Textbook Purchasing Guidelines

The Library provides access to required textbooks for periodic reference, in electronic format where possible.

However, students are expected to purchase their own copies of textbooks.

The Library defines a textbook as:
Prescribed core reading material for a course, as designated by a teaching academic and integrated into course curriculum or referred to regularly throughout a course.

  • Textbook purchasing principles

    The Library commits to providing textbook access to students in accordance with the Collection Policy and Collections Strategy, and in alignment with the following principles:

    1. E-preferred:
      • We will usually purchase a 3-user licence as minimum (regardless of the number of students in a course).
      • If there is minimal cost difference between a 3-user licence and an unlimited licence, an unlimited copy may be purchased dependent on budget availability.
      • Usage will be monitored and if 'turnaways' are high additional copies will be considered for purchase (a 'turnaway' is defined as a student being unable to use a resource due to there already being 3 users accessing the resource at the time). This decision will be made by the Acquisitions Coordinator.
      • If an unlimited licence is not available, the maximum number of licences purchased will be 3 x 3-user licences (except in extenuating circumstances).
      • Textbooks with the most flexible access will be purchased, preferencing Digital Rights Management (DRM) free resources where possible.
    • Print resources:
      • Will only be purchased if no electronic version is available.
      • The number of print copies purchased will be determined using the 1:100 ratio (one copy per 100 students for the course/s requiring the students to have access to the textbook), and
      • Number of copies purchased will be capped at a maximum of 3.
  • Initiatives to improve student access to resources

    The Library is a member of the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) Open Educational Resources (OER) Collective.

    Being a CAUL Collective Member institution brings opportunities to:

    • facilitate open publishing by authors at participating institutions using the Pressbooks platform, and
    • build community and capacity across CAUL Member institutions to support open textbook publishing.

    See our How do I guide for Finding Open Educational Resources for more information, including examples of OER materials already available.