Scanning Information

Occasionally, some faculty and staff are willing to scan the course readings themselves in lieu of submitting paper copies. This is acceptable and more than appreciated by the Reserves Staff!

Should you decide to take this scanning task on for yourself, the following guidelines will specify the exact settings and methods used in scanning Electronic Reserve documents.

Scanning Details

Software Required

In order to scan in and save PDF files, you must have the full version of Adobe Acrobat. The Reader (freely available for download from Adobe) alone will not work because it merely displays the finished product.

Hardware Required

Currently, HSL Reserves Staff use Carolina Copy scanner-enabled departmental copiers with an ADF (Automatic Document Feeder) attached, but basically any type of scanner can be used.

Scanner Settings

  • Color: Please do not scan in color unless absolutely necessary! Even though it produces the most detail, the downside is its extremely large file size.
  • Grayscale: Almost as file heavy as color but not to its extreme, should also be avoided.
  • Lineart (Bitmap): Set your scanner’s menu instead to Lineart, or also called Bitmap in some scanners. As this is the lowest of the Color/Black and White settings, it results, to no surprise, in the desired lowest file size.

Scanner Resolution

Set the resolution to 300 dpi (dots per inch) to assure a relatively clear document with reasonable file size. We would not suggest going higher than 300 dpi, however. Remember that the higher the resolution, the greater the file size!

FYI: If you are using your departmental copier to scan documents, remember that such scans can only be emailed to University email addresses (ie.  You may want to break up your scans (a single chapter or article at a time), then send it to yourself, and finally resend it — along with any other documentation you may have (ie. citation list &/or submission form) — to HSL Reserve Staff at

Scanning Questions

So, why does HSL Reserves aim for low file sizes?

It’s a two-fold reason:

1) to cut down on our server space, and, most importantly,

2) to take it easy on those students off-campus who don’t have extremely high-speed internet to access/download their course readings.

If at all possible, please try to limit the individual file sizes to around 3 megabytes (5 mb at most!). Obviously, lower is better!

How should we name the files?

HSL Reserves Staff use a standard naming convention (see below), of which you are not required to use. You may name files in any reasonable manner that works.

However, when naming files, please list them alongside their respective citations on either the Electronic Reserve form OR the accompanying bibliography. Every little bit helps us to faster process submissions.

In case you’ve ever wondered how we name files, we’ll explain the system we use. Although It may seem complicated at first, it is really rather simple.

  • Take the author’s last name and use it as the file name.
    Example: An article by Nick Smith would be named “Smith.pdf”
  • If more than one author is listed, use the first author.
    Example: An article with the authors Roger Richards, Nick Smith, and Seth Hagel would be named “Richards_etal.pdf”.
  • If the reading is a book chapter, use the chapter’s first listed author AND place the chapter number immediately after it.
    Example: Chapter 3 by Chip Jones in a book authored/edited by Ted Williams, Robin Edwards, and Jim Eastwood would be named “Jones_ch03.pdf”.
  • If no chapter author is listed, use the book’s first listed author/editor AND place the chapter number immediately after it.
    Example: Chapter 3 with no author listed in a book authored/edited by Ted Williams, Robin Edwards, and Jim Eastwood would be named “Williams_etal_ch03.pdf”.
  • If more than one of the files also has the same last name, differentiate them by placing the first letter of the first word in the title immediately after the author’s name.
    Example: Consider the following 2 citations of authors sharing the same surname: “History of public health” by Joe Johnson and “Totalling the public health expenditure” by Thomas Johnson. The files would be named, “JohnsonH.pdf” and “JohnsonT”, respectively.
  • Or if no author is listed at all, use any word in the document’s title as the file name.
    Example: For instance, an anonymous reading with the title “An analysis of the nursing profession” could have the file name “nursingprofession.pdf”, “analysis.pdf”, or any combination thereof.

What if some of the readings are already available via the campus e-journals list?

You can do one of two things:

  • If you do not already have a Sakai site set up AND need us to post all of your course readings on our site, then you may save the already available PDF files to a disk and submit that to us (along with the Electronic Reserve form, of course!). But, when our duties are done and the web page with the course readings are done, don’t be surprised if we link directly to the e-journal article itself.
    • Personally, we like having the saved PDF file, so that just in case something strange occurs with the subscribed resource we can point the reading’s link to the saved file.
  • If you do have an existing Sakai site, then it really isn’t necessary for you to provide us with those particular readings. As long as the university maintains/pays for access to the e-journal or resource in question, you may go ahead and link directly to that article without delay! Since these links would ordinarily be available to UNC’s faculty, staff, and students anyway, reposting them would not violate copyrights.
Last modified: 07/30/21