Have you ever wondered why an online book to which you used to have access is no longer available? Here are a few scenarios that may be at play:
The publisher changed its business model and titles were removed
This most recently happened in the case of McGraw-Hill when the publisher decided to offer its titles exclusively through its own search platforms (Galter Library licenses AccessMedicine, for example). This meant that third party vendors could no longer offer access to their titles and as a result, the Northwestern University community could no longer have access to McGraw Hill titles such as the PreTest series through ebrary. McGraw-Hill published e-book and textbook titles were also removed from Ovid and will be removed from STAT!Ref sometime in 2012. So far, not all of the titles removed from third party sites are yet available for licensing through McGraw-Hill itself.
The online book publisher or provider's platform or gateway infrastructure has been upgraded or has changed
A programmed re-route should lead you to the new site, but after a time, the re-routing may be turned off and an error message will display. (See problem reporting tips at the end.)
The newest edition is not available online
Most publishers have not yet synchronized the release of new editions in print and online formats. To complicate matters, Galter Library may have some books that are subscribed (newest edition is always the only edition available) or purchased (the library has to purchase each new edition of a title, similarly to what it had to do in the print world). If a new edition of a book has been released, it may not yet be accessible online to our community.
We answered several questions about ebook accessibility in this 2009 Library Notes article.
In all cases, when you encounter a problem with an online book or any other resource to which you expected to have access, please feel free report it by calling the Reference Desk, tel. 312-503-8109 or by writing to the reference team. Please report as much detail as possible (book title, nature of the problem, text of the error message, etc.) Thanks to our alert users, library staff sometimes becomes aware of problems or connection issues not previously known.