Course Materials: FAQs
What do you mean by Single Sign-On (SSO)/"My Personalized Course Materials"?
Can I come in and browse Course Materials in-person?
What if I don't know the author's last name?
We've made it super easy! Use the Single-Sign On feature described above. Your customized list will show each course you've registered for as well as the Author's last name for each course material that your prof/dept requested, including up to date pricing.
Do you have physical books for all my courses? Can I check if you have a physical book in stock?
As we slowly resume regular operations, we will bring in more and more physical titles, as applicable. If digital options (VitalSource or CEI) are available, we will bring in physical copies in limited quantities. Use the Single Sign-On feature described above, and it will tell you if there are physical copies in stock, including up to date pricing.
What is the price of my textbook/eBook?
Use the Single Sign-On feature described above to view your customized list of Course Materials, as well as the most up to date pricing.
I came in at the beginning of the term and you had my textbook. A few weeks later when I came by again, you don't have it anymore. Why?
Always shop early to avoid disappointment, as we might be sold out. Also, many required course materials are already available up to two weeks before classes start.
As the term progresses, we cannot hold on to textbooks forever.
All required course materials are available to be purchased up to the end of the 6th-7th week of classes.
Unsold/over-ordered course materials (that are not re-used for the upcoming term) are returned to the publishers starting in the 7th-8th week of classes.
I'm trying to find my Course Materials, but why does it default to the Burnaby Campus?
How do I buy Digital Textbooks/eBooks?
1. Go to https://shop.sfu.ca
2. Choose Burnaby Campus, then the Term, and Course(s) and click "Go"
3. Select your ebook(s) and add to cart.
4. Go to cart and check out
5. Create your user account with your SFU email address (recommended)
6. Check your SFU email to get your access code to download your ebooks! (make sure you use the same email address)
What are My Options? Why does it only show the digital version only?
In the event that a textbook or novel does not have a digital equivalent, physical copies will be ordered in limited quantities.
Please Note that all eBooks and digital course materials provided by the Bookstore are final sale, no refunds. Prices & availability for course materials are subject to change without notice.
What is VitalSource?
In line with SFU's core principle of sustainability, this program helps us to curtail our carbon footprint through reduced manufacturing and shipping demands while mitigating waste for a greener future.
You can redeem your VitalSource access code by creating a Bookshelf account at https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/ Click on "Create a VitalSource account". Click here to watch a quick video on access vitalsource books and benefits of using Bookshelf. Please contac VitalSource technical support 24/7 at https://get.vitalsource.com/contact-us Or you can use LiveChat to get assistance. You can also check VitalSource's frequently asked questions first - https://www.vitalsource.com/en-ca/faqs.
Note that If your course list displays a VitalSource eBook, we will generally not be ordering physical copies, or there will be limited physical copies in addition to the eBook
What are the benefits for students using VitalSource eBooks?
What is an Ebook?
VitalSource provides its own platform called Bookshelf where students can have access to their eBooks by logging into their account online. They may also download the Bookshelf app onto up to 4 devices (2 laptops and 2 tablet/mobile phones). This allows students access to their eBooks offline as well. Students will also have the choice to rent an eBook if they do not wish to have lifetime access.
Campus eBookstore (CEI)
Campus eBookstore (CEI) uses BibliU as your eReader. BibliU is a learning enablement platform that leverages digital content management, automation, and analytics to enable more efficient and effective learning. With BibliU, you can provide students with access to 2 million+ learning assets from thousands of publishers, including OER sources. BibliU provides a seamless content access experience for students through SAML integration. An account is automatically created for each student upon book purchase - no need for a code. Accessibility
features such as text-to-speech, speed reader options, screen colour adjustments, and zoom capabilities allow students to study in a way that best suits their individual learning needs. Our accessibility standards meet and exceed EU standards. Students and academics benefit from features such as deep-linking, note synchronisation across all devices, annotation, highlighting, referencing, sophisticated search functionality, offline downloads, and the ability to search notes.
More about BibliU eReader
Encoding of text
All books are stored on AWS S3 in an encoded format where text is scrambled and unreadable due to the random insertion of additional words and characters. This additional injected content is indistinguishable from the real content, and requires a unique key as well as our decryption logic to hide it correctly.
Secure storage of offline titles
Titles downloaded for offline use can only be read from within the app. All files stored on the user's device are encoded with our DRM protection as explained above and are additionally encrypted with AES-256.
