Talis Aspire: course reading lists

Information to help academic staff create course reading material lists and manage copyright compliance.

Frequently asked questions about Talis Aspire reading lists

These FAQs supplement the basic steps for creating and managing reading lists.

Who needs to use Talis reading lists?

At Victoria all course coordinators should be using Talis to manage the reading list in their Blackboard course.

It is the course coordinator's responsibility to ensure their course complies with copyright requirements and Talis assists in managing compliance. It is up to each school what administrative support is provided to the Academic staff in order to create and manage lists.

How do I request training?

In the first instance talk to your school administrators as there may be a school approach to training and support. Otherwise contact your Subject Librarian for help.

I don't understand the need for copyright compliance?

Find more on copyright guidance and who to can help atCopyright at Victoria

What do staff need to tell students?

As a course coordinator or lecturer you need to inform your students that you are using Talis for their reading list and where in your Blackboard course they will be able to find the links.  The following is a standard announcement you can copy and post up in your Blackboard course to alert students to this and a link to a student use video.

Standard message for you to use

The reading list for this course is available through Talis. This provides you with direct access links to the suggested and required resources.

You will find a link to the full list in the ____________ section of this course.
Relevant sections of the list will be posted in the weekly content areas of this course.

For guidance on how to use Talis to access readings and manage your reading activity see the student guide video


Please make sure your browser allows cookies, pop-ups and java script. You may need to login to Talis using your standard myvuw login details.

How do I make my list appear as a option to link in Blackboard?

When you create the list you must link to the List Hierarchy. You can do this from the Edit List menu. Linking to the Hierarchy means selecting the specific Blackboard course.

What course material needs to be included in the Talis reading list?

Reading resources requiring copying, digitisation and/or reproduction in a printed course pack need to be added to a Talis reading list. It is recommended that all other reading list items are added to Talis, primarily to insure the consistency of the learning experience for students across multiple courses.

Can different media types be included in Talis reading lists?

All of the resources on the reading lists are links out to resources online and so all resource types will work. These can be a document (pdf), webpage, image or video.

What do I do if the Library doesn't have a copy of the item?

If you can find a link to the resource on the internet to bookmark add it to you list and then request digitisation for that item. Make sure in the notes to Library you note that you have a physical copy of the item for them to use. You might like to also contact your Subject Librarian and inform them that you have the required item that you require digitised. If the item is a section of a book for example you may be able to find a reference to the book in Amazon to bookmark, and then request digitisation.

Can I include worksheets and past exam papers?

Resources which you create yourself for the course, such a worksheets and example exams do not need to be added to Talis. These can be uploaded directly into Blackboard.

How do I add an item which isn't digital?

The Library needs to digitise the item (scan). Even if it has previously been digitised the Library will re-digitise the material so that it can be properly uploaded into the new Talis Aspire system for copyright compliance checking, but also so that they can ensure a quality scan is held for future use. Once the item is loaded into Talis it will be much easier for the Library to recall this digitised copy for next time.

How should I name my Talis reading list?

The standard format is: Course code: title of course

e.g. LAWS344: Law of the Sea

If you are creating a test list to try out features and store resources please ensure the title of the list starts with the word 'TEST'. These can then be easily filtered out for reporting purposes.

How do I bookmark a resource for my list?

Start by reading the user guide on how to load the bookmarklet tool into your browser favorites bar. You can add bookmarks to your profile in Talis at any time and then add them to lists at a later date as needed. All bookmarks (added to lists or not) show up in your bookmarks tab within Talis once you you login (victoria.rl.talis.com).

Why can't my students see changes I've made a change to my list?

If a list is edited you need to re-publish the list for the changes to be visible through any links already created in Blackboard.

How do I change citation information in the list?

Editing the metadata of the bookmark in Talis allows you to add to and clean up the data shown on the list.  For example if the item is a chapter of a book and only the chapter name is showing in the list and no information about the book itself, go into chapter part of the metadata and add fields, such as Author and year.

