Your eText is a digital textbook that features powerful search capabilities and the ability to share and sync notes and highlights between computers/devices. It may include other educational resources such as workbooks, problem sets, tutorials, videos, simulations, collaborative learning, and interactive software. Many eTexts also have audio capabilities.

eTexts are easy to access through your course website. Clicking the eText link connects you to the VitalSource Bookshelf, which provides a number of options for reading your eText anytime, anywhere:

  1. Bookshelf Downloadable (recommended option). Download the Bookshelf to your PC or Mac and read your eText offline. Why? In most cases, this option provides the best quality and functionality. It also guarantees that you will be able to access the eText after your course contract expires, and in the event of Internet or other technical outages.
  2. Bookshelf Online. Read your eText in a browser while connected to the Internet.
  3. Bookshelf Mobile. Available for iOS (for iPad, iPhone, and iTouch) and Android (for Android devices and Kindle Fire.

See eText Technical Requirements for more information about supported devices and versions.

Printed Textbook Purchase Option

Some textbook publishers are offering a direct-to-student option in which you may purchase a print version of your eText. Review the Learning Materials page in your course website for textbook title, edition, and publisher information, then click the link for the appropriate publisher site:

[other publisher print-on-demand sites will be added as they become available]

You can also acquire a print textbook on your own, if you wish.


When accessing or downloading an eText, your student number and email address will be sent to the vendor. No other personal information will be divulged.

Online access to eTexts is provided through single sign on in course websites. When the eText is activated by clicking on its link, anonymized student information authenticates the user and activates the license.

To download the eText, users are required to set up an account with VitalSource. You will be asked to provide your name and an email address at that time. You will be offered access to the download once you have activated the eText link in your course.

Note that the vendor’s website is accessible in the United States and is therefore subject to the U.S. Patriot Act. Any activity, including highlighting, searches, and note-taking that you do can be accessed by U.S. authorities under that act.