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Turku University Library

E-books - a guide for teachers

Update your teaching material links!

All links starting with stopped working by 2020. In order to update your electronic teaching material, find the correct link information from the current Volter, by the icon PERMALINK. Find the book or article you need, and click the link Available online. New window opens, and at the right hand side you'll find the icon PERMALINK. Use this link at your material. It is recommended to always check that your links work also remotely from outside the university network.

At the turn of the year, the library introduced a new library system, and due to this all links starting with are no longer functional. Only the database's name Volter remains the same. Unfortunately it was not possible to update all links automatically, but it has to be done manually. Library apologizes for any inconvenience caused by this extra work.


How to find suitable e-books?

Browse the library collections in the Volter database

The Volter database contains all e-books and printed books acquired by Turku University Library

  • If you have a specific book in mind, you can check if we already have access to it by entering the title into the search box.
  • You can also carry out a search by using relevant keywords and limit the search to electronic resources. This will give you a good idea of the resources already provided  by the library.

At the moment, e-resources are not indexed by the library. Therefore, when carrying out a search you should use search terms in the same language(s) as  the resources you are hoping to find.

The book you want is not in Volter?

If you can't find the book you are looking for in the Volter database, you can send an acquisition request or a coursebook acquisition request to the library.

How many simultaneous users?

Don't worry! If you are uncertain about whether a book is suitable for use as course book (e.g. whether it permits multiple concurrent users), the library staff will sort it out based on the information you've provided in the coursebook acquisition request. If it isn't possible to acquire what you have asked for, we will contact you and discuss your options.

Browsing books by subject

If you are looking for new resources for your course, you can browse books by subject on most e-book providers' platforms. Check the relevant faculty tabs in this guide for more information about e-book providers in your field of research and teaching.



Turku University Library has negotiated special rights for the members of the University of Turku to preview e-books from two service providers offering suitable course book material (multiple concurrent users permitted and/or books may be used offline):

On these two platforms you can preview books for 5 minutes even if the library has not yet purchased the books.


Some other service providers offer preview as well

Many large publishers such as Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Taylor&Francis, Springer and Elsevier have their own e-book platforms. It is often possible to see both books you already have access to (i.e., already acquired by the library) and books not yet available for Turku University Library's customers. Oftentimes parts of those books not yet available may nevertheless be previewed.

  • Not all books are available as e-books!
  • Not all e-books are available for library use; many e-textbooks in English are only sold to individual users, not libraries.
  • Sometimes a publisher (e.g. Springer) only sells e-books as part of larger book packages – the price of such packages can be unaffordable to the Library.
  • All e-books do not permit multiple concurrent users.

But do not despair! You don't need to know the answers to all these questions, the library will find them out for you based on the information provided in your coursebook acquisition request. If we cannot fulfill your wishes, we will contact you and discuss your options.

How to get your students an e-book?

An e-book at its best:

  • No queuing
  • No  need to return the book
  • No need to worry about due dates and fees
  • Could make a difference in studying and graduating faster

Improves finding information in the book:

  • Enables searching the book contents by using search words
  • The reader software enables reading offline, making virtual notes and underlines

Enables studying anytime and anywhere:

  • No more high book piles
  • No need for extra space
  • E-books can be taken everywhere in a laptop/tablet

Students want more e-books (according to, e.g., Turku University Library's customer satisfaction survey LibQual).

As soon as you have found a suitable course book, make a coursebook acquisition request.

Although there is a question about publication format in the request form, you don't need to know whether the book is available in e-format or print or available to organisations – the Library will find it out for you.

If you have already found suitable electronic course material in DawsonEra or Ebook Central, you can send an acquisition request by clicking ”Suggest for purchase” (Dawson) or ”Request loan” (Ebook Central), and your proposal will be sent to the library.

  • Allow time for the acquisition. Access to an e-book can often be provided quickly – even on the same day, if the library already has an agreement with the publisher or provider. With a new publisher, however, it might take some time to negotiate the license and set up the service.
  • We try to acquire e-books for unlimited usage. However, sometimes the access is allowed only for 1 to 3 simultaneous users. This may be enough for intermediate or advanced studies or if the book is optional.
  • Printing and copying regulations for e-books vary between different providers. For more information: E-books guide

How to use an e-book as a course book?

As a rule, you can use e-books within the University network without separate identification. Remote access is also possible for all students and faculty/staff members at the university by using the UTU user ID and password.

You can read all e-books online. A majority of the books can also be downloaded onto your computer for a certain length of time. The loan period varies from 1 day to 14 days and closes automatically. Most of the e-books can be read on both Android and iPad.

Certain e-book providers require special reading software. You can find more information about this and about using mobile devices in the Software needed -tab.

Reading e-books online does not normally require any special software. However, Ebook Central and Dawson Era require you to install Adobe Digital Edition in order to read e-books online. You can create a user id and password at Adobe's website, free of charge. If you would like to use Thieme E-book Library,the iPublish Central software is needed. Please note that all books cannot be downloaded offline.

Printing and copying depend on the book at hand. Often the vendor provides information on these question, or at the presentation of the book.

Even if you are reading online, it might be a good idea to create a free account to the service provider's platform.  After creating an account and signing in, most service providers will let you

  • make virtual notes on the pages or on the whole book
  • make digital bookmarks and virtual underlines
  • save books into your own digital bookshelf or library

Firstly, find out the service provider by searching for the book.Find the book you need, click its title, and new window opens. Under "Full text availability" you'll see the service provider - in this case Springer. Then search through the guide Terms of use for e-resources to see weather the provider allows actions such as linking the book into Moodle.

If linking is allowed, you can do as follows:

1. Search the book in the Volter database and click its title. On the next screen on the right hand side there is icon PERMALINK. Click it and copy the link from the box that opens below:


2. Paste the link you just copied on your learning material.

Please note: it is essential that you use this particular link and not, for example, the link at the  browser address bar. Using the correct link will make remote access possible.It will also ensure that you link only to the material the university has acquired.

Send all course requirements to the library

  • Most of the electronic books are acquired as large e-book packages. However, the contents of such packages may change even after purchasing. Therefore, it is very important to inform the library of all the required readings of the course in question, including the readings based on material already found in the library. By doing this, the library can acquire permanent access to the material. Send requirements to  information specialist of your discipline.


  • Please let the library know about the materials no longer included in course requirements: an up to date course book collection serves both the students and the teachers better.