You can add the name of the book at the end of the chapter title (either after hyphen or in brackets).

How do I ensure my reading list will work for students?

It is very important that course coordinators take the time to test their list out and try every single link to ensure it is actually opening the required resource. You need to actually try all blue online resource buttons and see that they open.

Can I add another staff member to my course list to add resources and edit my list?

Yes. If one of you creates the list then simply select the 'invite list publishers' from the edit list options. this will ask you for the email address of the person you want to share the list with. They will receive an invite to open and edit that list.

 You can also reallocate ownership of a list once it has been created. This is helpful where school administrators are starting the list and can transfer ownership to the lecturer to complete and check.

Can my list be reused for another trimester and the old ones deleted?

New lists will be created for each instance of the course (the same as Blackboard). Lists can be created by copying an older list. No lists should be deleted as we have to report annually for Copyright Licensing requirements. Please ensure if you have any contract staff in your school that they know that they must leave the list intact at the end of their contract.

If you have an old test list you can publish and then archive these.

Browser sign-in failed error

To resolve a log-in error (sign-in failed, please try again) in your browser, ensure 3rd party cookies are enabled and the cache / history is cleared:

  • Chrome menu -> Preferences -> Show advanced settings -> Privacy | Content settings or Clear browsing data
  • Make sure under ‘Cookies’ in the Content settings that the ‘Block third-party cookies and site data’ is not checked.
  • Make sure the first four boxes are checked in Clear browsing data and obliterate items "from the beginning of time."
  • Safari menu -> Preferences
  • Privacy -> Cookies and website data: Always allow
Internet Explorer (IE):
  • Try clearing the cache in IE -> Tools (cog icon) -> Internet Options
  • Privacy -> Advanced
  • Click “Override automatic cookie handling” so that it looks like this:

  • Then click OK to the open dialogue boxes and close and re-open IE.

Error messages when linking to Blackboard

"whoops error 404" messages

When I try and link my Talis Aspire list to Blackboard it get a "whoops error 404", what do I do?

The cause of this is usually one of two things:

  1. If you have entered text into the description box of the content block you added to Blackboard you need to edit this to make sure there are no carriage returns in the paragraph. (that means you hit the return key) Instead you need to use a soft return by using Shift + return. Don't forget to also check there are no returns at the end of the text either.
  2. When you create the content block in Blackboard and then click on the title, you will be asked to select the list in Talis which needs to be linked. The default that comes up in the 'list' box may appear to be the correct code, but you still need to start typing the course list name to bring up the selection panel and select the right option. This will also allow you to select a section of the list to publish into the Blackboard course if you wish.
Error http-401 messages

I have linked my Talis Aspire list to Blackboard and was able to select the correct course and section of list, but now when I click on the link I get Error http-401 messages. What do I need to do?

This usually occurs if there is a return added to the text in the description of the link. If there is these need to be replaced with carriage returns (i.e Shift+Return). Do check if there is one at the end of the text as well.

A colleague cannot log into Talis

If you're trying to help a colleague with Talis and log in with your details on their machine, it defaults to their login. You need to load a browser tab as incognito / private window. To do this right click on your browser icon in your task-bar and select available option.

How to import EndNote references into Talis

Instructions for importing your Talis list from EndNote Please note this will not work if a reference has a PDF attached.

  1.      1. Open Endnote
  2.        . Click: Edit, then Output styles
  3.          Open Style manager
  4.          Tick "Refman(RIS) Export"
  5.          Close window (click small "x" top right")
  6.          Select resources you want to export from Endnote
  7.          Click File, then Export
  8.          Save as type: Text file (*.txt)
  9.          Output style: Refman(RIS) Export
  10.          Select folder location to save to
  11.          Go to Talis
  12.          Click My Bookmarks, then Add
  13.          Click Import Citations, then Choose file
  14.          Choose the file you just saved from Endnote
  15.          Import – references will now be saved as Bookmarks, or you can choose to create a new list with the references