A student’s guide to using Online reading lists


This article is designed as a reference point to aid universities in producing support materials for students on navigating their reading lists. You are welcome to re-use these images on your own support pages.

Table of contents

The table of contents makes it easier for students to navigate their list. Simply open the drop-down menu and click on a title listed to jump to a particular section of the list.


Back to top

You can also use the 'Back to top' button to return quickly to the top of a page when a list is longer than the size of your screen.


Filtering your list

The ‘View’ drop-down menu allows students to filter their list using a number of different factors.


Physical Resource/Online resource: Allows students to select just physical items on the list, or just items available online.

Importances: When academics set an importance for items on the list, such as ‘Essential’, ‘Recommended’ or ‘Optional’, it indicates to the student what is expected from them. Students can filter the list using these categories to see only those items matching the selected importance.


Students can change the citation style they are viewing the list in from the default, to whatever they are used to using. This makes citing items from the list easier, however as with all citations from software, should be checked before using in an assignment.

NOTE:  The referencing styles available to students are set during your Talis Aspire implementation, but can be updated and changed at any point by raising a support ticket.


Here are some items displaying in APA:


The list can also be exported to PDF as a bibliography - simply use the above menu to select the citation style you want to export before clicking "View & Export", then "PDF - Bibliography".


This can be particularly useful for students when referencing items, as they are able to export the entire list in a variety of formats.  More information on exporting and printing reading lists can be found in the following support article.

Note - for the following features, students will be prompted to login via your university single-sign-on to create a profile in your reading list tenancy. 

Reading intentions: Students can assign a reading intention or status to each item on a reading list. The statuses are as follows: ‘Undecided’, ‘Will read’, ‘Reading now’, ‘Have read’, Won’t read’. Once assigned, this is shown by a coloured icon next to each item. They can then filter the list and show just items from a particular category. For information on how students can set importances, see "Assign reading intention" section below.

Personal notes: Students can add personal notes to reading list items. Once a note is present on the list, the filter allows you to display those matching your criteria (The presence or lack of a personal note). More information on adding a personal note can be found below.

How to interact with your list: Assigning reading intentions

To interact with their reading lists, as described in this section students will need to create a profile in your Talis Aspire tenancy.

Students can then assign a reading intention or status to each item within their lists by clicking the circle icon next to each item. This is designed to help them organise their list, and quickly identify what they are wanting to read. They can mark:

  • ‘Undecided’
  • ‘Will read’
  • ‘Reading now’
  • ‘Have read’
  • 'Won’t read’

These will appear as a coloured icon once selected.


Students can also use this to filter the list, selecting only to display those items matching the selected criteria. More information on filtering your list can be found above.


How to interact with your list: Adding a note

Notes or annotations can be useful when organising their reading list for future study. Students are able to add their own notes directly onto any item on a reading list. These can then be accessed from the list itself, or from the student's profile within Talis Aspire.


There is a filter at the top of the list that allows you to view only items on the list matching your criteria (eg. with a personal note). More information on filtering your list can be found above.

Walkthrough videos of the student list view


This can be embedded within your own website and Talis are happy for you to use this. Copy and paste the embed code below.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/SL5o3RQ_BRY” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

What's next?

You can also refer to the recent webinar held by our marketing team to guide you on the best tips for planning and creating your own videos.

If you have created or written your own guidance and would like to share this with others, please comment on this support article or email Emma Dodd (ed@talis.com).

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