Q. What are the policies for EBSCOHost's e-book collection?


The EBSCOHost e-book collection provides e-books from close to 1,000 publishers.  The policies governing the use of e-books differ from provider to provider.  Here are some frequently asked questions about EBSCOHost e-books, accurate as of March 2012:

What is the loan period?

The borrowing period can be anywhere from 30 minutes to two weeks.  It varies depending on whether or not JHU has “purchased” the e-book, and on the owner’s rights.   Also, some of the books in our EBSCOHost ebook database are books that were purchased as a member of the Maryland Digital Library consortium; each individual owner or consortium administrator sets its own loan policies.  So JHU might set one checkout period and MDL might choose another. 

Can more than one person borrow the same EBSCOHost e-book at the same time? 

The standard limit is one user at a time, but some books allow two simultaneous users. Note:  this applies to previous purchases.  The new pricing as of 2012  allows for 1 user, 3 users and unlimited user pricing in most cases.

Is there a way to return a book before the loan period is over, so that others can use it?

As of March 2012, the answer is no.  EBSCO is hoping to add this functionality, though.

How do I know when a book that is currently checked out is due for return? 

There is currently no way to know.

 Can I put a hold on a book that is currently checked out, or at least be informed when it is checked back in?

 Yes, you can place a request on a book that’s checked out.  When it’s returned, you’ll receive an email.

 Is it possible to view a title online in full text without downloading it even if another borrower has it “checked out”?

You can’t view a title online OR download it if it’s checked out.  You’ll get a message that it’s in use, and you’ll have an option to request a hold.  You’ll get an email alert when it’s available.  EBSCO is about to release something called “EBSCOHost Collection Manager” that will allow us to view ownership information for individual titles.  

Once an ebook has been “bought”, will JHU have perpetual access to the electronic version?

Once a title is purchased by JHU, it is owned in perpetuity, even if EBSCO disappears. 

How do we actually know a book has been “purchased”?

 If a title appears in the EBSCOHost e-book database, it means it has been purchased by either JHU or a member of the Maryland Digital Library consortium.   The EBSCOHost ebook collection includes many titles that have not been purchased by JHU or the Maryland Digital Library.  These do not appear in the EBSCOHost ebook database.

 Is every EBSCO ebook we see in Catalyst a title that has been purchased by JHU?

Any EBSCO (or NetLibrary) e-book in Catalyst has been purchased by JHU.   Titles that are in the EBSCOHost e-book site but not in Catalyst are titles that were purchased by a member of the MDL consortium.  

 Does the EBSCOHost e-book database that JHU users see include some books that JHU has not purchased?  And if so, will users be blocked from downloading or viewing them?  

All of the titles that are visible in the EBSCOHost e-book database were purchased by either JHU or a member of the Maryland Digital Libraries consortium.  All should be viewable by JHU users, regardless of which library made the purchase. 

Is there a list of participating publishers?

Yes, see attached.

What publication years are covered? 

Some titles date back to 1863, but the majority of content is from 1999 to present.  

How often does EBSCOhost add new book titles to its collection?

New titles are added as soon as they’re licensed; there’s no fixed schedule.


  • Last Updated Dec 11, 2018
  • Views 909
  • Answered By Stephen Sears

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