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Oxford Reading Lists Online (ORLO): FAQs


I bookmarked an item and now it is not working

It is important to use the VPN if making bookmarks off campus. If you do not use the VPN the links in the bookmark will often break. You should also use the VPN when adding links to existing bookmarks.

I have been sent a link to an ORLO list but I’m getting a 404 error

The link you are trying to use is probably for a Draft (i.e. Unpublished) list which requires you to log in to ORLO.  
Solution: Log into ORLO with your SSO and try pasting in the link from there.

How can I export in certain citation styles?

Yes, it is possible to Export in multiple styles which you can choose from the list in ORLO.   It is possible to add other citations styles to the list.  N.b. it is only possible to export published lists.

Who is responsible for my reading lists and who do I contact for help?

The exact balance of responsibilities for every reading list is different based on departmental policies and how your library is involved. Talk to your Bodleian Subject Librarian for help and more information.

How do I get ORLO permissions? I want to create reading lists

Please email to arrange for your reading list to be added to ORLO. A template will be created and you will be given permission to use ORLO in conjunction with the self-help information on this guide.

Can multiple tutors / editors contribute to the reading list?

Yes, you can work collaboratively on a reading list.  Each list has one named owner but you can invite anyone with ORLO editing permissions to edit and publish the lists.  Tutors on sabbatical or departing from Oxford can easily share or pass on ownership.

How can I find the list(s) I need to edit?

From the ORLO home page type details into the search box. ORLO will tell you how many lists it finds matching your terms including how many Draft lists but it will only display 5 published lists and 5 draft lists at this stage. To see more lists matching your criteria when you hit <return> more lists will appear with the option to view the Next screen. If you are not seeing Draft lists then check that you have logged in as only Public published lists can be seen otherwise.

I have published a list by mistake. What do I do?

Unfortunately you can’t “unpublish” a list. A published list is viewable by all but only logged in users if it is marked as “Private” or the “Institutional Default” so it is worth checking this status. If you really don’t want this list to be viewable currently then you can “Archive” the list so it is no longer searchable and copy the Archived list to Draft. If there are digitisations linked to the archived list then these may need to be  requested again on the new Draft list.

Is it possible to merge more than one list into a single list?

There's no current method of merging lists directly. However, you could use the Export RIS feature,  to export and add all of the bookmarks from one list and then drop them into another, which would typically be a few minutes work. The ORLO Supplier has a more detailed explanation of the procedure:

Is it possible to separate out one list into several?

The best way to do this is to copy the list as many times as required and delete the unwanted items and sections from each list. It might be a good idea to Archive the initial list first just in case it is wanted at a future date.

How do I move sections around within a list?

Go to the top of the list. Next to Table of Contents click the “show” button. This will show the full contents of the reading list in tabbed headings. Click on the cross next to a heading and drag it to its new location. Remember to publish the list to show the changes.

How do I delete a list?

To hide a list from general view you can Archive a list. Staff can view archived lists and copy them back whenever needed and logged in users can see archived lists using the direct link. Note: only published lists can be Archived and only if there is no outstanding Review on them. If you really want a list to be deleted, i.e. never to be seen again, then prefix the list name with del_ or DEL_ and these will be deleted from ORLO on a regular basis.

Is it possible to “undo” changes to lists?

You can use the “Recent changes” on a list to see what changes have been made recently and “undo” these manually but there is no “undo” button, although that would be nice.
If the changes have not been published then if you have the student view open in one window and have the edit view open in another window, you can manually add back in the items, sections and paragraphs that were removed. Here is a video demo.

Is it possible to “hide” reading lists behind a Faculty firewall?

The current single sign on does not include enough information to grant permissions to only certain sections of the University. This means that we can’t put any lists behind a password or firewall, other than the Single Sign On already in use.

How do I embed my list in Canvas?

Log into Canvas and open your module. Click on the plus sign to add new items. Select “External Tool” then choose ORLO from the list of tools. Once ORLO appears on your list click the title then use the grey search box to search for the list title.  Once you have found it, click save.

What is rollover and what does it mean for my lists?

Rollover is the copying of lists from one time period to another, usually one academic year to another so that a list can be “frozen” each year and new edits made to a new list if required. Rolling over lists with digitisations will ensure that the digitisations are linked to both lists while they are current. Analytics will be linked to each list and can be compared from year to year.

How do I get statistics on usage of my lists?

At the top of your list click View then select Analytics. You will see the number of clicks an item has and the number of reading intentions. You will not see information for individual students

How to I install the Add to my bookmarks button?

On: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari; Show bookmarks bar in each browser -  

If the bookmarklet doesn’t work in your browser try installing the bookmark plugin. More info here:  

How do I create bookmarks that show both printed and ebooks?

Copy the URL of the ebook and add it to the metadata of the print book. Please see the List Creation Manual on the ORLO LibGuide for a more detailed explanation.

Is there a quick way to update a bookmark with the newer edition?

Yes, if the newer edition is on SOLO. Open the item in SOLO, look under Details & Links and copy the Aleph System Number. Open the reading list, go to the item, edit the metadata (click on three dots and click edit). In the Lookup box at the bottom select LCN from the dropdown list, paste the Aleph System Number from the new edition in the box, click Lookup. The new record will overwrite the old record and show the information for the new edition. Click save.

How do I add different formats of resource to my list?

How do I add a title with large numbers of holdings which times out?

There is a 15 second timeout when bookmarking items. In these cases the workaround is to bookmark as normal, ignoring the message that it is not found. Then manually remove the web address and add the LCN field. Then the Check Availability button works for the students to check the availability in Primo from the list item, as the time out is still an issue for the availability display.

I added a link but it isn’t working.

This could be old cookies. Try clearing the cookies from your browser and trying again.

If you get an error message about EXProxy, Contact your library rep. who can ask olishelp to add articles websites etc. to the EZProxy list.

Check that the link is still working outside of ORLO, the link may have changed and you may need to update a bookmark.

Why doesn’t “View other editions” work for Chapters?

“View other editions” works by searching for the title and author of the bookmark in the catalogue. This usually works quite well but can cause problems when searching for a chapter. The chapter has its own Title and Author, but these are probably not listed in SOLO. We have asked the supplier of ORLO to fix this and they are working on it.

The incorrect chapter has been digitised – how can I request this to be fixed?

What is the digitisation code for my course?

This code is required to request a digitisation. It is used to report scans to the Copyright Licensing Association. Talk with your Bodleian Library contact to determine what your digitisation code is. IF the library assisted in creating your list the digitization code may be written in the details section at the top of your list.

Why has my digitisation request been rejected?

When your digitisation request was rejected you would have received a message which would give a brief explanation of the reason using certain terms. See the table for more details on the rejection codes.



Exceeded copy limit

Our CLA Licence allows us to scan 1 chapter or up to 10% of a book, this request is in excess of that amount.

Existing electronic copy available

We have found an ebook for this title. We do not make scans when an ebook is already available.

Not permitted by RRO

This item is not covered by our CLA Licence and we do not have permissions to copy it.

Duplicate request

A scan of this item has already been requested for this reading list.


Q: Is there a particular file format that my reading lists should be before I get started with ORLO? 

If you have the references for your list in a reference management tool (such as EndNote, RefWorks etc), you can import these into ORLO (see the 'Import ris files into ORLO' guide on how to import a .ris file). Please note that the order of items on the list will be lost in such an import.
If your existing list is only available as a MS Word or pdf file, you can use that as a starting point for your ORLO list, even if you cannot automatically import or convert it to ORLO. 
For more information about reference management software, including workshops please see here: