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Oxford Reading Lists Online (ORLO): So, you've inherited an ORLO list...

So, you've inherited an existing ORLO list?

Please see our guidance below on what to do next. If you are ever unsure on the list details, please email your local subject consultant. For technical support, please email

Checks and next steps

You may have been given the title of an ORLO list, but cannot find it from the ORLO homepage search bar. Or you may have been sent the direct URL to the list, but an error message appears when you click on it. This might be because the list is still in draft mode (rather than published) and only those with ORLO list publisher permissions can access draft lists. You may have already created an ORLO profile, which is linked to your SSO, but list publisher permissions must be requested in addition to creating an ORLO profile. 

To request ORLO list publisher permissions, please contact your subject consultant or email if you are unsure who to contact. Alternatively, please attend one of our ORLO list creation training sessions, where you will receive list publisher permissions on completion. 

If you do have list publisher permissions and still cannot access the list, then please ensure you have logged into ORLO with your SSO at the top of the webpage before trying search for the list title/access the URL again.  

Please download the PDF guide below for details on how to accept ORLO list publisher permissions.

Please check that you have found the latest version of the list you have inherited. Lists are copied and rolled over each summer to create lists for the next academic year (see the Rollover page for further details) and so multiple versions of the same list can exist at once. 

Check which time period has been set at the top of the list (e.g. Academic Year 2021/22). Additionally, a yellow banner will appear at the top of an old list stating 'This list has a newer version' with a link to the newer version provided (please see the screenshot below). Please ensure you are editing and publishing the latest version of list as changes cannot be copied and pasted between separate lists. Contact your subject consultant or College Library if you are uncertain if you have the latest version of your list.

Screenshot of the ORLO 'Newer Version' banner

Please see the PDF guide below on how to assign a list owner:

When deciding who to assign as the list owner, you may wish to consider the following:

  • Multiple people with list publisher permissions can edit an ORLO list at once, however, there can only one named list owner.
  • Anyone with an ORLO profile can be assigned as a list owner. An ORLO profile can be created without list publisher permissions, but these are required to edit lists. 
  • You may wish to add further names in the list description in addition to adding a named list owner. 
  • You may wish to set the course convenor or the administrator as the list owner. 
  • Assigning a list owner can act as a point of contact for students when they have questions about the list or accessing the materials.
  • Students can search for ORLO lists from the homepage by list owner names. 
  • When lists rollover in the summer, the latest version of this list will automatically appear in the assigned owner's 'My Lists' tab. This helps you to find the list to make edits and publish it list before the start of the next academic year.

These details may have already been added to your list, but you may wish to double-check they are still correct (it might be the case that this course didn't run in the last academic year):

  • List title. Please ensure this adheres to the ORLO Naming Convention and starts with a department or college code.
  • Time period. Lists normally have the current academic year set at the top of the list. 
  • Student numbers. These help librarians to make purchasing decisions for course materials when reviewing lists. 

Please see the PDF guide below on how to edit these details.

Please see the below PDF guide for some tips on how to edit the existing list. Other sections of this LibGuide that will be useful for editing lists would include the Bookmarking, Digitisations and FAQ tabs above.  

Final steps:

  • Publishing lists. Only published lists can be seen by students so please ensure you click the Publish button if it is visible at the top of your list so that the list and all it's resources are visible to students.  
  • Embedding lists in Canvas. Students can access their lists directly from their Canvas course. Please see the Canvas tab for details on how to embed your list in Canvas (N.B. only published lists can be embedded). 
  • Sharing URLs. Once the list is published, please ensure that you share the direct URL to the latest version of the list (e.g. a list with the current academic year set). 
  • List reviews. Once published, a review request will be sent to library staff. Even if the review is pending, the list is immediately visible to students once published. Library reviews are carried out so that the relevant department library can look into purchasing materials and creating digitisations