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Library Guides

E-books: Downloading, printing & copying

Can I print & copy from e-books?

Copyright applies to e-books too!  

You can print and copy from most e-books within certain limits set down by copyright law and our licence agreements.

Some publishers use DRM (digital rights management) technology to limit the amount you can print and copy. You will usually be told what the limits are when you try to print or copy from the e-books.

We also have access to a range of DRM-free e-books. You may legally print or copy one chapter or 10% (whichever is greater) of a DRM-free e-book.

Can I download e-books to my tablet or phone?

This depends on the DRM (Digital Rights Management) employed by the e-book provider, as well as the file formats your e-reader is compatible with.

You cannot download e-books from EBSCOHost or O'Reilly Learning to any e-reader, due to the DRM in place.

Content from our DRM-free providers can be downloaded to and read on any device compatible with PDFs. This is the only way to read content on a Kindle, as we cannot purchase content in the proprietary Kindle format.

As well as DRM-free PDFs, some publishers also offers content in EPUB format, which is the preferred format for many e-readers, except Kindle.

BlueFire and Acrobat Digital Edition are common e-readers for books in ePub format.

Can I download e-books to my computer?

Yes! Many of our e-books can be downloaded for reading later:

  • DRM-free (Digital Rights Management) e-books can be downloaded and saved, within the legal limit of one chapter or 5% of an e-book. E.g. e-books on IEEE Xplore and ScienceDirect.
     
  • Dawsonera: e-books can be only be downloaded but only to a personal computer, not a University computer. You will need to install  Adobe Digital Editions. From a University PC use the 'read online' option.  Some e-books can be downloaded for up to 3 days, after which the file will become unusable. Download again from Dawsonera to continue reading. You cannot print or copy from downloaded Dawsonera e-books.
  • Cambridge Companions Online (Cambridge Core) users may make copies, print or otherwise, of one chapter or up to 10% of the book from each title, whichever is the greater.
     
  • EBSCOHost e-books usually allow you to download up to 60 pages by using the print function. Click "print", then "print PDF" and save the resulting file. You will be told the exact number of pages you can print from each book.
     
  • Ebook Central e-books downloaded to personal computers are read via Adobe Digital Editions. Please ensure you have this free software installed before downloading.  If using an iPad, iPhone or Android device you can download and read Ebook Central content via the free Bluefire Reader App.  Adobe Digital Editions is not available on University PCs.

    Ebook Central e-books allow you to print up to 20% of the total pages of the e-book and copy 5%. For most e-books you can download for up to 3 days.