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psychology research sources available at Duke Libraries

Requesting a book purchase

How eBooks work when used as textbooks


eBooks that you intend to serve as textbooks for a small or large class have some tricky access limitations working in the background. For example, academic publishers often limit the number of "seats", meaning that many eBooks can only be purchased if the number of concurrent users can be stipulated by the publisher. Sometimes it is limited to one person at a time, sometimes it is three people at a time or sometimes a few hundred uses in a calendar year. Not all eBooks allow unlimited use, hence this option is is not always available. If you would like to use an eBook as a textbook, the Psychology & Neuroscience librarian would be glad to tell you what the access options are given the publisher, so that you can decide what the best option is for your class.

  • Print books do not have these access restrictions
  • The Psychology & Neuroscience librarian can sometimes pay more to "add seats" to an eBook, by paying a smaller price for the book the library has already purchased. This may still be worth the increase in cost to increase access.
  • This access issue built into eBooks is one of the reasons many of the Top 100 Textbooks program is mostly print  (90%)
  • Title by title, eBook copying, printing, and download and copying may still be limited.
  • Some publishers do offer unlimited access to eBooks, and this is usually a chapter by chapter PDF option.
  • You can check on the access restrictions, or lack of restriction, under various headings at the bottom of the catalog record: Description, Description Details or for older versions, Access. 

Interlibrary Requests

Diversifying a syllabus