Using the VitalSource Sampling Portal

Using the VitalSource Sampling Portal

VitalSource has the ability for instructors to view Sample/Exam copies of eTextbooks.

You will need verification as an instructor to view eTextbooks, but once you have done so searching and adding Sample copies is easy. If an eTextbook you'd like isn't available as a sample, you can purchase a copy from the VitalSource Store. You will also be able to receive eTextbook recommendations from publishers.

To get started with your Sampling, please follow the steps below.



Please Note: You must use a university assigned email address, or other assigned learning institution address to create an instructor account. No personal email addresses can be used to gain access to the Educator's Portal.

Existing Account

If you already have an existing bookshelf account here is how you can get started with sampling:

  1. Go to the Educator's Portal and sign in with your username and password
  2. If you have only used your credentials to sign into the Bookshelf Application, you will receive an option to show you are a student or an instructor when you sign into the Educator's Portal for the first time.
  3. If you have forgotten your password, please go to Forgot Password.
  4. Once you have successfully logged into your account, go to Requesting a Sample Copy below to continue.

New Account

If you are a new VitalSource user, you will need to make an account before you can start the Sampling process. Please visit the following article for information on making your account at Creating an Instructor Account.


Step 2 - How to Sample Content

  1. Requesting a Sample Copy

    Once you've signed in or created your account, start searching for your book. You can search by title, author, or ISBN.

    If your account is not approved, books that are available for Sampling will have an orange "Request Copy" button. Click on the "Request Copy" button to start the approval process. Please Note: You will not see "Request Copy" if you are not in the Educator Portal or if your account is a Learner (Student) account. You can verify you are in the Educator Portal by clicking on "Faculty Sampling" above the blue search bar.


    When you request to sample an eTextbook, you will be required to fill out information regarding the course you are planning to use the book.

    You will then see the following "Pending Publisher Approval" message:


    It can take up to 10 business days for the publisher to approve your request. If approval from the publisher occurs, you will receive another email that will require you to go through email verification to access the title you requested. If they do not approve of you using the Educator's Portal, they will send a denial email as well.


    Please note: there is no chapter preview available for books that have a pending sample request.

  2. Books not available on the Educator Portal will show "Not Available for Sampling" under their title and will only show the "Add to Cart" options. Please reach out directly to the publisher of these titles for solutions to Sample.


  3. Publisher recommendations

    Occasionally a publisher will send a recommendation for a book that you may find useful. The location of Publisher recommendation is under the publisher recommendations tab in your account. To view recommendations from the publisher, please do the following:

    While in your account on the VitalSource page, click on the Library button

    Click on Publisher Recommendations

    To accept a recommendation, click on "Add to Library." To decline a recommendation and remove it from your list, click on "Decline."


  4. Recommending books for your students

    You can also recommend books to your students. On the book information page underneath the book cover, there is a link that you copy and paste into your syllabus, lesson plan, or other documents of your choice. This section also gives you information on the cost of this textbook for your student.


    Please note:

    Any content obtained off the VitalSource Educator's Portal will only be viewable through our Online Bookshelf view.



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