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This research guide is intended to help you understand the various e-book platforms available at Florida State University.

E-book Terms and Definitions

Digital Rights Management (DRM): Digital rights management (DRM), also called digital restriction management and copyright protection, is the term used to describe any technology designed to control the use of digital content, such as digital media and software. E-Books with DRM have limits on who can access them, how much can be copied or downloaded, and how long downloads can be kept. DRM-free e-books have no such limits; see the definition of DRM-free below. For more information, read the digital rights management research starter.

E-book Reader: A portable computer device designed specifically to read e-books. Short for “electronic book reader,” the most common e-readers in the US are the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.

E-book: A book formatted as a digital file. Short for “electronic book.”

Reflowable: An e-book which changes its formatting to match the device being used to read it. Reflowable e-books feature pages that are the exact same size as the screen, and the amount of content featured on each page changes with the size of the page. Most reflowable formats also allow users to change the font size, line spacing, and margin size. Since the number of pages in a reflowable e-book will change depending on the screen size and text settings, pagination is inconsistent.

Access and Linking Terms and Definitions

Authentication: An online security system designed to ensure only authorized users can access protected information.

Internet Protocol (IP) Address: A unique address given to each computer required for internet use.

Internet Protocol (IP) Authentication: An authentication method based upon comparing the IP address of a computer trying to access a resource with a range of IP addresses; if the IP address falls within the specified range, access is permitted. Many e-book platforms use IP authentication; for these platforms, FSU has provided an IP range that includes all computers connected through the internet through FSU.

Permalink: A permanent connection to a specific web page, permalinks can appear either as permanent links or as stable URLs which will always pull up the same page when entered into a browser’s address bar. Many e-book platforms have permalinks for their titles which can be copied; the FSU proxy URL must be added to all platform-provided permalinks before being used in course sites and LibGuides.

Proxy Server: A computer that mediates between two networks by collecting the data sent from the first network and sending it to the second network, which is often the internet. Since all requests sent by a proxy have the same IP address, a proxy server is used to provide access to resources using IP authentication from computers with IPs not in the provided range. Off-campus access to FSU resources using IP authentication is available through a proxy server accessed using a proxy URL.

Proxy URL: A web address to access a proxy server. IP authentication for members of the FSU community not on campus requires FSU’s proxy URL; all e-book links, including those in course sites and LibGuides, must include the proxy address directly before the title's permalink URL.

Acquisitions Terms and Definitions

Demand Driven Acquisition (DDA): Titles loaned to FSU are automatically purchased after a certain number of uses. Since the title is on loan until usage triggers a purchase, it may be removed from the FSU collection without notice if the vendor loses licensing rights. Some providers call this model patron driven acquisition (PDA).

Evidence Based Acquisition (EBA): Access to a complete e-book collection is provided by a vendor for a specified period of time. At the end of the loan period, we purchase titles based on usage during the loan period. EBA plans can be set to renew automatically, allowing for continued access to unpurchased titles remaining in the EBA collection, but titles can removed from the EBA collection at the end of a loan period; such titles may be removed from FSU’s collection without notice. When an EBA program ends, any titles not purchased at the end of the final loan period are removed from FSU's collection.

Open Access (OA): Open access resources are available to users for free. While some publishers have made commitments to keep certain e-books or journals as open access resources, most providers have a small and/or frequently changing number of open access resources. Most providers indicate their open access resources with an image of an open lock; the most common one is this stylized orange logo. The Academic Publishing LibGuide has more information on open access in general and at FSU.

Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA): See Demand Driven Acquisition (DDA)

User Access Model Types and Definitions

Concurrent: In Gobi, Concurrent Access is used to indicate a title with the non-linear usage model. In EBSCO, Concurrent User is the field heading for the user access model. Look at the note after this field for specific title usage.

DRM-Free: These titles have no digital rights management (DRM) software. DRM-free titles have no user access, download size, download length, saving, printing, or copying limitations.

Limited User: A set number of users can access the title at a time. The most common limited user models are Single User (1U) and Three User (3U). Any users attempting to access the title after the limit has been reached will receive a message indicating that the user limit has been reached.

Non-Linear Usage (NL): The title has a set number of lending days per year. This model has no limits on the number of simultaneous users; the limit is on the total amount of time the title can be used by all FSU patrons. For example, a single user downloading the title for seven days and seven users reading it simultaneously will both count as seven lending days. These titles can have between 200 and 400 lending days a year, with 325 days being the most common. Some vendors, such as Gobi, call this model concurrent access.

Unlimited User (UU): Unlimited usage e-books have no limits on the number of uses or simultaneous users. While DRM-free titles are inherently unlimited user, not all unlimited user titles are DRM-free and may have copy and download restrictions. Some providers call this unlimited access (UA).

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