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ReadingLists@Hull, 2020-2025: eBook access information

Viewing eBook access information in Library Search

In Library Search, find the eBook you want to use. Go to 'More information' and view the 'Copyright/ Licence' line.

The Library is in the process of adding eBook licence information into Library Search. In the meantime, please contact bjlcollections@hull.ac.uk if you have queries about a specific title.

Not all eBooks are equal

Unfortunately, not all eBooks are the same. Many are not licensed for use in HE or for Library purchase. Those eBooks that are available to HE libraries are sold on a variety of terms, not all of which support equal and fair access for students.

A number of national initiatives seek to change this situation but it is not possible to say if or when they will succeed. This blogpost highlights some of the issues HE faces, as does this Library tweet.

Please note: the Library cannot provide access to eBooks sold for Amazon Kindle, or to publishers' eTextbooks. eTextbooks are typically priced per-student, per-cohort and require an annual payment.

If you have a licence enquiry for a specific title, please contact bjlcollections@hull.ac.uk

How to view access information

The Library is adding access information into the results in Library search so you can see how an eBook can be used. This will allow you to choose the title, or a combination of titles, that will best support your students. Work is in progress, so if you have a query about the access terms for a specific eBook, email bjlcollections@hull.ac.uk

New order requests

When adding new titles to your reading list you will not know whether an eBook version is available, and, if so, on what licence. The Library will check this information as part of the ordering process. Remember to 'Request review' as this is how the Library knows you have added requests to your lists. The earlier you submit requests, the more time there is to address any issues that arise.

Note: there is no single, national catalogue of eBooks. The Library will check availability and licences of titles with the approved providers.

Common eBook licences and access rights

This section outlines the most commonly occurring eBook licences, and the access they give.

Concurrent user licences limit the number of people who can simultaneously access the eBook. The number of users spans a spectrum from 1 through to unlimited. Typically, where limits are in place, access is restricted to 10 concurrent users or fewer. In creating your reading list, you need to give careful consideration of any eBook that has a restricted access licence.

1 concurrent user Only one person at a time can access these eBooks. Depending on the provider, this may ‘lock’ the eBook for a 24-hour period before it is released to the next user.

Multiple concurrent users, for example 2 concurrent users or 10 concurrent users.

These eBooks may be suitable for smaller cohorts. They will not support the learning of larger cohorts. They are not suitable in scenarios where many students need to read the same chapter or section within a short space of time.

Therefore, eBooks with limited concurrent access should only be considered for Essential reading with caution. Read the Essential Reading guidance for more information. Avoid those with lower concurrency. Make sure there are equivalent texts in both print and eBook formats, and add clear directional notes into ReadingLists@Hull so your students can understand their reading options and your expectations. This can be done by adding notes into the ‘Description’ for each list section, or the ‘Note for students’ for each text. N.B. An individual ‘Note for student’ alongside each title is most noticeable.

Unlimited number of concurrent users: There is no restriction on the number of people who can simultaneously use these eBooks.

Annual accesses: usually between 200 and 400 accesses. There is no restriction on the number of concurrent users, instead the limit is on the number of accesses within a 12-month period. An ‘access’ is one person's use of the eBook within a 24-hour period. That person may log-in and out several times in that time, or read the eBook for several hours.

Depending on the size of your cohort, it may be possible to use such eBooks in combination with other eBooks or with print. If you decide to do this, make sure there are clear directional notes into ReadingLists@Hull so your students can understand the options and your expectations. This can be done by adding notes into the ‘Description’ for each list section, or the ‘Note for students’ for each text. N.B. An individual ‘Note for student’ alongside each title is most noticeable.