollover take a copy of my archived lists that are associated with the source time period?

A - No, rollover only takes a copy of published lists.  It will not copy lists that are in draft or have been archived.

Q - Should I use the Archive option when rolling over?

A - There are pros and cons, mainly around access or confusion for the student, a student may wish to access their version of a list not the current year, whereas another student may be confused by the choice, though labelled with time periods in the search results. Talis suggest this be raised on LIS-TALIS-ASPIRE to the community to answer and hopefully give reasons for their choice either way, giving you an informed choice for your University’s preference.

Q - If we choose to archive lists, and a student wanted to consult last years/year before last, how would they do it?

A - Archived lists are hidden from view from the student search. The list can still be accessed by the URL, so if a student has this saved or if they request a link to the exact list someone with reports access, like a system admin, could search for the required list in the All Lists report and provide the URL.

Q - Can archived lists be removed from lecturers profiles?

A - Yes, lecturers can remove lists from view on their own My Lists tab, if the academic wants to delete it they can use the actions menu next to each list or by multi-selecting lists.

New Lists

Q - Will hierarchy associations automatically be copied over to new lists?

A - Yes, new lists will be attached to the same point on the hierarchy as the original list.

Q - My users have made changes to an already rolled over lists. Will these be kept in sync with the new, rolled over copy?

A - No. Edits made to a list after it has already rolled over will not be synced with the new copy.

Q - Will the newly created lists appear automatically in users’ My Lists collections?

A - Newly created rolled over lists will appear automatically in the previous list owner's My Lists collection, they will not receive a notification at rollover. If you are not the list owner, the rollover copy will not appear in your My Lists collection.

Q - Will users scoped to be list publishers of the existing list, be able to edit the new, rolled over copy?

A - If you are using devolved constraints (which we recommend for large scale rollouts of Talis Aspire) then role scopes operate at hierarchy level. As hierarchy associations are copied over to newly created lists during the rollover, devolved constraints users able to edit the existing lists at a given hierarchy level will also be able to edit the new, rolled over copy. For customers using the older manual invite system, the new lists will have their list owner and permissions copied across too.

Unpublished changes and draft lists

Q - What happens to lists with unpublished changes?

A - The published version will be picked up for rollover. If the archive option is chosen, unpublished changes are lost.

Q - What happens to lists that are in draft only?

A - Draft lists are ignored by the rollover process so they won’t be rolled over, and won’t be archived.  To resolve this simply change the time period of the list to the new time period post rollover.  NOTE: If there are digitisations linked to this list they will need to be withdrawn if they are already processed, or edited and resubmitted with the new start and end dates.

Q - If lists aren’t published before rollover, unpublished changes will be lost. Does that happen even if lists are rolled over to draft?

A - Yes only the published changes are copied to the new list regardless of whether the new list is rolled over to draft or published.

Q - If we rollover lists to draft, can we update them in bulk to published at a later date?

A - Yes, this is now possible via the bulk publish action. The process for doing this is explained here.


Q - What happens if my job completes with status COMPLETED - WITH FAILURES?

A - In the unlikely event that your job completes with failures, use the “Show Details” link to obtain the Job ID. Raise a new ticket with the support desk, including the ID in the ticket description. Do not re-submit the job before the support team ask you to do so.

Q - Is there likely to be any issue with rollover if a list has no owner?

A - List Owner is not about permissions and actions but simply to label the list with the correct owner, and for it to appear in their ‘My Lists’ and for reports data. There is no issue with a list not having an owner in terms of rollover functionality, if a List is Present this information is copied over to the rolled over list.

Q - Would we have any message if for some reason lists are not successfully rolled over?

A - Yes you will likely have a report to say X number of lists have failed, this is emailed as notification to the user that started the job and also viewable in the Review Jobs screen via the Admin Menu. You would need to raise a support case with the Unique key so we can investigate, it is rare we have such issues at rollover.

Q - Is it possible to restrict the permission for publishers to roll their own lists forward (as this could create confusing duplicates)?

A - Copy lists is not a permission on its own that can be disabled, it is part of the Edit List permission. Ways you can minimise duplicates is to enable the new time period as close to the rollover as possible. To at least know the lists affected, you can run the list copy actions report filtered on the new time period to see what lists have been manually copied prior to rollover. This enables you to then deal with the duplicates post rollover.

Rollover and Reviews

Q - Lists I want to rollover have a started review.  Will I be able to continue the review after we have rolled over?

A - As long as the list hasn't been archived you will be able to continue the review. Remember that rolling over will only take a copy of the published version of the list so it's important to check for any unpublished edits before you rollover. As reading list content can change from year-to-year, so that you don't waste effort reviewing items that have been removed from the new version of the list, it's a good idea to clear your reviews before you rollover. This is because open reviews will be archived, so no work can take place on that review once rolled over.

Q - Lists I want to rollover have a started review.  Will I be able to select the rollover and archive old lists with an open review?

A - If you choose to archive at the point of rollover, the lists will rollover and be archived, and the review for that list will be archived as well so no work can take place on that review once rolled over. Therefore it is a good idea to clear your reviews before rollover happens. If you do not archive as part of rollover then the review will remain open and can continue to be worked on.

Q - If we rollover lists to published, does that trigger a review?  If so, will the entire list have new alerts?

A - No, the lists will be published at rollover but will not trigger a review until the academic re-publishes the list if they choose to.  This is also true even when you have "Forced Review" enabled, and whether you do a full rollover or a targeted rollover via bulk actions.

Reviews is designed to see that the list is a rollover copy, then check the data of the previous list.  This means you would only get alerts on items that are new since the last review (if previously reviewed in Reviews).


Q - What happens with reading lists linked to my Learning Management System using the LTI tool?

A - Please see the rollover and LTI article which explains in detail what happens to links in your Learning Management System/VLE when lists are rolled over.

Q - Will archived lists will still accessible via the Learning Management System/VLE using the new LTI tool links?

A - Yes, it retains the link to the old version of the reading list in the same time period within the Learning Management System/VLE, so once set 2018/19 Reading Lists will stay linked to 2017/18 versions of modules in the Learning Management System/VLE if retained.



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  • Avatar
    Adam Price

    In testing out rollover today we noticed that newly created lists do actually appear in the My lists collection. Can anyone confirm this?

  • Avatar
    Rebecca Carruthers

    You are correct Adam, there has been an improvement that has made this automatically happen. I've updated the support article to reflect this update. Thanks for your feedback.

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