Three weeks since the launch of Cambridge Core, and with the start of term fast approaching, it seems to be a good moment to share some of the key ebook features (and perhaps the odd quirk) of the new platform. Think of it as a crash course in Core.
(By the way, for more about the ejournals side of Core, see this recent blog post from ejournals@cambridge).
Cambridge Core has replaced six separate CUP academic websites – Cambridge Journals Online (CJO), Cambridge Books Online (CBO), Cambridge Histories Online (CHO), Cambridge Companions Online (CCO), Shakespeare Survey Online (SSO) and all partner press ebook content currently hosted on University Publishing Online (UPO) – with one single platform. It is now possible to search all of the publications from these websites and collections at once. Most notably, users can now search for journal and ebook content from CUP at the same time.
Accessing Cambridge Core
Cambridge Core can be accessed in the usual ways: via the ebooks Collections page, via individual item records in iDiscover (links to the old CBO, CHO, CCO, SSO and UPO websites will redirect seamlessly), or from here.
Access is available to members of the University on campus and off campus via Raven.
Browsing ebooks has been made very simple. If you wish to explore what is available in Music (for example), choose Browse Subjects > Music.
The screen is then split into Explore journals, Explore books, New titles and Music book series:
Searching for ebooks
Searching is intuitive. The autocomplete feature on the search box suggests possible book title matches as you type, which is extremely useful if you are trying to find a specific ebook:
There is no advanced search, but there are plenty of refine options once you have run a search. Content type (= book) is the most obvious one for ebook searches, but you can also filter by series, collection and date:
To search within a book, display the book or one of its chapters or sections and you will see a ‘Search in this book’ box:
Your search will be performed across the whole book and not just the chapter or section being displayed.
If your search is fairly broad, your results are likely to include journal articles as well as book chapters and whole books. You can see at a glance what type of resource each result comes from thanks to the purple descriptor (‘article’, ‘chapter’ or ‘book’). With chapters and articles, you can also clearly see which book or journal the result comes from:
You can also see straight away whether Cambridge University has access to an item via the green Access descriptor (this descriptor is for info only – it isn’t clickable):
Many results have an expandable ‘View extract/abstract/description’ option which will help you decide whether the item is of interest:
Working with books and chapters
It is very easy to read and download ebooks on Cambridge Core. From a results list or table of contents, you can either click through directly to a pdf:
or select single or multiple items to view online, download to pdf or send to Kindle, Dropbox or Google Drive:
Note that if you choose to download or view multiple items (e.g. several chapters from an ebook), these will open/save as separate documents; they won’t merge into a single document.
In addition to downloading content, you can export citations in numerous formats (including Harvard) to RefME, Mendeley, EndNote, RefWorks, Zotero, BibTeX or Word
Personal accounts on Cambridge Core
In order to save selected items or searches to bookmarks you will need a personal account. This can easily be set up the first time you add a bookmark.
If you previously had a personal account on Cambridge Books Online or Cambridge Journals Online, you will need to reset your password for Core. Follow the link to reset your password after clicking Login.
Here’s something to be aware of when accessing ebooks that are divided into parts (e.g. Part I, Part II etc.) as well as chapters, such as this one:
If you tick the box next to a part title (e.g. Part 1 – Law Beyond the State(s) in the above example) and view or download it, or download the part pdf directly, you will get a more or less blank document and NOT all of the chapter content within the part. To avoid this, check or download the individual chapters that you require.
As term gets under way and usage increases on Cambridge Core, we will no doubt discover new features to report on, so watch this space. If you or your users experience any problems (or you’d like to share a useful trick), please contact email@example.com and we will happily investigate further.