Talis FAQs

These FAQs supplement the Talis reading lists guide which covers the essentials for creating and managing reading lists.

Who has to make Talis reading lists

Why do I have to create a Talis reading list - can’t I just upload my readings files into Canvas?

See Talis reading lists and copyright.

I only have one textbook for the course. Do I need to make a Talis reading list?

Yes. The Library runs daily reports on published reading lists to identify which textbooks should be made available to students, and how many copies or licences will be required. When you bookmark and edit your list, select the Importance option of Textbook and use Note to Library to add any special instructions you may have.

I am teaching my course using a printed course book. Do I need to make a Talis reading list?

Yes. All academic staff who distribute course material to students are required to complete a Talis Reading List and request digitisation of content copied under the CLL licence.

This is to ensure that the information about what has been copied can be provided to the content aggregators and Copyright Licensing Ltd (CLL) who then distribute the licence fees paid by the University to the publishers and authors of the content that has been copied under the CLL licence or accessed through the library databases.

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Types of material for Talis reading lists

What course material goes on a Talis reading list?

Use Talis reading lists when you want to provide students with copyright-compliant online access to:

  • The course Textbook: This is the prescribed textbook for the course and students enrolled in this course should buy this text, as it will be referred to constantly during the course.
  • Essential resources: Students should read, view, or listen to the resource in preparation for a lecture, tutorial or specific piece of course work.
  • Further resources: Students may choose to read, view, or listen to the resource to expand their understanding of course content.

Can I include different types of resources on a Talis reading list?

Yes, in addition to articles and books, you can add YouTube clips, DVDs, websites, and other multimedia resources to your Talis list.

Bookmark and add them to your list, either from the online site (e.g., YouTube) or from a site with a good description of the resource (e.g., Library Catalogue, Amazon). The list will link directly to online resources available or display live library availability for hard copy resources like DVDs.

What if the Library doesn’t have a copy of the reading that I want to put on my Talis reading list?

The Library runs daily reports on published reading lists and ensures that any new or additional copies or licences are acquired and made available to students via the list.

Can I include previous course exam papers on my reading list?


  • Go to Exam Papers.
  • Select your course from the menu.
  • Bookmark from this screen.

I can’t bookmark a reading for my Talis reading list because it is not on the web. What can I do?

Unpublished resources such as lecturer course notes, PowerPoint slides, model answers and tests are not usually included in Talis lists. These types of resources can be loaded in Canvas if you are the copyright owner or have permission. See Copyright for staff and students.

For other readings that you cannot find on the web, manually add them to your Talis reading list and publish your list. The library will then review the list and try to obtain the resource. 

Can I bookmark a PDF to ensure my students go directly to the online reading from a Talis reading list?

Results may vary so the Library advises against this. Often the previous web page featuring the link to the PDF also features much better descriptive information (e.g., author, title, date, ISBN, DOI), resulting in better bookmark information and a more reliable electronic link.

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Student access to reading materials

How do I ask the Library to make copies of books or DVDs on a Talis reading list available for students?

See Library processes.

How can I use Talis reading lists to provide my students with a digital copy of a reading currently only available in print?

See Requesting digitisation of print materials.

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Creating lists and bookmarking resources

Is there a convention I should follow when naming a Talis reading list?

The Library recommends the following convention to help differentiate between different versions of your list:

  • Course code - Course title (Teaching period)
    e.g., FASHION101 - History through fashion (Semester 1)
    FASHION102 - Fashion icons (Summer School)

You can choose to add details to help distinguish between lists. For example, add the campus name to identify lists for the same course taught on different campuses (e.g., FASHION101 – History through fashion (Semester 1) (Epsom)).

To edit a list name:

  1. Within My Lists, click the title of the list you wish to edit.
  2. Click Edit list details.
  3. Edit the list name in Title.
  4. Click Save.

Can I restrict who views my Talis reading list?

Talis reading lists are openly accessible, with a BY-NC-SA Creative Commons licence applied by default – the copyright statement appears at the bottom of each list. Copyright remains with the University of Auckland. Note that the full text of individual readings on the list is only accessible to authenticated University of Auckland members, unless the item is already openly available. Faculty staff who wish to restrict viewing of their reading list to a specific group of users must discuss their needs with the Copyright Officer, Melanie Johnson.

I installed the Talis bookmarklet but it has disappeared from my browser’s bookmarks bar. How do I get it back?

Try the following:

  1. Ensure that the favourites/bookmarks browser toolbar is showing. A search in Google for opening browser toolbars including the browser name, e.g., Firefox, will help with this.
  2. You need to install the bookmarklet on every browser you use, on each computer or device you use. To do this, log in to Talis, click My Bookmarks and then Install Bookmark Button.

The information in a bookmark in Talis reading lists looks incorrect or messy. How can I fix it or get someone to check it?

1. Try bookmarking the item again, looking for the following:

  • Bookmark from the web page that displays key information such as author, title, date, edition, publisher. Talis works particularly well when the page offers an ISBN for books, a DOI for articles, or an identifier from the Catalogue.
  • Don’t bookmark from the screen displaying the PDF full text. You will get better data by bookmarking from a screen which displays the information about the individual reading (e.g., author, title, date, edition, publisher).

