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Readers in Canvas

Information for lecturers

Canvas makes it possible for lecturers to compile a reading list for each course. Adding PDF files of publications brings participants in this course two advantages:

  1. they have the option to print all PDF files in a single volume (a reader). Such a printed reader can be ordered in the web shop of our repro supplier Canon.
  2. they can annotate the text. A lecturer might add reading assignments or instructions. A student might add questions about difficult parts of the text.

Uploading PDF files is not mandatory. A list of information about books and articles from such sources as the library catalogue and (if available) a link to the full text may also suffice. In that case, however, students will not be able to order a printed reader. They will have to click through to the material selected by the lecturer.

Creating a reading list

Please follow the steps below to create a reading list.

  1. Log in to the Canvas course as a lecturer
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Go to the Navigation tab
  4. Drag Readers from the bottom menu to the top menu
  5. Click on Save
  6. Click on READERS
  7. Click on +NEW LIST or +CREATE IT
  8. Choose a title (+ dates and descriptions, if required)
  9. Click on CREATE
  10. Choose a template: you can choose from a template without sections and a template with sections for each week of the course
  11. If you choose a template without sections:
    - Click on NEW SECTION
    - Choose a section title (+ dates and descriptions, if required)

Adding items to a reading list

Reading list ready for checking?

As soon as the reading list is ready – at least 10 working days prior to the start of the course – click on LIBRARY REVIEW.
The University Library's reader coordinator will check the reading list within five working days. Once everything has been approved, the list will be made available to students until the end of the academic year. You will be notified of this.
Students will then be able to order a printed reader with all the PDF files you uploaded. Copies for lecturers can be ordered from the Canon web shop, specifying a cost centre number. Canon will supply these readers to the home or work address or to one of the following collection points within five working days:

Editing items in a reading list

If your reading list only contains items without a PDF file, you will be able to edit or delete existing items or add new items without a PDF file as you see fit.
If your reading list contains one or more items with a PDF file, these will be locked by the University Library after checking. In such cases, editing will only be allowed in consultation with your local reader coordinator.

Moving items in a reading list

You can move items within a reading list.
Hover with the mouse over the item until a blue bar appears. Click on the up or down arrow to move. Or click on the blue bar, hold the mouse button and drag the item to the right location.

Refer to one item in the list

You can link to one specific item of a reading list in an Assignment in Canvas

  • in Canvas: make an Assignment
    • In the menu Submission type, select: External Tool
    • Click Find and select from the list of external tools: Readers
    • Click Select
    • Click Save and Publish
  • Go to the specific item on your reading list
    • Click ... (three dots next to the title)
    • Select Re-link from Canvas here

Creating another reading list or reader for the same course

Click +NEW LIST and then ASSOCIATE LIST. Then select the name of the course from the list.

Reusing a reading list from the previous year

It is possible to reuse a reading list from the previous academic year, if you were the lecturer or one of the lecturers.

  1. Go to the Canvas course
  2. Click on READERS
  3. Click on +ROLL OVER
  4. Search for the previous year's course by title or code
  5. Click on ROLL OVER
  6. Make the necessary amendments and click on LIBRARY REVIEW

If you were not one of the lecturers, contact your reader coordinator of your faculty. He or she can make the reading list findable and reusable for you.

Order a printed reader

Students may order a printed copy of the reader:

  1. In the Canvas-course, go to the reading list
  2. Click on  … (three dots) next to the title 
  3. Select Order a printed copy
  4. Fill in the form

The use of copyright-protected material for education purposes is stipulated in the Easy Access regulation, which has been in effect since 1 January 2017. The regulation differentiates between short and long extracts. The UvA pays for the use of short excerpts on an annual basis; these do not have to be specified separately. For long excerpts, prior permission needs to be requested via the web portal of Stichting UvO. Please get in touch with your reader coordinator or on-site contact person for the customer number and login code for your faculty. Payment for long excerpts is arranged through the University Library. Faculties will not be sent a separate invoice for these.

There are some exceptions to the Easy Access regulation, extracts from which can therefore be used without citation:

  • Copyright-free material
  • Publications with a Creative Commons licence
  • E-books or journals for which the rights have been paid in part or in full: please consult the licence list

For further information, please visit the Copyright Information Site for lecturers or get in touch with the University Library by sending an e mail to

Contact Persons

If you have any problems  importing, downloading or ordering readers, please contact your reader coordinator or Ask the Library.

Reader Coordinators and contacts on location

Amsterdam Law School Arnolf van Asperen

020 525 4967

Faculty of Economics
and Business
Larissa Tijsterman

020 525 2403

Faculty of Humanities Gijs Rood

020 525 7628

Faculty of Humanities Andreja Lekic

020 525 2242

Faculty of Social and
Behavioural Sciences
Larissa Tijsterman

020 525 2403

Faculty of Science Gijs Rood 020 525 7628

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When will the reader be ready for ordering?

    Count on 10 working days. In some cases it will be faster, depending on the workload. In quiet periods, copyright approval by the Library takes a maximum of 2 days; preparing the printed reader for the Canon webshop takes 5 working days.