Library Services


E-books on demand@UCL

E-books on demand@UCL is a series of projects involving users in the acquisition of e-books by UCL Library Services.


How does it work?

UCL students and staff can read and download 1000s of extra e-books across a wide range of subjects. UCL Library Services will buy those used most often and add them to our existing collection of over 400,000 e-books.

UCL Library Services has been trialling two different methods of acquisition, Evidence Based Acquisition (EBA) and Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA). With EBA, UCL has access to content for a set period, usually 12 months, and at the end of that period we will use the usage data collected to select and buy the most popular titles. With PDA, we pay a lump sum upfront and it gets spent as and when users read the e-books until all the money has gone.

Which projects are currently running?


Until 30th April 2020, UCL has access to over 17,000 additional e-books in the humanities, social sciences and law.

Cambridge University Press

Since 1st September 2015, UCL has had access to more than 20,000 additional e-books through Cambridge Core. This EBA project was initially funded for one year but the e-books have been so popular that it has been extended several times and is currently running until 31st August 2020.

De Gruyter

UCL currently has access to over 29,000 additional e-books published by De Gruyter, its imprint Birkhäuser and its partner publishers DETAIL, Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) Publishing, Multilingual Matters, Otto Schmidt Verlag, RWS Verlag, Transcript and Verlag Dr. Otto Schmidt. This EBA project runs until 30th September 2020.


UCL currently has access to over 23,000 extra e-books. This is in addition to the e-books that publishers are making freely available via JSTOR until the end of June. This is a PDA project so ends when all the money has been spent.

Wiley Online Library

Since November 2014, has had access to over 17,000 e-books available through Wiley Online Library. This EBA project was initially funded for one year but the e-books have been so popular that it has been extended several times and is currently running until 30th November 2020.

How do I find these additional e-books?

Like existing UCL e-books, these additional e-books can be found using Explore.

Can I add e-books included in the pilot projects to my ReadingLists @UCL online reading list / recommend them to students?

Please do add these e-books to ReadingLists @ UCL and encourage your students to look for the e-books through Explore. When a project ends, we will inform you and your librarian of any titles you have added to ReadingLists @ UCL that have not been purchased. Please visit ReadingLists @ UCL for teaching staff for help and information on setting up your online reading list.

What were the outcomes of previous e-books on demand @UCL projects?


We ran a PDA project with EBL from November to December 2014 giving access to extra e-books in geography, economics and the social sciences. During the project there were 1308 24-hour e-book rentals and 73 e-books were purchased. 847 individual users had at least one 24-hour e-book rental. Users were asked to indicate their association with UCL:

AssociationNumber of users
Undergraduate student362
Taught postgraduate student342
Research postgraduate student82
Academic staff26
Teaching staff10
Research staff9
Honorary staff5
Administration / managerial support3

The 20 most-used titles during the project were:

  • The dictionary of human geography
  • Writing worlds : discourse, text and metaphor in the representation of landscape edited by Trevor J. Barnes and James S. Duncan
  • The entropy of capitalism by Robert Biel
  • Place/culture/representation edited by James Duncan and David Ley
  • Sustainable London? : the future of a global city edited by Rob Imrie and Loretta Lees
  • Hydrogeology : principles and practice (2nd edition) by K. M. Hiscock and V. F Bense
  • Nature unbound : conservation, capitalism and the future of protected areas by Dan Brockington, Rosaleen Duffy and Jim Igoe
  • The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism by Max Weber ; new introduction and translation by Stephen Kalberg
  • The planning polity : planning, government, and the policy process by Mark Tewdwr-Jones
  • Accounting for violence : marketing memory in Latin America edited by Ksenija Bilbija and Leigh A. Payne
  • The urban revolution by Henri Lefebvre ; translated by Robert Bononno
  • Demonizing the other : antisemitism, racism, and xenophobia edited by Robert S. Wistrich
  • Urban outcasts : a comparative sociology of advanced marginality by Loïc Wacquant
  • Does foreign aid really work? by Roger C. Riddell
  • The body in parts : fantasies of corporeality in early modern Europe edited by David Hillman and Carla Mazzio
  • Cultural geography in practice edited by Alison Blunt
  • Edge of empire : postcolonialism and the city by Jane M. Jacobs
  • Territory, identity and spatial planning : spatial governance in a fragmented nation edited by Mark Tewdwr-Jones and Philip Allmendinger
  • Questioning geography : fundamental debates edited by Noel Castree, Alisdair Rogers, and Douglas Sherman
  • Dirt : new geographies of cleanliness and contamination edited by Ben Campkin and Rosie Cox

4 projects were run:

  • Project 1 - November to December 2014;
  • Project 2 - May to July 2015;
  • Project 3 - January to March 2016;
  • Project 4 - October 2016 to April 2017;
  • Project 5 - February 2018 to February 2019;

Project 1

We ran our first PDA project with JSTOR from November to December 2014. 332 e-books were purchased during the project.

