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Affordable and Open Educational Resources: Course Content via NYU Libraries

This guide will assist NYU instructors in understanding the basics in finding, using, or creating affordable and open course content.

NYU Libraries is an essential source of online course content, with licenses to more than 1.1 million ebooks, 121,000 journals, and 1,000 databases that contain articles, images, video, audio, data, and more. Take advantage of these licenses to assemble a reading list in NYU Classes that links students directly to content.  Subject librarians are available to help locate and select licensed material relevant to your course.

Online Content

Online Content via NYU Libraries Licensed Databases

Ebooks Articles  |  Video  |  Audio, Data, Images & more

eBooks

Examples of ebooks available via NYU Libraries licenses:

Cover of the book "Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus" by Mary Shelley Book cover of the book "The Republic" by Plato Cover of the book "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" by Harriet Jacobs. Cover of the book "The Sociological Imagination" by C. Wright Mills. Cover of the book "Practical Foundations for Programming Languages" by Robert Harper. Cover of the book "The Design of Everyday Things" by Don Norman. Cover of the book "Management: Tasks, Responsiblities, Practices" by Peter Drucker

There are 5 search tools for finding ebooks.  It's best to start by using the "Books & More" tab. If you don't find your book there, try another tool:

BobCat Books & More Tab

  • Special feature:  Find all subscription instances for a book and choose desired platform
  • Limit on synchronous users:  Varies per title, but NYU Libraries negotiates unlimited access whenever possible.
  • Limit on downloading & printing:  Varies per title
  • Search tip 1:  Use Advanced Search to pinpoint the primary text (and avoid related secondary sources). 
  • Search tip 2:  Use the "Availability" filter to narrow search results to "Full Text Online

Screenshot demonstrating BobCat search features. Plain text version below

Above screenshot shows steps for searching and generating a link for an ebook in BobCat. It includes the following steps:

  1. Search for the book (the search fields for "author/creator" and "title" are circled)
  2. Limit to "Full Text Online" (the left-hand filter option under "Availability," for "Full Text Online" is circled) 
  3. Click on the title
  4. Copy link and paste into your NYU Classes reading list (generate a link by clicking the "Permalink" button under "Send to")

 

Ebook Central

  • Special feature:  Read, highlight, and annotate within the platform
  • Limit on synchronous users:  Varies per title, but NYU Libraries negotiates unlimited access whenever possible.
  • Limit on downloading & printing:  Varies per title
  • Search tip:  Use Advanced Search "Author" and "Title" fields to pinpoint the primary text (and avoid a flood of related secondary sources). 

Click the media player to view this quick slideshow, which shows how to get a link to a specific book in Ebook Central to place in your NYU Classes reading list. Plain text steps are:

  1. Start at NYU Libraries home page: library.nyu.edu
  2. Click the Articles & Databases tab above the search box in the center of the page
  3. Search for “Ebook Central” in the search box at the far right of the page, just above the page section labeled “Need Help”
  4. Click “Ebook Central” in the search results
  5. In the Ebook Central interface, use “Advanced Search” for best results; the links just below the search box in the middle of the page
  6. For best results, search by “author” and by “title.” Sample search in slides is “Norman” for author, and “design of everyday things” for title.
  7. Click the desired title from the result list
  8. On the book page, click the “Share Link to Book” link at the far right beneath the “Add to Bookshelf” link
  9. Copy link and paste into your NYU Classes reading list

HathiTrust

Full text, downloadable access to 5.3 million public domain books.

  • Special feature:  Search full text of ebooks (not just catalog records)
  • Limit on synchronous users:  No
  • Limit on downloading & printing:  No
  • Search tip:  Use Advanced Search "Author" and "Title" fields to pinpoint the primary text  (and avoid related secondary sources). 
  • Reading list tip:  Get the permanent link, then add the exproxy prefix:  http://proxy.library.nyu.edu/login?url=

Screenshot of HathiTrust search interface. Plain text version below

 

Above screenshot shows steps for searching and generating a link for a book in HathiTrust. Steps include:

  1. Search for the book (search fields for "author" and "title" are circled)
  2. Click "full view" ("full view" link, which appears as part of each search result in a search result list, is circled)
  3. Copy the permanent link ("Permanent link to this book" is circled)
  4. Prepend the EZProxy prefix http://proxy.library.nyu.edu/login?url= to the permanent link (no space between)
  5. Copy the compound link into your NYU Classes reading list

 

Summon

  • Special feature:  Search full text of ebooks (not just catalog records)
  • Limit on synchronous users:  Varies per title, but NYU Libraries negotiates unlimited access whenever possible.
  • Limit on downloading & printing:  Varies per title
  • Search tip:  Use Advanced Search "Author" and "Title" fields to pinpoint the primary text (and avoid a flood of related secondary sources). 
  • Reading list tip:  Get the permanent link to the article, then add the exproxy prefix: http://proxy.library.nyu.edu/login?url=

Screenshot demonstrating Summon search and link generation. Plain text version follows

Above screenshot shows steps for searching in Summon and generating a permanent link. Steps are:

  1. Search for the book (search fields for "author" and "title" are circled)
  2. Copy the permanent link
  3. Prepend the EZProxy prefix to the permanent link (no space in between). Screenshot slightly outdated; EZProxy prefix is now http://proxy.library.nyu.edu/login?url= 
  4. Copy the compound link into your NYU Classes reading list

Individual publishers

  • Special feature:  Search full text of ebooks (not just catalog records)
  • Limit on synchronous users:  Not usually
  • Limit on downloading & printing:  Not usually
  • Reading list tip:  Get the permanent link to the book, then add the exproxy prefix: http://proxy.library.nyu.edu/login?url=

To browse individual publisher platforms such as Brill, Cambridge, Oxford, Routledge, Sage, Springer, Wiley and more, use this Databases A-Z page and limit "Database Type" to "Ebook Collections."  You can also limit by publisher.

