What’s new in ebooks: a platform roundup

It’s been a busy few months in terms of ebook platform refurbishments, so we thought it was time to pause and review some of the changes (and hopefully improvements) that have been implemented by providers.


ACLS launches new, improved platform

ACLS Humanities E-Book (HEB) is a US-based digital collection of over 5,400 seminal books in the humanities and related social sciences. Books in the HEB collection have been recommended and reviewed by scholars and constituent learned societies of the American Council of Learned Societies.

ACLS Humanities E-Book collection has been available to Cambridge users on a somewhat clunky, old-fashioned platform for some time, but is now accessible on a brand-new platform powered by Fulcrum, offering the following new features:

  • A more visually compelling and modern site, with a browsable catalogue that is easy to navigate.
  • ‘Read online’ format for all titles in a new e-reader that includes features like pageturner and scroll views, an always-present table of contents, and citation and search widgets. The reader also aims to meet WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility standards.
  • An enhanced e-book home page that provides quick access to the table of contents, reviews, metadata, and statistics, as well as easy access to the e-reader and chapter downloads. (Note that due to the large file size of chapter pdfs, we have found that chapter pdfs can be slower to download than on other ebook or ejournal platforms, and therefore ‘Read Online’ is recommended for rapid browsing or skimming the text).

Links for ACLS titles in iDiscover now redirect to the new platform, as does the platform link on our ebooks LibGuide.

ACLC Humanities is updated annually. Here is a list of the 259 new titles added in August: ACLC-new_titles_Aug_2018

Brill Online Books and Journals to move to Brill.com on November 30th

BrillcomBrill has been beavering away on Brill.com, a new platform to replace the existing Brill Online Books and Journals. All of our purchased content is being moved to the new site ready for November 30th, when the legacy site will be taken down, but the vast majority of our content is already there, so you can take a peek before November 30th if you wish.

According to Brill, the benefits of the move include:

  • The new platform consolidates information about print and online publications on one single page, rather than on separate sites, as before.
  • A fresh, crisp, uncluttered design.
  • The site works well on all types of devices.
  • DOI links will be available at the chapter level as well as the book title level.
  • Easier ebook ordering for site administrators.

We are assured that our ebook links in iDiscover will point to the new site from December, but please contact ebooks@cambridge or the UL’s English Collections team if you see anything that doesn’t work.

Manchester Medieval Sources Online now on Manchester Hive

MMSOThe 36 titles within the ‘Manchester Medieval Sources Online‘ collection from Manchester University Press are now available on Manchester Hive, MUP’s new online platform. The platform offers:

  • Easy browsing of available titles with abstracts.
  • Clear and intuitive design.
  • DRM-free PDF downloads for each chapter or section as well as full book downloads in either HTML or PDF.
  • Full book downloads include hyperlinks, making navigation through the text easier (from TOC to content and from content to footnotes).
  • Handy citation and sharing tools.

MARC records for all 36 titles within the collection are in iDiscover and now point to the new platform.

VLeBooks: new platform, more publishers, better accessibility


Not a platform redesign, but a brand new aggregator platform for us, VLeBooks offers a broader range of publishers (including trade publishers) and improved accessibility for print-disabled users. For more information, see our recent blogpost.

All of these platforms are available on and off-campus to members of the University via our ebooks LibGuide or via links to individual books in iDiscover. Off-campus access is via Raven (VLeBooks requires a Raven login on and off campus).

As usual, please contact ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk if you have any questions about these platforms or any other aspect of ebook provision at the University.

VLeBooks: a broader range of publishers and improved accessibility

The ebooks@cambridge team is pleased to announce the addition of a new ebook aggregator platform to our suite: VLeBooks. VLeBooks complements our existing offering of ebook aggregators in a couple of key ways:

VLeBooks app

Opening up access to trade publishers

VLeBooks is provided by Askews & Holts Library Services, a library supplier with a history of servicing the public library sector which has more recently branched out into academic library supply. It sells ebooks from a wide range of publishers, including –  thanks to its public library origins – trade publishers such as Penguin and Harper Collins. Titles from trade publishers crop up fairly frequently on reading lists, particularly in the Humanities, and until now we have been unable to provide users with ebook versions of these titles through our existing vendors. Here is a sample of Penguin titles we have purchased recently and which are available now on VLeBooks (click the covers for access – Raven required on and off-campus):

Berger  Postcapitalism  Haidt  Pinker  Misbehaving  Fourth revolution

More accessibility options

Another area where VLeBooks seeks to differentiate itself from other aggregator platforms is by offering users a number of ways in which they can change the platform itself or the online reading experience to adapt to their individual needs. Options include different coloured text overlays, easy zooming and switching on or off platform accessibility options such as large or dyslexic fonts, link highlighting and high contrast.

