Talis Aspire Terminology


During the implementation of Talis Aspire we will be introducing you to new terminology. This article aims to help you understand the terms that are used during your implementation project and beyond, and includes links to the relevant Talis support articles to explain further.

Glossary of terms:

Reading lists

Reading lists enables universities to create online reading lists that can be integrated with Library Management Systems, Authentication systems and Virtual Learning Environment/Learning Management Systems. 

Copyright clearance

Copyright Clearance (formerly Talis Aspire Digitised Content) is a tool enabling universities to manage their copyright compliance material inline with their Reproduction Rights Organisation (RRO).  See this Core concepts support article.

Tenancy Setup Questionnaire (TSQ)

The TSQ is a document we ask you to complete to enable us to set up your Talis Aspire tenancy. See article Tenancy Setup Questionnaire.


This is your specific university's Talis Aspire instance. This is where you will be creating, editing and managing your reading lists, as well as performing backend tasks like Reviewing lists for acquisitions, and using the reporting features.


This is the functionality within Talis Aspire which enables effective management for your acquisitions workflows. See our Acquisitions and reviews overview support article for more information.


The hierarchy is a list of school/modules/units etc. that form your university's teaching structure. The hierarchy's purpose is to allow the linking of reading lists to the module/unit etc. to facilitate the following:

  • linking to the Learning Management System for embedding the reading list in the module/unit etc page;
  • student browsing for similar or previous unit offerings;
  • the information is carried through to the Reviews area of Talis Aspire;
  • the information is used when raising digitisation requests if using Talis Aspire Copyright Clearance.

For more information on the hierarchy see our Hierarchy data format support article.


Nodes are the individual components that form your hierarchy, entered as codes and labelled with terminology reflective of your unique structure from Faculty or School to unit, course or module which are associated with lists. This enables effective linking from your reading lists to your Virtual Learning Environment/Learning Management System.


A role is linked to a users profile in the system and controls the access to how much functionality within Talis Aspire they are able to access. For example, a system administrator has access to all parts of your reading lists tenancy, whereas a List Publisher has access to just the functions they need to create and publish lists. These are linked to permissions see support article Roles and Invites overview.


These dictate what each role is able to access, these can be configured per individual tenancy. If you wanted to add further permissions to a role or remove them do advise Talis, via Basecamp if you are in implementation or via a support ticket if post-implementation. See the support article What is a role and what is a permission for an overview of functionality and detail of the default roles and permissions. 

Devolved Authentication

This is where we ask your university authentication system whether the person attempting to log into our software should be allowed to continue. We are deferring the decision to your university’s identity management systems. See our support article on Devolved Authentication

Devolved Constraints

This is an optional piece of work that can be used to streamline how users (typically academics or other university staff) get granted permissions in Talis Aspire. See the support article Implementing Devolved Constraints and Entitlements.


Bookmark is the term applied to an item's record within Talis Aspire. These can be books, chapters, articles, and more. See the following article for a full list of supported resource types in Talis Aspire.


Sections can be used to provide structure and grouping to your reading list (eg. Week 1, Recommended readings, Assignment 1, etc.). Into the section you can add your bookmarks, paragraphs of text, as well as more sections to provide additional structure or guidance to your students.

Time periods

A time period is a pre-defined element that is configured for your University, and consists of a start and end date. Time periods have many uses, including:

  • clearly identifying the correct or current version of a list for your students;
  • linking the right reading list to the Learning Management System;
  • the information is carried through to the Reviews area of Talis Aspire to assist with acquisitions and collection management decisions;
  • the information is used when raising digitisation requests if using Talis Aspire Copyright Clearance.

See our Time periods support article more information on setting up time periods.

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