The 20 most-used titles during the project were:

  • Stalinism revisited : the establishment of communist regimes in East-Central Europe edited by Vladimir Tismaneanu
  • A little history of the world by Ernst Gombrich
  • Engraving the savage : the New World and techniques of civilization by Michael Gaudio
  • Franz Kafka : the poet of shame and guilt by Saul Friedländer
  • Cooperation and collective action : archaeological perspectives edited by David M. Carballo
  • Syria : the fall of the house of Assad by David W. Lesch
  • A critical history of early Rome : from prehistory to the first Punic War by Gary Forsythe
  • A prehistory of South America : ancient cultural diversity on the least known continent by Jerry D. Moore
  • Cores, peripheries, and globalization : essays in honor of Ivan T. Berend edited by Peter Hanns Reill and Balázs A. Szelényi
  • Chechnya : from nationalism to jihad by James Hughes
  • The dinosauria (2nd edition) edited by David B. Weishampel, Peter Dodson, Halszka Osmólska
  • Adorno and the need in thinking : new critical essays edited by Donald Burke
  • Concrete : the vision of a new architecture (2nd edition) by Peter Collins
  • The scripture on great peace : the Taiping jing and the beginnings of Daoism translated by Barbara Hendrischke
  • Beyond the persecuting society : religious toleration before the Enlightenment edited by John Christian Laursen and Cary J. Nederman
  • Neoliberalism and commodity production in Mexico by Thomas Weaver
  • What art is by Arthur C. Danto
  • The making of modern liberalism by Alan Ryan
  • The civil wars after 1660 : public remembering in late Stuart England by Matthew Neufeld
  • Painting with words, writing with pictures : word and image in the work of Italo Calvino by Franco Ricci

Project 2

We ran a second PDA project with JSTOR from the start of May to the start of July 2015. Over 500 titles were purchased.

The 21 most-used titles during the project were:

  • Discourses of collectivie identity in Central and Southeast Europe 1770-1945. Vol. 2, National romanticism : the formation of national movements / Diana Mishkova, Marius Turda and Balazs Trencsenyi and Michal Kopecek
  • Intermediate Public Economics / Jean Hindriks and Gareth D. Myles
  • Vietnam / Bill Hayton
  • Discourses of collectivie identity in Central and Southeast Europe 1770-1945, Vol. 4, Anti-modernism: radical revisions of collective identity / Diana Mishkova, Marius Turda and Balazs Trencsenyi
  • Isaac Newton on mathematical certainty and method / Niccolò Guicciardini
  • The new science of cities / Michael Batty
  • Keywords for children's literature / Philip Nel and Lissa Paul
  • The gardens of the British working class / Margaret Willes
  • Capital in the twenty-first century / Thomas Piketty
  • Understanding English grammar : a course book for Chinese learners of English
  • Building new democracies : economic and social reform in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico / Michel Duquette
  • Through the eye of a needle : wealth, the fall of Rome, and the making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD / Peter Brown
  • The Jean Baudrillard reader / Steve Redhead
  • Urban nightmares : the media, the right, and the moral panic over the city / Steve Macek
  • A Confucian constitutionaol rder : how China's ancient past can shape its political future / Jiang Qing
  • Natural security : a Darwinian approach to a dangerous world / Raphael Sagarin and Terrence Taylor
  • The classical liberal constitution / Richard A. Epstein
  • Abortion law in transnational perspective : cases and controversies / Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens
  • Central works of philosophy. Volume 5, The twentieth century: Quine and after / John Shand
  • Reading autobiography : a guide for interpreting life narratives (2nd edition) / Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson
  • A history of Jewish-Muslim relations : from the origins to the present Day

Project 3

We ran a third PDA project with JSTOR from the start of January to the middle of March 2016. Over 1350 titles were purchased.

The 20 most-used titles during the project were:

  • Czechoslovakia : the state that failed / Mary Heimann
  • The colonial harem / Malek Alloula
  • Democracy's blameless leaders from Dresden to Abu Ghraib, how leaders evade accountability for abuse, atrocity, and killing / Neil James Mitchell
  • The market for virtue : the potential and limits of corporate social responsibility / David Vogel
  • Nights out : life in cosmopolitan London / Judith Walkowitz
  • The nonprofit sector : a research handbook (2nd edition) / Walter W. Powell, Richard Steinberg
  • The stripping of the altars : traditional religion in England, 1400-1580 (2nd edition) / Eamon Duffy
  • Temple University Aegean symposium : a compendium / Philip P. Betancourt
  • Neoliberalism : a critical reader / Alfredo Saad-Filho
  • Letters 1-81 / Saint Cyprian, translated by Sister Rose Bernard Donna
  • Imperial gamble : Putin, Ukraine, and the new Cold War / Marvin Kalb
  • Celluloid comrades : representations of male homosexuality in contemporary Chinese cinemas / Song Hwee Lim
  • The literature of Ancient Egypt : an anthology of stories, instructions, and poetry / William Kelly Simpson
  • Religion, secularism, and constitutional democracy / Jean L. Cohen, Cécile Laborde
  • Status in classical Athens / Deborah Kamen
  • Jean Rhys : twenty-first-century approaches / Erica L. Johnson, Patricia Moran
  • The epistle on legal theory : a translation of Al-Shafii's Risalah / Muḥammad ibn Idrīs al-Shāfiʿī, translated by Joseph E. Lowry
  • The politics of the right : socialist register 2016 / Greg Albo
  • Classical Arabic literature : a library of Arabic literature anthology / Geert Jan van Gelder
  • Archaeology at La Isabela : America's first European town / Kathleen Deagan

Project 4

We ran a fourth PDA project with JSTOR from October 2016 to April 2017 and nearly 4000 titles were purchased.

The 20 most-used titles during the project were:

Project 5

We ran a fifth PDA project with JSTOR from February 2018 to February 2019 and more than 6700 titles were purchased.

Taylor and Francis

UCL IOE Library purchased 161 e-books as a result of the evidence-based acquisition project which ran from 1st November 2014 until 31st October 2015.  From 1st February 2017  to 31st January 2018 UCL has access to an additional 3100 titles via an EBA project with Taylor and Francis and nearly 350 titles were purchased as a result.

ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers)

UCL had access to the complete ICE e-book collection from 1st November 2016 until 31st October 2017 under an EBA project. During this EBA there were over 9,500 chapter views. Reviewing the usage alongside a list of impending new editions, we purchased a selection of individuals titles as well as the annual collections for 2017 and 2018.