Platform accessibility settings:

Accessibility options

Platform with high contrast and dyslexia font option switched on:

High contrast

Example of overlay colours (more available):

Overlay1  Overlay2  Overlay3  Overlay4

We would be interested in hearing how our print-disabled users get on with these features, so please contact ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk if you have any feedback.

More things to note

VLeBooks offers the usual features common to other aggregators such as Ebook Central and Dawsonera, such as the option to add notes and bookmarks, export citations and search the text. Additionally, an in-built dictionary allows you to look up the meaning of words and phrases. Downloading for offline reading is available for up to ten days depending on title/publisher; an Adobe ID is required plus Adobe Digital Editions for PC/Mac or the free VLeBooks Reader App (available for IoS and Android) for use on mobile devices.

For librarians

For the librarians amongst you, VLeBooks sells a new kind of access model for some of its titles, based on the concept of replacement of a worn-out print copy. A limited number of electronic ‘issues’ is purchased, beyond which we will need to buy a new ‘copy’ for continued access. This contrasts with the idea of ownership in perpetuity which characterises most of the ebooks we have bought in the past. On the face of it this looks like an unattractive idea (with some management implications to grapple with – thank goodness for expiry notifications), but it does allow us to offer ebook access to those Penguin ‘paperbacks’ which would otherwise only be available to students in print, and the price of individual copies we have bought so far is low. If you have any trade titles on your lists, do get in touch so that we can check availability.

How to access VLeBooks

VLeBooks is available on and off campus via this link. Records for individual titles are in iDiscover. A Raven account is required for both on and off-campus access.

Further help

As usual, please contact ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk for further assistance with this or any other ebook platform.

Karger ebooks now available

karger larger

The UL, the Moore Library and ebooks@cambridge are pleased to announce that Cambridge University members now have access to all frontlist and backlist series and non-series ebook titles published by Karger.

Karger Publishers is a globally active medical and scientific publishing company dedicated to serving the information needs of the scientific community with high-quality, and in some cases award-winning, research-level texts covering primarily life and clinical sciences, alongside a variety of titles of particular interest to the history of science.

Our turnaway figures from Karger are high (between 800 and 1000 over the last 3 years), indicating a significant level of interest from Cambridge researchers across a wide variety of Karger’s ebook series. We will therefore initially be providing access through an Evidence-Based Acquisition scheme, whereby all Karger ebooks are made accessible to Cambridge users. At the end of the Evidence-Based scheme, most-used titles will be selected for purchase in perpetuity. In this way we will be able to meet our users’ immediate needs as well as build our research-level collections in the biological and life sciences for the future.

Here is just a very small sample of titles now available. Click on the covers to access the titles directly:

Burns  Pulmonary medicine  Drugs from the sea  nobel prize  Language  Paul Klee  Chronic constipation  Neurologic  plant genomes  Glaucoma  Frontiers in eating  Vet

All Karger titles can be found in iDiscover or on the Karger platform, and are available on and off-campus.

This acquisition was funded collaboratively by the UL, the Moore Library and ebooks@cambridge. As usual, please contact ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk with any questions about this platform.

Enhanced access to Peter Lang monographs

Peter Lang

The ebooks@cambridge Service and the University Library is pleased to announce that free, perpetual, full-text access is now available to a defined collection of over 1,350 Peter Lang research monographs. These titles were published since 2010 and have been purchased in print by the University Library. Along with their Open Access monographs the total of accessible ebook titles on the Peter Lang platform numbers just over 2,200.

Peter Lang publishes research monographs predominantly in German and English and some other European languages across all disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences including;

  • Art
  • Economics and Management
  • Education
  • English Language and Literature
  • Film and Performance Studies
  • German Language and Literature
  • History
  • International Law
  • Linguistics
  • Media and Communication
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Romance Languages and Literature
  • Sociology
  • Theology

Univesity of Cambridge registered users have access to all titles dispaying a green unlocked padlock green iconand also to those displaying a yellow unlocked padlock icon (the Open Access titles) yellow icon.

You can access the full text in html or PDF format for reading online or by downloading chapter PDFs. Please click on ‘Expand All’ under the Table of Contents section at the foot of each book page to open up the chapter access. All accessible titles are searchable in iDiscover and are available with unlimited concurrency both on and off campus (via a Raven login for non open access titles).

There is a publisher-supplied user guide with information on searching, browsing, and citing references which you can access from here.

Jean Barois     Der Zweite Weltkrieg im polnischen und deutschen kulturellen Gedächtnis    Santiago de Compostela     Transatlantic Poe

aristotle on the meaning of man     hearts and minds     Les littératures du Maghreb et d_Afrique subsaharienne     Metalinguistic perpsectives on germanic languages

Please contact the ebooks team on ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk if you have any questions or feedback.

