Perusall vs VitalSource Bookshelf

Note: This website is currently in the draft stage and information may change

What's the difference between Persuall and VitalSource Bookshelf?

Perusall is a collaborative eTextbook platform. It requires you to create an online subject, add eTextbooks by searching the catalogue of available titles, then share the course link with students. 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.

VitalSource Bookshelf is a less social or collaborative eTextbook platform. 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 
Search and navigation functionality
Offline access
Accessibility (Read Aloud)
Ability to create references
Ability to rent and purchase
Number of devices to access 2 computers AND 2 mobile devices Unlimited
Require to create an account
Use Textbook extensions (eg. Publisher Question Banks)
Students ownership of eText
Ongoing access (and 1000 days rent)
Ongoing access
24/7 support services TBA
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).