Perusall vs VitalSource Bookshelf

What's the difference between Persuall and VitalSource Bookshelf?

Perusall is a collaborative eTextbook platform.  It requires you to create an online course, add eTextbooks by searching their catalogue of available titles, then share the course link with students. Popular Perusall features include the ability to annotate your online readings and share these notes collaboratively. Subject coordinators can also upload their own copyright compliant or creative licensed readings to their Perusall subject so students have access to a suite of materials. Perusall also has extensive interactive reading and assessment features.

VitalSource Bookshelf is another social or collaborative eTextbook platform. Lecturers and students can annotate and share their readings with their peers. VitalSource also provides 24/7 support and analytics to assess student's academic progress.To provide students access to their eTextbooks, subject coordinators can search the Unimelb VitalSource storefront for the eTextbook and then log a job via ServiceNow to have the link to the eTextbook created for their Canvas subject.

This table may help you decide which platform is best for your students and subject.

Features VitalSource BookshelfPerusall
Study tools (eg. Annotating, highlighting, bookmarks, notes)
Collaboration features (team annotating. and commenting, discussion threads)
Downloading and printing Publisher dependent  Publisher dependent
Search and navigation functionality
Offline access
Accessibility (Read Aloud)
Ability to create references
Ability to rent and purchase
Publisher depend
Number of devices to access 2 computers AND 2 mobile devices Unlimited
Require to create an account
Use Textbook extensions (eg. Publisher Question Banks)
Publisher dependent
Students ownership of eText
Ongoing access (depends if purchased or rented)
Ongoing access (depends if purchased or rented)
24/7 support services
Assessment features
Analytics to assess student progress
Integration and compatibility with the Canvas LMS

Note: If you intend your students to use the  Perusall functionality in your teaching practice, it is advised that students purchase through Perusall rather than other channels (eg. publisher websites).