Requesting Resources for Teaching

Online Resources

Requesting Resources for Teaching

DCU Library has an extensive collection of Ebooks, online journals and databases to support and enhance online and blended teaching and learning. Our approach to purchasing is digital-first to maximise timely and equitable access for students.


Reading Lists – Books

We will purchase an eBook where available and affordable. When it is not possible to purchase a particular textbook or monograph in e-format or at a manageable cost, print will be purchased. We encourage you to consider recommending an existing Ebook from our vast collection of Ebooks where a title is unavailable.
Your Subject Librarian can also help you source alternative titles that are available for purchase in Ebook format.
Check Library Search for existing Ebooks. You might also consider using a freely available OER textbook.

To order a book/Ebook use the Online Order Form


Orders should be placed well in advance of the beginning of each semester to ensure timely availability for students.

The simple answer to this is that unfortunately publishers don’t always sell Ebooks to libraries.  Sometimes eBooks are sold on an annual subscription or as part of a wider eBook collection where the cost of these subscriptions can exceed budget availability. Etextbooks are often only available for student purchase and not for sale to libraries.  Libraries can sometimes get older editions of titles in eBook format but not always the most recent edition.

There were many key textbooks requested in recent months where only print copies could be sourced. Some of these texts are available online via third-party contractors offering access to a specific cohort of students on an annual subscription basis. The cost of each title may depend on the
number of students requiring access. So for example, a text book could cost €60 and be required by 150 students in semester one. The annual cost is typically worked out by multiplying the cost by the
number of students so for a €60 title the cost would be €9,000 per year. Even if the class size was smaller, say 20 it would cost €1,200 per year. This type of model is however simply not sustainable or affordable for many libraries at this time.

Publishers always assign licenses to the purchase of eBooks and can offer a variety of models, ranging from single user license to unlimited campus wide access. We always try to source licenses offering unlimited institutional access i.e. with no restriction on the number of students who can access it at the same time. Sometimes however, titles may only be available with a single user or three user licence. That means the maximum number of students who can access it at the same time is one or three. We have (where affordable and at a similar cost to a print copy) purchased a number of copies of eBooks where the licence was too restrictive

Yes, you can track your order(s) via the Library Catalogue. To do this, enter the title in the search box and check its status e.g.  on order/received/available.

Orders can be placed via our online order form for materials such DVDs or educational resources (in the case of staff in DCU Institute of Education).


Reading Lists - Digital Scans for Reading List Chapters/ Journal articles

To support reading list requirements the library has launched a new service where digital scans of key chapters can be sourced for you. This new service allows for scans from owned and non-DCU owned items (both print and eBook chapters, extracts and journal articles also) to be made in compliance with copyright laws.

The library will provide you with a URL to the digital scan and you are permitted to place the link on your module page in Loop.


You can request scanned copies of book chapters or journal articles.

Yes, under copyright legislation you cannot exceed 10% of a book or one chapter (whichever is greater) or one article from a particular journal issue, per module, per academic year.

Some publishers have extended permissions up to 20% due to Covid 19. This extension is in place up to July, 2021.

Should an exception to the above be sought, the Library can approach the publisher to request an exception. 


Second Extract Permissions Service (SEPS) - this service allows for the “purchase” of permission to copy and use an additional amount – a ‘second extract’ – e.g. another chapter from the book or another 10%.

To make a request, complete the relevant online form:

       Digital Scan - Book Chapter Request Form

       Digital Scan - Journal Article Request Form

The request will be forwarded to your Subject Librarian.
You will need to include the following information:

  • Module name and code
  • Number of students taking the module
  • Start and end date of the module
  • Full bibliographic details for the book chapter or journal article

Please submit your request at least one week in advance of it being required.  We will endeavour to fulfil requests as soon as possible but this will be subject to demand.  


New Journal Titles or Databases

Currently, new subscriptions to journals and/or databases may only be purchased where cancellations of equivalent value are made. The Library maintain a list of requests for new subscriptions. This list is reviewed annually and when and if budget permits, purchasing decisions are made on a priority basis. Schools can consider funding a subscription which will be administered by the library. Contact your Subject Librarian with suggestions or to discuss. In the case of databases, it may be possible to request a trial for a short period for evaluation purposes.