2. You may edit title, author/editor or the date information if they are incomplete or displaying poorly. Don’t edit any other fields, as this may affect linking to the correct online resource or item availability in the Catalogue.

3. If the bookmark is displaying the wrong item, or the information is very different from what you expected, report details to the Staff Service Centre.

4. If you are getting a lot of these issues in one list, you can ask the Library to review the whole list. From your list in Talis, from the Edit menu select Request review.

I've made changes to my Talis reading list. Why can't my students see them?

If you edit a Talis reading list (e.g., add a resource, add or amend notes, change the structure) you need to publish it again for the changes to be viewable. From the list Edit menu, select Edit list (classic). Then click on Publish.

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Importance options and Note to Library

In Talis reading lists, what do the various Importance options mean? Do I have to choose one for every reading?

See Importance options.

When should I use the Note to Library box in Talis reading lists?

Use the Note to Library box if you have any special instructions.

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Using Talis with reference management tools

Can I import references from RefWorks into a Talis reading list?

This is possible but the Library generally does not recommend this approach, as it sometimes requires significant editing of bookmark metadata to ensure the readings appear as you wish. The option to import is located in My Bookmarks – click Add Bookmark.

Can I export a Talis reading list to RefWorks?

Yes, however, references may not always export as expected. You will need to check each reference to ensure sufficient information has copied over into RefWorks (or other reference management tools). See Export bookmarks from Talis to RefWorks.

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Reusing lists for current or future teaching

How can I use a Talis reading list for multiple courses?

You can create a copy of an existing list and link the copied list to a different course in the hierarchy.

This is useful in the following situations:

  • A course is effectively taught for a full year but has two course codes, e.g., INFOLIT700A and INFOLIT700B.
  • A course has a General Education (or similar) equivalent, e.g., INFOLIT101 and INFOLIT101G.
  • A course is taught at different stage levels and has two course codes, e.g., FTVMS 222/327.

To copy an existing list to reuse for another course code:

  1. Within My Lists, click the title of the list you wish to copy.
  2. Click Edit, then Copy list.
  3. Edit the List name and other fields if required.
  4. Uncheck the box Copy hierarchy associations to new list?
  5. Click Create list.
  6. The new copied list will load. Click Edit, then Hierarchy and student numbers.
  7. Type the course code into the search box and click on the course name from the drop down results, and click Save.

Note that:

  • Your new list is in draft form, until you are ready to publish it.
  • You will need to re-request any digitisations that you requested for the original list, as the Copyright Licensing Limited (CLL) licence requires that the University reports each course that uses the digitisation.

How do I hand ownership of a Talis reading list on to another lecturer?

  1. From within the list, from the Beta config menu, select View classic.
  2. Select Assign List Owner from the drop-down Edit menu and search for the relevant person. Click Assign with publisher role and they will receive an email invitation with instructions on how to complete the process.

If the person does not appear in the search results using the above steps, select Invite List Publishers from the Edit menu. Once they have accepted the invite and created a profile, you will be able to assign them as a List Owner.

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Collaborating on lists

Can I invite other faculty staff to collaborate on a Talis reading list?

Yes. Multiple staff can contribute towards a list. From the list Edit menu, select Invite List Publishers. Once your colleague has accepted the emailed invitation, the list will appear in their My Lists. It is recommended that you do not work on lists simultaneously as any changes may not be saved.

Can I share my bookmarks with colleagues with whom I am collaborating on a Talis reading list?

No. Resources that you bookmark only appear under your own My Bookmarks tab. There are other ways of sharing work:

  • When you bookmark a reading for the list you are collaborating on, choose the option Create and Add to List. This adds the bookmark to both your personal My Bookmarks and to the list you are collaborating on.
  • You can save a copy of any bookmark that you see on any published Talis list. From the initial list display, at the right hand side of the screen, click on the 3 dots actions menu, then click Add to my Bookmarks.

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Student use of lists

Is there a way to check how often students are using a Talis course reading list?

The Dashboard provides information on the health of your list and student engagement. To view it, go to the View & Export menu and click on Analytics.

The following statistics can be seen. At the top are figures relating to the whole list:

  • Page Views: the number of times your list has been viewed.
  • Total Clicks: the total number of times people have clicked through to the detail view of resources on your list.  
  • Annotations: the number of student annotations/notes added to resources on the list.

Below this you can see information related to specific resources on the list:

  • Clicks: the number of times people have clicked through to the detail view of a specific resource from your list.
    This does not include usage statistics for accessing a resource via the View Online or Available Online buttons.
  • Notes and Reading intentions: the number of student notes and usage break down of each reading intention used on that item.

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Talis lists in Canvas

I have linked the wrong Talis reading list when adding to the Reading Lists menu option in Canvas. How can I change this?

Users with the Canvas role of Course Coordinator or above can change the list linked in Canvas. Look for the Relink? option above the reading list in Canvas. Click on the ‘click here’ link and search for the list title that you want to link to.

Can I embed Talis list readings into Modules within Canvas?

You can embed Talis list sections from your course reading lists. See Display your Talis reading list in Canvas for instructions on how to load the whole list and individual list sections. Note: a section could contain just one reading.

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Further help

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