Duke University Press launches new platform for ebooks and ejournals


Duke University Press publishes approximately 120 books annually and over 50 journals, as well as offering several electronic collections. A not-for-profit scholarly publisher, the Press is best known for publishing in the humanities and social sciences.

Thanks to the UL’s English Collections fund, Cambridge University members have electronic access to a growing collection of new book titles from Duke, as well as 1250 titles published between 1964 and 2007 from the archive collection in the following subjects: AMES, Anthropology, Education, English, History, Music, South Asian Studies and SPS.

On November 20th, Duke University Press launched a new online platform hosted by Silverchair Information Systems. The platform can be accessed on and off campus via the following link: http://ezproxy.lib.cam.ac.uk:2048/login?url=https://read.dukeupress.edu.

Features of the new platform include:

  • Intuitive and ‘clean’ design
  • Simultaneous searching of ebook and ejournal content
  • Useful search limits, including limit by format, date range and availability
  • Filter search results to easily find images
  • Browse book chapters by subject
  • DRM-free downloading of all purchased content to pdf
  • The site is natively mobile, adapting to devices of any size

Records for Duke University Press ebooks are in iDiscover and links are now redirecting seamlessly to the new platform.

As usual, if you have any questions about this platform, please contact ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk.

Taylor & Francis eBooks – a new ebooks platform


Taylor & Francis have launched a new ebooks platform, Taylor & Francis eBooks. This new platform replaces the old Taylor and Francis eBooks and CRCnetBASE platforms and will be a single destination for University of Cambridge registered users to access library-purchased publisher ebook content across the Taylor & Francis imprints; these include CRC Press, Psychology Press, Routledge, Routledge Academic, and Routledge India .

Searching and finding accessible content

The new platform offers an enhanced user experience, with searching at the book title and chapter level and the ability to limit search results to owned content. You can also filter search results by subject, publication date and imprints (e.g. Routledge or CRC Press). Owned ebook content displays in search results or browse screens with a green tick icon, and Open Access content displays with a yellow @ symbol, both of these are shown in the screenshot below. (There are currently over 1,300 owned ebooks hosted on Taylor & Francis eBooks, and an additional 30 Open Access titles, these titles span mainly the Arts, Humanities and Social Science subjects, with a few owned titles in Veterinary Sciences, Engineering and other Sciences.)

access T&F ebooks

Downloading and reading online

Plugins are no longer needed to be able to download chapters or whole ebooks as PDFs, or to read books online. *Note: not all books and chapters will be able to be read online but all of our owned ebooks should be available for downloading as PDFs. Below is an example of an entry page for a library-purchased ebook, indicated by the green ‘Full Access’ icon. This title is not available for reading online but is available for downloading, as indicated by the text in the pale blue bar.

book display

The publisher states that IE11 and above, Safari, Firefox, and Google Chrome web browsers are all supported and that the site is fully responsive on a mobile phone and tablet. *Note: the online reader should work fully on a PC or tablet devices but some features will not be enabled on a mobile phone.

Redirecting links

As of Tuesday November 7, 2017, permanent redirects have been activated from the old content to the new platform. So the vast majority of the authenticated URLs in our owned ebook records searchable in iDiscover will now lead to the ebook content hosted on the new platform. *Note: there are currently a very small number of Routledge and CRC Press titles which will continue to be hosted on the old platforms, this is for a variety of reasons which are being worked on by the publisher, and in time all of these titles will be migrated on to the new platform. A list of these titles are available on request from the ebooks team.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the new platform are available from the publishers website.

If you want to send feedback or report any issues with access to Routledge or CRC Press ebooks hosted on the new Taylor & Francis eBooks platform, then please contact Jayne and Lindsay in the ebooks team, on ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk.

*Note: it is anticipated that the Routledge Handbooks Online collection will migrate to the new Taylor & Francis eBooks platform during 2018. It is also planned that the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics will migrate to the new platform, at some future date.

Financial and Banking Law ebooks


moneyThe Squire Law Library is pleased to announce that access is now available to the Financial and Banking Law (FBL) ebook collection on the Oxford Legal Research Library platform.

The FBL currently contains 38 authoritative titles across a range of disciplines that encompass international financial practice including banking, bank resolution, risk and capital adequacy, capital markets, financial regulation, financial disputes, funds, islamic finance and project finance. Records for most of these titles are already searchable in iDiscover, and the rest will be added as soon as they are available. This collection is available both on and off campus with a Raven login.

A selection of available titles are listed below:

Mann on the Legal Aspect of Money (7th edition)

McKnight, Paterson, & Zakrzewski on the Law of International Finance (2nd ed.)

Derham on the Law of Set-Off (4th edition)

Regulation of the EU Financial Markets: MiFID II and MiFIR

Bank Failure: Lessons from Lehman Brothers

Bank Resolution and Crisis Management: Law and Practice

If you have any feedback on this new collection then please contact the ebooks team at ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk.


Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition

CMS blog

To paraphrase the words of the Chicago Manual of Style team, on Monday 21st August two rare events were celebrated in the US: a solar eclipse and the unveiling of the new Chicago Manual of Style Online.

ebooks@cambridge is pleased to announce that current staff and students of the University now have access to the new 17th edition, on and off-campus, via iDiscover or directly via this link.

About the Chicago Manual of Style

The Chicago Manual of Style is a style guide for American English, published by University of Chicago Press, prescribing writing and citation styles widely used in publishing. The Chicago citation style is also recommended to students by a number of Cambridge University departments for use in essays and other forms of work.

What’s new in the 17th edition?

As well as a much more up-to-date look, the site has been enhanced with additional content. Of particular interest to the ebooks@cambridge team (and hopefully to our followers) is the addition of further guidance on the tricky issue of citing electronic books. Section III is the place to look for this; in particular:

14.8 An expanded section on the use of DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) in references

14.9 A new section on permalinks (finding and using permanent URLs)

14.10 A note on short form URLs

14.159 Ebooks requiring a specific application or device (e.g. Kindle ebooks)

14.160 Page or location numbers in electronic formats

For those in a hurry, the 17th edition now includes a useful Citation Quick Guide, giving brief instructions and examples for different publication types, including ebooks.

Can I still access previous editions?

You can still access the 16th edition via the home page of the 17th edition – click on 16th edition on the blue header. The 15th edition is no longer available online.

Further help

As usual, please contact ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk with any questions or comments about this or any other ebook platform.


Stahl Online

Stahl Online

The ebooks@cambridge Service is pleased to announce that we now have access to a new online resource to interest medical students and academics. Stahl Online is home to the complete set of reference works written or edited by leading psychopharmacologist, Dr Stephen M. Stahl, including Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology.

Stahl Online offers a database of psychopharmacological drugs with regularly updated content, including information on new drugs and dosage. The resource is illustrated with clear diagrams and evidence-based principles for the use of psychopharmacologic drugs to support postgraduate teaching.

Published by Cambridge University Press in collaboration with the Neuroscience Education Institute, Stahl Online hosts 14 key titles including those shown below. You can click on the covers to access the full content.

Stahl1 Stahl10 Stahl6 Stahl4 Stahl2

  • Comprehensive, illustrated teaching and learning resources covering: antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilisers, ADHD, chronic pain, anxiety, stree, PTSD, substance abuse and violence
  • Fully searchable drug database, including information on side effects, dosing, special conditions, and food and drugs to be avoided
  • Downloadable figures and illustrations for use in teaching
  • Easy to navigate platform
  • Unlimited user concurrency

The following volumes are being added to the platform as they become available;

  • Stahl’s Illustrated Sleep and Wake Disorders
  • Stahl’s Self-Assessment Examination in Psychiatry, 2nd edition
  • Violence in Psychiatry
  • Case Studies, Volume 2
  • Stahl’s Illustrated Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias

The titles are searchable in iDiscover and are available to access on and off campus (with a Raven login).

If you have any comments about this ebook collection, please contact the ebooks@cambridge team on ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk.

Bloomsbury Professional Online


The ebooks@cambridge service is pleased to announce that members of the University now have access to a twelve-month subscription to Bloomsbury Professional Online, funded by the Squire Law Library.

We are the first university to subscribe to this service, which is aimed at a professional audience. Bloomsbury Professional publish high quality books and digital products for lawyers, tax practitioners, accountants and business professionals. The Bloomsbury Professional Online platform should not be confused with Bloomsbury Collections, a separate academic service about which we posted recently.

The platform gives access to well over a hundred practitioner ebooks in aspects of the law including family law, banking and finance law, charities, criminal negligence, company and commercial law, employment law, environmental law, insolvency law, local government law, maritime law, mediation, partnerships, pensions, professional negligence, property and land law, sport law and UK law. A full list of titles can be browsed on the left-hand sidebar of the platform; meanwhile, here is a selection (as usual, click on the covers for authenticated access):

Acquisition finance  Child care  Bribery  Employment tribunals handbook  Environmental impact  Buying and selling  Cornerstone  Law of carriage  Mediation law  Pensions law  Flat schemes  Challenging sports

Access to Bloomsbury Professional Online

Bloomsbury Professional Online can be accessed on and off campus with Raven. Content can be viewed online within your browser, and excerpts can be exported to Word and kept indefinitely.

We hope to be able to load MARC records for individual titles soon to make these discoverable through iDiscover, but in the meantime please access the platform directly and browse the title list on the left-hand sidebar.

As usual, if you have any questions about this or any other ebook platforms or titles, please get in touch with ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk.