Inclusive Access

Inclusive Access

What is inclusive access?

Inclusive access is a distribution method for digital course materials coordinated in partnership between publishers, university bookstores, and instructors in which all the students registered for a class are automatically provided access to the assigned book or interactive material through their university’s learning management system (LMS) at the beginning of the academic term.

The cost of the course material is included in students’ tuition charges, and students may choose to opt out of the program during their regular add/drop period. Cognella partners with third-party providers, including VitalSource and RedShelf, to provide instructors and institutions with a seamless delivery experience. This program also supports campuses and bookstores by providing negotiated pricing solutions for their student populations and including stores in the brokering process.

Inclusive access is sometimes referred to by other names. A few examples are day one access, first day access, digital direct access, equitable access, and all students acquire.

How does inclusive access benefit students?


Students are provided first-day access to their assigned ebook or learning technology via their university LMS system. This enables them to retrieve their course material anytime and anywhere, across multiple devices. Additionally:

  • This program helps to ensure students are using the correct version of the book selected by their instructor, eliminating the chance they will purchase the wrong edition.
  • With inclusive access, students on financial aid don’t have to wait until their aid money is distributed in order to procure their course materials.
  • Access is voluntary, not mandatory. Students who choose to opt out, or who drop the course within the school’s allotted window of time (usually two weeks), simply have their access removed and are not charged for the material.
  • Both students who opt in and students who opt out will still have the ability to purchase print versions of their book available from the publisher and other outlets.


Inclusive access means affordable access for students. Ebooks offered through inclusive access are priced lower than individually sold ebooks.

Academic Performance

Early indications and studies show that overall student performance improves as more students have access to their assigned course materials. Students are also more likely to do the required reading indicated by their professor, allowing them to increase their engagement in class discussions, complete assignments more effectively, and improve knowledge retention.


In accordance with Department of Education guidance, students are given the choice to opt out, course materials are priced below competitive market rates, and texts are still available for purchase through the Cognella Student Store.

We also work closely with bookstores to ensure that setup meets individual university requirements.

How does inclusive access benefit instructors?

Academic Freedom

As a publisher, Cognella does not require inclusive access. Instructors are able to select their preferred learning materials on a course-by-course basis.

Though it is true that some schools may require or strongly encourage faculty to follow their versions of inclusive access, they are not locked into selecting course materials from only one publisher with inclusive access. Professors can choose what is best for their class within the requirements of their university.

Improved Awareness + Actionability

Professors can gauge student engagement via ebook tracking and courseware reports, then adapt their support and instruction to optimize student success.

What Cognella materials are eligible for inclusive access?

Cognella Academic Publishing textbooks, custom textbooks, course packs, and Active Learning are available for inclusive access distribution Any title that has an ebook offering is eligible, including anthologies. For anthologies, our publishing teams will work closely with the textbook author to ensure that readings with available e-rights are selected and digital permissions are procured to make this possible.

To learn more about inclusive access, contact us.