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Cambridge LibGuides

ebooks@cambridge: Use ebooks

A guide to finding and using ebooks at the University of Cambridge

What can I do with ebooks?

Ebook functionality varies from supplier to supplier. As well as full-text searching and reading online, most platforms offer the ability to download some or all of the book to a variety of mobile devices (including in some cases Kindles). A few offer extra features such as text highlighting or annotating.

Platform hints and tips

This box highlights functionality for some of our most-used platforms. Contact us if you have any questions about these or any of our other 60+ ebook platforms.

Access and authentication IP recognition on campus. Requires Raven details off-campus.
Coverage All Cambridge University Press published (and open access) ebooks and selected ebooks from partner presses such as Liverpool University Press, Edinburgh University Press and Boydell & Brewer.
Digital Rights Management (DRM)? No. As with all electronic resources though, you should observe copyright regulations.
Simultaneous user access?

No limit.

 

Formats available All content is offered in pdf format with some also in HTML.
Do I need to create an account? Only if you wish to save searches and bookmark favourite content. Click 'Register'.
Downloading Yes. Chapters or entire ebooks can be downloaded to pdf or sent to Kindle.
Known issues
  • Occasionally content displays as 'Get access' and is locked, when it should be available.
  • We occasionally find chapters missing when trying to download pdfs.

In both cases, please contact us for help.

  •  'Search in this book' searches the book's metadata (title, author, chapter titles and descriptions), not the entire text. To search the entire text for keyword(s), download to pdf and use CTRL + F to search.

This box highlights functionality for some of our most-used platforms. Contact us if you have any questions about these or any of our other 60+ ebook platforms.

Access and authentication Requires Raven details on and off-campus
Coverage Partial. Titles are purchased individually. Available titles show .
Digital Rights Management (DRM)? Yes. Restricted printing and copying. Download maximum 2 days.
Simultaneous user access? Yes for most titles. Some titles have a concurrent user limit. When the limit is reached, you will see a message 'All the available copies of this eBook are currently in use by other readers.
The Library owns access to x copies and the length of the loan period is restricted due to publisher terms
'. You will be given the chance to join a queue and receive an email when the ebook becomes available.
Formats available Read online. PDF and EPub downloads depending on publisher.
Downloading

Yes. Whole books can be downloaded for a maximum 2 days. Format is pdf or EPub, depending on publisher.

To print or copy, you need to use the Online Reader. You will not be able to print or copy from your downloaded ebook.

**NB Both Pdf and EPub downloads to PCs or laptops now require the free Adobe Digital Editions software. Adobe Reader is no longer supported as of October 31st**.

To download to a mobile device you will need to first install Bluefire Reader, which is freely available from the iOS App Store or the Android alternatives.

To download ebooks:

  • Create an Adobe ID if you don’t already have one. Go to the Adobe website, click SIGN IN then “get an Adobe ID”.
  • Download ADE or the BlueFire Reader app.
  • Authorise ADE or the BlueFire Reader app with your Adobe ID.
  • Access the e-book on Dawsonera via Explore and choose to download to either Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire Reader as appropriate.

 

Known issues

Google Chrome gives the following error when you try to open a Dawsonera pdf:

'Failed to load PDF document'.

This is because Chrome is trying to open the PDF using its default PDF viewer, rather than Adobe Reader.

  • In the browser address bar enter chrome://settings/content/. Scroll down to PDF documents and click the arrow.
  • Enable the option to 'open PDFs using a different application'.

 

*From November 2017, it will no longer be possible to download Dawsonera ebooks to Adobe Reader. Content will be downloadable to either Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire.

This box highlights functionality for some of our most-used platforms. Contact us if you have any questions about these or any of our other 60+ ebook platforms.

 

Access and authentication IP recognition on campus. Requires Raven details off-campus. Raven is also required for printing, copying and downloading on-campus.
Coverage Users should be able to access all titles visible on the platform.
Digital Rights Management (DRM)? Yes. Restricted printing and copying. Download maximum varies from 3 to 21 days, depending on publisher.
Simultaneous user access? Depends on title. Some ebooks are restricted to a maximum of 3 or 1 concurrent users. When the limit is reached, you will see a message 'Your institution has access to x copies of this book. All copies are currently in use. Please check back later, or search for another book.'
Formats available Read online (desktops, tablets and laptops only, NOT phones). PDF for chapter downloads and EPub for whole book downloads (whole book downloads available on phones).
Downloading

Yes. Book sections can be downloaded as pdfs and kept indefinitely (requires Raven). Some titles offer a full download to EPub of between 3 and 21 days.

EPub requires Adobe Digital Editions. To download to iOS or Android devices you will also need Bluefire Reader and an Adobe ID.

Known issues

Raven details are not normally needed to read an Ebook Central ebook on-campus. However, some titles will request Raven authentication the first time they are used. Users without Raven passwords should contact engcc@lib.cam.ac.uk for help in this circumstance.

When using a phone you will need to download the ebooks. 'Read online' is limited to the Detail page, Sign in and Download buttons.

This box highlights functionality for some of our most-used platforms. Contact us if you have any questions about these or any of our other 60+ ebook platforms.

Access and authentication IP recognition on campus. Requires Raven details off-campus.
Coverage Users should be able to access all titles visible on the platform.
Digital Rights Management (DRM)? Yes. Restricted printing, copying and saving. Download maximum 7 days.
Simultaneous user access? Depends on title. Some ebooks are restricted to a maximum of 3 or 1 concurrent users. When the limit is reached, you will see a message 'Sorry this book is in use'. Please try again later (you might need to refresh the screen).
Formats available PDF and EPub depending on publisher.
Do I need to create an account? You will need to create an account to download ebooks for offline reading. Follow the prompts after clicking the download button.
Downloading Yes for most titles. Book sections can be saved as PDFs indefinitely. For some titles the whole book can be downloaded and read offline for up to 7 days using Adobe Digital Editions. An EBSCO eBooks app is available on the App Store® or Google Play™ for reading offline on Apple or Android devices (or use Bluefire Reader).

This box highlights functionality for some of our most-used platforms. Contact us if you have any questions about these or any of our other 60+ ebook platforms.

Access and authentication IP recognition on campus. Requires Raven details off-campus.
Coverage Only titles in: Management Studies and Business, Classics, Economics, History, Law, Linguistics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Politics and International Relations, Religion, and Sociology, as well as Law content from Stanford University and Chicago University up to present. Biology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology up to early 2009. Available titles show
Digital Rights Management (DRM)? No. As with all electronic resources though, you should observe copyright regulations.
Simultaneous user access? No limit.
Formats available HTML and PDF
Do I need to create an account? Only if you wish to save searches or titles that you have previously viewed. See http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/219/my-work for more details.
Downloading

Individual chapters can be downloaded to PDF and kept indefinitely. Display the chapter via the Table of Contents and click 'View PDF':

This box highlights functionality for some of our most-used platforms. Contact us if you have any questions about these or any of our other 60+ ebook platforms.

 

Access and authentication IP recognition on campus. Requires Raven details off-campus.
Coverage Selected book and protocol titles from Biomedicine, Computer Science, Life Sciences, Mathematics and Physics collections only. Unavailable content displays a .
Digital Rights Management (DRM)? No. As with all electronic resources though, you should observe copyright regulations.
Simultaneous user access? No limit.
Formats available PDF and EPub. Some content also in HTML.
Downloading Yes. Chapters and entire ebooks can be downloaded to PDF. Entire books can also be downloaded to EPub. Pdf requires Adobe Reader and EPub requires Adobe Digital Editions (or Bluefire Reader if using an iPhone/iPad or Android device).
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Can I read ebooks on my Kindle?

Kindle devices are designed to use Amazon's own e-book formats: AZW and AZW3 (KF8). Kindles do not support the ePub file format used by many of our ebook platforms and titles.

However, many of our ebooks are available wholly or in part as pdfs, and it is possible to read these on a Kindle. You can transfer pdfs to Kindle either by connecting the computer or device displaying the pdf via a cable, or by emailing the pdf as an attachment using Amazon's Send to Kindle service.

Cambridge Core has a handy 'Send to Kindle' button which guides you through this process, but any pdf can be transferred in this way.

What is DRM?

Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes are access control technologies that restrict usage of copyrighted material, such as ebooks.

Ebook platforms often use DRM to restrict copying, printing and downloading. For example, Ebook Central limits the length of time that an ebook can be used offline and the number of pages that can be copied or printed.

Not all ebook platforms use DRM. DRM-free platforms (such as Cambridge Core, Taylor & Francis Online) impose no technical restrictions on the use of their content. However, users are obliged to observe copyright law as well as any licensing terms governing the use of a platform.


Further ebooks information for Cambridge librarians can be found on the Cambridge Libraries Intranet.