Students are allowed to copy/paste text out of a book up to a publisher-set allowance.
Students are allowed to print pages out of a book up to a publisher-set allowance.
Concurrent device limits
Students can read from a single internet-connected device at a time.
Limit on offline devices
Students can download titles for reading through the app while offline on up to 2 individual devices.
What is Campus eBookstore (CEI)?
Please makes sure you use the same email address when creating your CEI account and redeeming your eBook/access code
If your course list displays a Campus eBookstore eBook, we will generally not be ordering physical copies, or there will be limited physical copies in addition to the eBook
How do I access my eBook and/or redeem a code on the CEI platform?
Here are the YouTube videos on accessing eBooks and redeeming an access code on the CEI Platform.
What does "Ebook (Life)" mean? Do I get to keep the Ebook forever?
The publisher has granted access to this ISBN for the lifetime of the book's edition. Once a new edition comes out, it may become inaccessible, as per the publisher's Digital Right's Management (DRM). The publisher decides what to offer as a Lifetime subscription and then decide whether to upload them to CEI and VitalSource.
For example, a VitalSource Lifetime subscription means, "Once your online access has ended the perpetual download license enables you to continuously access the eTextbook offline through our free Bookshelf application even after the online license expires."
The other typical subscription durations are 180 days or 365 days. We data enter the subscription length directly into the beginning of the title of the Ebook for full transparency.
What is an Access Code?
What is a Course Pack (CP)/Electronic Course Pack (ECP)?
I don't see any books listed for my class, what does this mean?
Alternatively, there may not be any course materials arranged through the Bookstore. Please consult your instructor, check your course outline or Canvas for assigned course materials.
What is your Refund Policy for Course Materials?
Can I sell my textbooks back to you? When is your next Buyback?
Also, we are not taking book donations at this time. Please inquire with your local libraries for donation information.
How long do I have to purchase my books?
All required course materials for your term are available to be purchased up to the end of the 6th-7th week of classes
Unsold/over-ordered course materials (that are not re-used for the upcoming term) are returned to the publishers starting in the 7th-8th week of classes
When can I buy Course Materials for the next term?
If classes start in January, you can begin purchasing course materials starting mid December
If classes start in May, you can begin purchasing course materials starting mid April
If classes start in September, you can begin purchasing course materials starting mid August
Whenever you are ready to purchase, please click here.
What do these abbreviations & terminology used in course materials mean?
Note: access codes are final sale.
BV = Binder Version. These packages are loose leaf versions of the textbook that are three hole punched and ready to go in a binder. Compared to the bound textbook, binder versions offer a cost savings of 20-40%.
Note: binder versions cannot be sold at buyback.
CP = Course Pack. Selected readings are chosen by your instructor and packaged in a course pack that is produced on campus.
Note: All course packs are final sale.
ECP = Electronic Course Pack. Same as a CP (above), but available electronically.
CSTM = Custom book. These books are created specifically for your course at SFU by the instructor and ordered from the publisher.
EBOOK = eTextbook or eText. An eBook is a digital copy of the textbook and often packaged with publisher's online homework. We sell access codes for subscriptions to eBooks usually allowing access for 180 days. EBOOK (LIFE) means you have access for the life of the edition.
PKG = Package. These are textbooks that are shrink wrap packaged with additional content, such as solutions manuals or access codes.
Prepay = This title requires prepayment. Once you place the order, it will take 12 to 15 business days for you to receive the book and it will be final sale, non-refundable, and non-cancellable.
Required = Your instructor has indicated this course material is necessary for the successful completion of the course.
Choice = The course material is required, but you may select one of multiple options of the course material. All materials listed as Choice are the same edition, just different formats to match your preference and budget.
Recommended = Your instructor has indiated this material is not required for the course, but can be useful for self study or additional practice. Recommended titles are available in limited quantities.
ACCESS VIA SFU LIBR = This title is in electronic format (ie. eBook) that can be fully accessed for free by students online via the SFU Library website. Type in the ISBN of the book in the SFU Library website search bar and navigate to the eBook. The Bookstore will carry limited quantities, as the materials are available completely free via SFU Library license(s).
NBR = No Book Required. The Faculty/Department did not request any course materials through the Bookstore. This does not necessarily mean you don't have any materials for your course. Your course materials may be on Canvas, on reserve in the Library, Power Point presentations, Journal articles, in class handouts, etc. Please check your course outline for further details.