Note:  Textbooks are not abundant in NYU Libraries' collections, but some of our ebook subscriptions include textbook publishers, for example Brill, Cambridge, Ebook Central, Knovel, Oxford, Palgrave, Routledge, Springer, and Wiley.

Screenshot demonstrating NYU Libraries ebook collection search filters. Plain text version follows

Above screenshot demonstrates where to find filters for ebook collections and for specific filters on the NYU Libraries Databases A-Z webpage. In the dropdown bucket labeled "All Database Types," there is an option for "Ebook collections." Beside that dropdown bucket, there is another dropdown labeled "All Publishers," from which you may choose a specific publisher. 

Articles

Locating a Specific Article

Use the "Search by Citation" tool.

Screenshot of the interface used to find articles by their citation

Discovering Article Content By Searching Databases

NYU Libraries subscribes to more than 1,000 databases.  Go to BobCat's Articles & Databases Tab and select a database to search.

 

Video

Examples of videos available via NYU Libraries licenses:

Alexander Street publisher logo  Screenshot of a sample Alexander Street anthropology video Screenshot of a sample Alexander Street newsreel video Screenshot of a sample Alexander Street environmental science video

Screenshot of a sample Alexander Street engineering video Screenshot of a sample Alexander Street psychology video Screenshot of a sample Alexander Street film-related video Screenshot of a sample Alexander Street counseling and therapy video

 

Sage Video publisher logo    Screenshot of a sample Sage political science video  Screenshot of a sample Sage business video  Screenshot of a sample Sage education video

 

To identify databases in which you can search for videos, use this Databases A-Z page and limit "Database Type" to "Video Collections." 

Screenshot showing how to find video collections. Plain text version follows

Above screenshot shows how to find collections of videos on the NYU Libraries Databases A-Z page. Near the top of the page, there is a dropdown bucket labeled "All Database Types," in which "Video Collections" is an option (circled in the screenshot). If you are interested in a specific publisher's videos, you can choose a publisher from the next dropdown to the right, labeled "All Publishers."

 

Audio, Images, Data & more

To identify databases in which you can search for data, images, audio, and other sources, go to the Databases A-Z page and use the "Database Types" drop-down menu.

Screenshot showing NYU Databases filter for "Database Type." Plain text version follows

Above screenshot shows a dropdown bucket near the top of the NYU Libraries Databases A-Z page, labeled "All Database Types." Options include: Archives & Manuscripts, Audio & Music Collections, Book Reviews, Data Sources, Dissertation Collections, Ebook Collections, Encyclopedias & Dictionaries, Image Collections, News & NEwspapers, Popular Databases, and Video Collections.

Below find information about:

Linking to library resources from a course reading list
Course Reserve for books and other physical items
Tips to share with students about services like E-ZBorrow.

Linking to NYU Libraries Resources

Put links direct links to Libraries' ebooks, articles, videos, etc. into your NYU Classes reading list using one of these options:

Do it through Course Reserves:  Use the Course Reserves system to put in a request. (For Global Academic Centers, see below.)

Do-it-yourself: To enable off-campus access, be sure to route the links through the Libraries' proxy server by adding the "proxy prefix" in front of the URL.  This will prompt off-campus users to log in with their NYU Net ID and password.

Proxy prefix:
http://proxy.library.nyu.edu/login?url=

Example:

Start with original URL:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/305680

Then add proxy prefix:
http://proxy.library.nyu.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/305680

Services for Global Academic Centers Faculty

NYU Libraries provides support for faculty teaching at the Global Academic Centers, including creating links to NYU Libraries licensed articles and ebooks for your NYU Classes page and scanning limited portions of NYU Libraries' material, within Fair Use Guidelines

  • To request links and scans, use this form.
  • If you have questions about reserve requests, contact lib-bobst-reserve@nyu.edu

The turnaround time for linking and scanning services is ~3-5 business days. Links and scans provided by NYU Libraries will be posted on your NYU Classes page.  

Putting Print materials on Course Reserve

You can request that the Libraries' copy of a book or video/media be put on Course Reserve for the semester.  You can also have your personal copy of a book, textbook, or video/media put on Course Reserve. 

Please see our library page on Course Reserves for up-to-date information.

Tips to Share With Your Students

E-ZBorrow

When a student finds that all copies of a reading list book are checked out of the stacks, E-ZBorrow can be a good solution. This service allows users to search the combined catalogs of 50+ research and academic libraries and request books unavailable at NYU.  Delivery takes 3-5 days, borrowing period is 12 weeks.  (E-ZBorrow is not particularly reliable for textbooks.)

Interlibrary Loan

If E-ZBorrow doesn't have the book, students can submit an interlibrary loan (ILL) request.  Articles, dissertations, and other materials unavailable at NYU can also be requested via ILL.  (ILL is not particularly reliable for textbooks.)