Guidelines for Reference Lists in Unit Outlines

1. Introduction

The University Library and academic staff have a joint responsibility to ensure that library resources are readily available to support student learning in each unit of study. For an item to be available it must be either:

  • held currently by the ACU Library or
  • able to be purchased by the ACU Library or
  • accessible on the Internet.

University Academic Regulation 7.1.4 requires a unit outline to be provided to each student enrolled in a unit by the end of the first lecture week. Such unit outlines are the "current edition" of the unit outlines formally approved by Academic Board and customarily provide lists of relevant references to support learning in that unit.

Ensuring that most of the references listed in unit outlines are available through the University Library is an important measure of quality that promotes and supports teaching and learning at ACU. These references may take the form of printed material, electronic publications, other non-book materials or websites.

It is the responsibility of the Lecturer-in-Charge to ensure that Reference lists are made available to the Library in advance of the start of each semester as outlined below, in order that there is sufficient time for new or updated resources to be ordered, received and made available for student use.

These guidelines apply to the "current editions" of Academic Board approved unit outlines. Guidelines for reference lists for units proposed for approval by Academic Board are provided in the Guidelines for Course Approval, Amendment and Review.

Units taught in the online or off-campus mode cannot fall strictly into the pattern below, though the same principles apply. See Section 3 – Online Units.

2. Categories

All references listed in current unit outlines are to be organised into the following categories as applicable. The categories are based on the availability of the references to students as follows.

Category Availability Student Responsibility Library Responsibility
Text(s) Must be available either electronically or in the library at each campus where the unit is offered. Students are expected to purchase a personal copy of a commercial text or a Book of Readings or Workshop Manual produced for the unit unless it is available electronically.

Library will maximise access to these high demand titles by:

  • Placing copies on restricted loan
  • Purchasing additional copies in line with Collection Development Policy.

However the Library is unable to ensure ready provision of textbooks to all students in a unit.

Recommended References Must be available electronically or in the Library at each campus where the unit is offered.    
Further References Normally available through the ACU Library. Request books from other campuses by Intercampus Loan. Titles normally available in one or more campus libraries, but not necessarily at all of the campuses where the unit is offered
Extended Reading May be only available through libraries and collections outside ACU. Access books from other universities by using reciprocal borrowing scheme. Higher degree students can use the Interlibrary Loan service.  

Many units are offered on more than one campus. The references listed in the unit outline and provided for such "cross-campus" units are normally to be the same. In some professional courses such commonality in the unit outlines of "cross-campus" units is a requirement for accreditation purposes.

2.1 Texts

Unless it is available electronically, students are expected to purchase a personal copy of the text and one copy will normally be held in the High Demand collection of the library of each campus where the unit is taught. The Library is unable to ensure ready provision of texts for all students in a unit.

2.2 Recommended References

All Recommended References are normally accessible electronically or available in the library at each campus where the unit is taught.

References listed as Recommended References may include:

  • Titles in print (including articles from journals)
  • Networked electronic titles provided by the Library (ejournals)
  • Access to an electronic copy placed in the ACU Copyright Database and accessible through the University's learning management system
  • Electronic resources from the internet
  • A personal copy of the work (e.g. a copy owned by a lecturer) placed in the library at a campus where the unit is taught.

For Recommended References, the access point should be indicated in the unit outline, e.g. "Electronic resource available through library website", "In campus library", "On the Internet"or "In Learning Environment Online”.

2.3 Further References

Further References comprise titles particularly relevant to students who aspire to perform at an outstanding level, or who wish to explore a highly specialised aspect of a topic in depth.

Further References will normally be available through the ACU Library, but not necessarily at the campus where the unit is being offered. Where a title is available on more than one campus, the unit outline may indicate which of the campus libraries hold a copy.

Further References may include:

  • Titles in print (including articles from journals)
  • A personal copy of the work (e.g. a copy owned by a lecturer) placed in the library at one of the campuses where the unit is taught.

2.4 Extended Reading

Occasionally Lecturers-in-Charge, particularly in postgraduate units, may wish to provide an extended reading list for future consultation by students. These references are not necessarily available through the ACU Library.

3. Fully Online Units

For online units the same principles apply as for units taught face-to-face: library resources must be readily available to support student learning in each unit of study. As units are delivered electronically (and they are not offered on individual campuses), the normal expectation is that resources will be available electronically rather than in campus libraries. The following variations to the Guidelines apply.

Category Availability Student Responsibility University Responsibility
Text(s) Must be readily available electronically or for purchase in a timely manner by students. If not available electronically one copy will normally be available in at least one campus library. If a text is prescribed (a commercial text, a Book of Readings or a Workshop Manual) that is not available electronically, then students are expected to purchase this.

Library:
will maximise access to these titles by:

  • Acquiring electronic versions whenever available
  • Purchasing additional print copies in line with Collection Development Policy.

However the Library is unable to ensure ready provision of textbooks to all students in a unit.

Recommended References Must be available electronically. References may be e-books, or articles etc that have been published electronically, or may comprise digitised extracts from hard copy publications.   Lecturer-in-Charge:
must verify the availability of these references well in advance, particularly because of the need to observe Copyright Law. They must all be available electronically through the Library, through the Copyright Database or must be freely available from the Internet
Further References Normally available through the ACU Library. Request books from other campuses by Intercampus Loan Lecturer-in-Charge:is responsible for ensuring that the reference is available before listing it on the unit outline. Titles are normally available in one or more campus libraries. They may be available in print or electronic format.
Extended Reading May be only available through libraries and collections outside ACU. Access books from other universities by using reciprocal borrowing scheme. Higher degree students can use the Interlibrary Loan service.  

4. Managing access to titles cited in unit outlines

Lecturers may recommend specific readings (e.g. chapters of books or articles taken from titles in the Unit Reading List) to students for weekly classes, or for particular assignments. If these references are to material that is not part of the Library's collection, but has been made available to students in another way, this should be indicated (e.g. "In Book of Readings", "Available via Learning Environment Online").

With the exception of books listed as Extended Reading, Lecturers-in-Charge and library staff will work together to:

Action Lecturer-in-Charge Library
List in unit outlines books or other publications that are held currently in the ACU Library or that can be purchased by the Library The lead time for the library to order, receive and catalogue new print course materials ranges on average from six to eight weeks. Bearing this in mind, supply the title lists to the library at the earliest available opportunity beforehand in order to ensure that items are available for student use when required. Order, catalogue and process the items as a matter of priority.
Maintain currency Update bibliographies regularly. Check unit outline bibliography holdings regularly and provide feedback to academics on new editions, etc.
Maximise access to high demand titles. Provide feedback to library from students on access to high demand items. Place copies on restricted loan. Purchase additional copies of a title, within the terms of the Library Collection Development Policy, to meet demand.

Page last updated: 19 Aug 2015

Short url: http://library.acu.edu.au/12292