VitalSource Helps: Publisher Frequently Asked Questions
- What is VitalSource Helps?
- How is publisher content made available for the VitalSource helps programme?
- Who is eligible for the VitalSource Helps programme?
- How do students access VitalSource Helps content?
- How long is the VitalSource Helps programme available?
- How many titles may be accessed?
- What types of content are available?
- What eBooks are included?
- Are LMS/VLE-integrated accounts supported?
- Where should I direct students having access issues?
- Can students download materials?
- Does Bookshelf allow users to print portions of their eBooks?
- Is the Bookshelf platform accessible?
- I have unanswered questions, can you help?
What is VitalSource Helps?
VitalSource Helps is a programme designed to support students and instructors who may have lost access to course materials due to a campus moving from face to face teaching to distance learning to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This programme is made possible by the leading publishers in UKIR higher education. The programme offers free access to an expansive catalogue of eBooks through 30th June, 2020 to students and instructors at impacted institutions in the UK and Ireland. A complete list of eligible institutions is available here.
How is publisher content made available for the VitalSource Helps programme?
The most commonly used titles are already in the programme, as approved on a per publisher basis. If there are additional titles you’d like to make available, use your normal title management process or follow the web form linked below. VitalSource is not soliciting feedback from students for titles to be added.
Who is eligible for the VitalSource Helps programme?
Students are eligible if they meet the following criteria:
- Attend an institution that is listed here (private, for-profit institutions and online programmes do not qualify for this programme)
- Have a university-provided email address
- Are currently enrolled in a university course(s) that began prior to 24 March, 2020.
How do students access VitalSource Helps content?
To get started, students should visit bookshelf.vitalsource.com. Before students can begin searching for and reading eBooks, they will need to log-in or create a Bookshelf account with their institution-provided email address.
It is important to note that, while students may use Bookshelf today, they may access content via an LMS/VLE integration that does not require an email address, or their account may be linked to their personal email address. To access VitalSource Helps content, students must use their institution-provided email address.
For students accessing Bookshelf for the first time:
Here are instructions on creating a Bookshelf account that you can share with students and instructors. Once students create an account with an institution-provided email address, they should log-in and click on the “Explore” tab in the upper left corner of the screen.
For students with existing Bookshelf accounts linked to their institution-provided email address:
Students with existing Bookshelf accounts linked to their institution-provided email address will see a new tab called “Explore” when they log-in. This tab provides access to the freely-available eBooks.
For students with existing Bookshelf accounts NOT linked to their institution-provided email address:
Here is an article explaining how a student can check the email account associated with their Bookshelf account, and how to change it to an institutionally provided email account to access VitalSource Helps eBooks.
How long is the VitalSource Helps programme available?
VitalSource and the participating publishers are offering free access to eBooks through 30th June, 2020 to ensure affected students are able to use required learning materials through final exams. Once the free access period ends, students will maintain access to their Bookshelf account. However, eBooks provided during the VitalSource Helps programme will no longer appear.
How many titles may be accessed?
A total of seven titles per eligible student can be accessed in their account
What types of content are available?
Only ebook content is available. Courseware is excluded.
What ebooks are included?
Most major eBook titles from the commonly used publishers in higher education are available. Publishers have thoughtfully made their catalogues broadly available in VitalSource Helps, and we welcome as much help to students as you can provide through our platform.
Are LMS/VLE-integrated accounts supported?
Any content typically accessed via the LMS/VLE will still be available on LMS/VLE-integrated accounts. However, eBooks that are part of VitalSource Helps are only available through the Explore tab at bookshelf.vitalsource.com and within all native Bookshelf apps (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, etc.).
Where should I direct students having access issues?
Refer students to the FAQ articles here.
Can students download materials?
Yes! To access eBooks offline, students simply need to use the Bookshelf app on their mobile device or desktop/laptop computer.
Does Bookshelf allow users to print portions of books?
In most cases, yes. However, printing restrictions are set by each publisher.
Is the Bookshelf platform accessible?
Yes. Like you, we take accessibility seriously. You can find our VPATs here, and relevant support articles here. We ensure all materials meet a minimum standard of accessibility, and the Bookshelf® platform supports even more accessibility features, but publishers determine enhanced accessibility for their own content.
VitalSource does not share user data and all participants of the VitalSource Helps programme will automatically be opted out of marketing initiatives. To learn more, click here.
I have unanswered questions, can you help?