Finding and using resources
Supplement your course content with relevant subject matter from the wide range of resources available from the Library
Explore these pages for detailed information.
Advice for RMIT teaching staff
What is an e-textbook?
e-Textbooks in their most basic form are screen-rendered copies of print textbooks, but there are many different models of e-textbooks.
The simplest example of an e-text is a pdf version of a print text, delivering static text and no interactive learning. More complex examples of e-texts include online text enhanced by interactive learning activities and online assessment such as quizzes.
How do e-textbooks differ from e-books?
Library e-books are designed to be “lent” to users. They are made available for a specified period of time, and access to them will be terminated once the loan period has been reached. While some library e-books can be used by an unlimited number of users at the same time, some have license restrictions so that they can only be used one person at a time, or up to three people.
e-Textbooks are usually designed to be sold to, and used by, an individual student. The license attached to an e-textbook usually prohibits on-sale or sharing of the text. Most e-textbook publishers do not make their e-text titles available to libraries for e-lending.
Can I use a library e-book as a text for my course?
The publisher’s license will determine whether you can use a library e-book as a course e-text. e-Books that allow unlimited simultaneous user access can be used as e-texts. Those that limit simultaneous user access cannot be used as course e-texts, unless the Library can negotiate an expanded license at a reasonable cost.
If you are interested in prescribing a library e-book as a course e-text, talk to your Liaison Librarian about whether the license will support this.
How can I discover whether my course text is available as an e-text?
To discover whether a text is available in electronic format, you can:
- Ask your Liaison Librarian
- Talk to the publisher
- Check the VitalSource online store to see e-texts from over 350 academic publishers.
- Look for Open Educational Resources (OERs)
How do I prescribe an e-text for my course?
If you want students to purchase the e-text from the RMIT Campus Store:
The Campus Store can identify whether an electronic version of your preferred text is available, and can negotiate cost and numbers of copies. They can also sell the e-text to your students, who purchase a unique code that enables them to access the e-text. These e-texts are sold and licensed direct to the student, as with a print text. This process does not guarantee that the Library will be able to acquire a lending copy of the e-text, for students who choose not to purchase the e-text.
Talk to staff at the RMIT Campus Store about how to adopt an e-text for your course.
If you want students to purchase the e-text independently:
Some publishers will sell their e-texts direct to students through their website, or will license VitalSource to sell the e-text on their behalf through the VitalSource online store.
If you are teaching at RMIT Vietnam:
Please contact the Vietnam Library staff to discuss your e-textbook options.
The Library has a large collection of e-books covering all the disciplines taught at RMIT University. These e-books come from a variety of publishers on a number of different platforms.
If you are interested in using an e-book as a prescribed or recommended text for your students, you will need to ask the Library for advice about whether this can be done under the licensing provisions. Your Liaison Librarian will be able to put you in touch with the Library experts on e-book licensing. You can find out more from:
The Library offers a wide range of online reference sources, including dictionaries and encyclopedia, that your students can use as a source of definitions, and factual and background information.
We have a growing collection of online videos. You can stream them to your desktop or device, show them in class, or link to them in Blackboard courses for students to watch in their own time.
Lynda.com is a collection of self-paced, in-depth video tutorials covering business, design, computing and web subjects, and software programs. The instructional videos come with exercise files and certificates of completion.
Kanopy offers streaming videos purchased by RMIT and available to RMIT students and staff on- and off-campus and offshore. You can link and embed Kanopy videos in Blackboard courses. You can also ‘clip’ the videos to play only selected sections to your students.
You can find Kanopy videos in LibrarySearch.
RMIT staff can recommend titles for purchase on the Kanopy website.
Alexander Street video collections cover a growing range of topics, including the performing arts, education, psychology and counseling. You can find these videos in LibrarySearch.
EduTV is Informit’s online streaming service, designed for Australian tertiary institutions. It includes over 10,000 programs, such as documentaries, drama and series, from free-to-air and pay TV in Australia. Programs are archived starting from 2006, with new content added weekly.
Informit TVNews includes Australian free-to-air television news and a current affair programs from late 2007. Informit TVNews programs are segmented into section; each section can be streamed or downloaded.
ClickView is a streaming service of educational content and includes all VEA video collection content. You can link and embed videos in online courses, including selected section to play to your students. ClickView also allows you to create interactive videos by adding quizzes and extra slides to videos. Access these collections and get tips on how to use them in your courses from:
Audiovisual Services manage off-air recordings and bookings for classroom use of audio-visual material. You can arrange a recording of off-air programs and book audiovisual material for class screening. Visit:
The Library has several sources that you can use to find licensed images.
The Art Studio Practice Guide contains links to databases, repositories and websites that provide copyright-cleared art images, as well as information on how to reference images and where to get copyright advice. Go to:
Primal Pictures Interactive Anatomy provides over 5,000 3D anatomical structures, clinical slides, dissections, and animations.
The Amirsys Imaging Reference Center combines high-quality images, classical diagnoses, and evidence-based clinical content. There are 72,000 x-ray, CT, MR, and ultrasound illustrations and images, plus over 4,000 evidence based diagnoses.
The Amirsys Pathology Reference Center is a comprehensive, image-rich source of information with nearly 30,000 images, including gross pathology, H&E, IHC stains, correlative images, and colored graphics. Over 2,100 evidence-based diagnoses.
Laboratory Medicine - Pathology Slides is a collection of nearly 200 digitised slides used for teaching in pathology, cytopathology, histopathology and haematology courses. The slide collection is available on the Learning Repository. To view the slides you will need to download the free ImageScope Viewing Software.
RMIT Images collection
The Learning Repository contains collections of RMIT-created and RMIT-licensed images that can be re-used. These include RMIT Images, RMIT Historical Images and the Architecture Slides collection. Explore:
The Copyright Management Service has produced several resources to help you find images and identify whether you can use them for learning and teaching.
The Copyright quick guide on artistic works provides access to open images for use and also contains a quick guide providing information on using images within the University.
The Copyright Service Blackboard Course, available for all staff from the Learning Hub, provides links to sources of copyright-cleared images, as well as copyright advice on how to use them for learning and teaching. Go to:
Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. Examples include full courses, course modules, lectures, games, teaching materials and assignments. They can take the form of text, images, audio, video and may even be interactive.
Teachers, learners and the general public can access and make use of open educational resources, irrespective of their location or affiliation with any particular institution.
Liaison Librarians can help you source OERs in your subject areas, and identify what type of creative commons license applies to them and how they can be re-used.
The Learning Repository contains collections of RMIT-created as well as creative commons-licensed OERs from other institutions that can be used for your teaching. Find out more: