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SMU Libraries

eTextbooks And Open Resources

This guide provides information on Textbooks open to the SMU Community and details pertaining to their access.

About Vitalsource eTextbooks @ SMU

  • The library currently has a subscription to more than 200 titles from 6 publishers: 
    • Cambridge 
    • Cengage 
    • McGraw-Hill 
    • Pearson 
    • Sage 
    • Wiley 
  • Loan Period: 2 hours  [loan will auto expire after this duration]
  • Limited concurrent accesses 
  • Read online in browser 
  • Read offline with desktop/mobile app, "VitalSource Bookshelf"


Reading Online

To browse the library's collection of Vitalsource eTextbooks from various publishers, click here: Vitalsource Collection 

Alternatively, you can click on this link: VitalSource ETextbooks  to search for specific titles subscribed by the library.

After clicking in to VitalSource, input "Enter email" or "Skip this step". 













On the homepage, you will see Recommendations, Trends,  and Top Picks. You can browse the titles or do a search using the search box. 

At the title, click on the "i" icon to view more information. 

If the book is available, click on "Borrow" to access it. If it shows as "Not Available", the book might be in use by another user, you may want to try again 2 hours later. 

After "Borrowing", click on "Open Book" to read the ebook. 

Should you wish to return the book before the 2-hour loan duration is up, go to the "Library Tab" and click on the "Return" option displayed next to the title. 

Menu and Toolbars

You can click on the arrow on the bottom right to access the meu bar for various features: 

Printing pages 

Notes and Highlights



More information on what the icons mean: 


Printing provisions are governed by publishers. Some of the books on this platform allow for a 2-page printing at any one time. However, the limit varies from book to book and some publishers or some titles may not have a printing option. 

More information about Printing : 

Can I print from my eTextbook? 


Mobile App

You may access VitalSource eTextbooks from your mobile devices by installing the VitalSource Bookshelf app. 

Download the app here: 

VitalSource Bookshelf 

Sign in with your VitalSource Bookshelf account. 

If you do not have an account yet, click on the following link to create an account: 

VitalSource ETextbooks 

For more information on installing the app, please refer to this: 

Installing VitalSource Bookshelf


The use of electronic resources must comply with the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources Policy and Singapore Management University Acceptable Use Policy