Frequently Asked Questions

I am receiving the following error when I try to log in: “ERROR: Your account has to be confirmed by an administrator before you can log in”

Student accounts should not require administrative approval. However, while we were updating our site, our system erroneously un-approved many of the accounts that registered during that time. We are currently unable to identify which accounts were affected, but we are working on figuring this out and finding a way to approve all these accounts at once.

In the meantime, please email us at with the email or username you used to register, and someone from our team can get your account approved and accessible as soon as possible.

I’m a student. How do I buy the textbook?

Our materials are broken down to individual chapters, listed on the “Chapters” page of the main menu. There, you can add each chapter you wish to purchase to your Cart and proceed to checkout. You must register and be signed in to purchase chapters.

You are welcome to buy chapters as your semester progresses, or all at once. You can also purchase the full textbook (all sixteen chapters) at the top of the “Chapters” page.

Once purchased, the “Add to Cart” button on each chapter will instead say “Read Now.” When you select “Read Now,” you will be taken to a new window or tab with our e-reader, hosted by Bookshelf. Note that you do not need to register again on this page. Just select “Continue without an account” to proceed to the text.

I’m an instructor. How do I view materials to decide whether to adopt them for my course?

Please register as an instructor on our site’s landing page using an institutional email address. We verify each instructor on a daily basis, but you may have to wait 24-48 hours for our team to verify you. Once verified, you will have access to all the chapters on the “Chapters” page, as well as additional teaching resources.

If you have not been given an institutional email address, your account has not been verified after 48 hours, or you would like to provide further information to help us verify you, please email us at

I already bought chapters in 2022 or earlier. Why am I being prompted to Add to Cart?

Moving forward, our chapters will only be available using our new Bookshelf e-reader. If you have purchased chapters prior to January 5, 2023, you can still download the Fall 2021 version of the text at the bottom of each purchased chapter’s page.

Why am I being taken to another website when I select ‘Read Now’? Why am I being asked to sign up or log in again?

Our new e-reader is provided by VitalSource Technologies, and is hosted through their site. However, you do not have to create an account with them in order to access your chapters. Simply select “Continue without an account” when you open your chapter.

Why are chapters sold individually? Why are they not numbered?

We sell our chapters individually to minimize the financial burden placed on students, and to encourage instructors to only use the materials that make sense for their course. We designed A Sociology Experiment to be a modular resource that gives instructors plenty of freedom about how they wish to integrate our materials into their syllabus. We believe that if an instructor is only assigning half the chapters, that’s all students should be expected to purchase.

How do I place a bulk order?

All bulk orders, including invoicing and payment, are handled directly through VitalSource’s Bulk Store. We only accept bulk orders for the complete book at the price listed on VitalSource’s website.

If you are an instructor working with incarcerated students, we want to make our materials available to you at minimal cost. Please contact us at

Can I buy hardcopies?

We only provide our materials digitally. We do not provide hardcopies or versions which users can print.