Help with eBooks

Accessing eBooks

All our eBooks can be accessed individually via the library search using keywords, title or author to search.

eBooks can also be accessed directly via the various eBook platforms the Library subscribes to (see a list here). N.B. If you access eBooks in this way please be aware that the Library may not have access to all of the titles available on each platform, we may have purchased only some of the titles. If you find there is an eBook on a particular platform that we have access to (see list here) that we have not purchased you can suggest it to us using our online book suggestion form.

All our eBooks are accessed via the internet as a webpage or via Adobe Acrobat Reader and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Generally our eBook platforms allow access by 'reading' or 'viewing' the book online via your browser but many of our eBooks can also be downloaded to a mobile or personal device.

N.B. The majority of eBooks can be used concurrently by multiple users, however, some titles are restricted to a limited number of users at a time. Any restrictions are imposed by the eBook provider not the library.

Navigating and Viewing an eBooks Reading Online

Generally eBooks are viewed (or read) within your internet browser and provide a Table of Contents to use for navigation. Click within the ToC to move to a particular chapter or page. On most eBook platforms the screen is divided into two 'panes', with a Table of Contents in the left hand pane and the text of the book on the right.

Use the 'previous' and 'next' buttons to go from page to page (or left and right arrows), you can usually also jump to a particular page by entering the page number & many platforms allow a limited keyword search within a book for relevant information.

Searching Inside an eBook

The search inside functionality varies between platforms. Most platforms allow searching for a phrase using double quotation marks (""), which is one if the most efficient means of searching. Others such as ebrary allow more complex searching such as searching within particular fields and using boolean retrieval i.e.:

AND - search for both these words or phrases

OR - search for either of these words

AND NOT - none of these words.

Printing & Copying eBooks

Publishers and copyright holders control how much a book can be copied, downloaded and printed, under UK copyright law it is generally accepted that you may print out or copy up to 5% or one chapter of a work. Some eBooks will only display page by page and so you will not be able to download or save several pages in one go and some do not allow printing and copying at all.

Some publishers and eBook providers add further restrictions which subject eBooks to DRM (Digital Rights Management) controls. DRM technology allows publishers to control usage by restricting the number of concurrent users, limiting the number of pages that can be copied, printed or downloaded, these controls will vary between providers.

N.B. Publishers and eBook providers monitor printing and copying closely, if you exceed limits you may be prevented from accessing that book for a certain period of time & sometimes the publisher or eBook provider may withdraw access completely if evidence of copyright abuse is detected.


You may print 5% of the book and copy 5% of the text, you cannot print from downloaded versions of the eBooks, you can only print when reading online.

You can download a copy for 24hrs

Oxford Scholarship Online

Users can print or download a single chapter or up to 5% of the book


No DRM protection, users can print/download according to UK copyright law


Download/print up to 60 pages

EBSCO eBooks

Print up to 60 pages. Download a copy for 24hrs

Making Notes and Annotations

Many eBook providers allow you to make notes or annotations on an eBook. In order to do this you will need to create a personal account with a provider or log in with your usual Essex login. The availability of this functionality will vary between providers.

Downloading eBooks

Many eBooks can be downloaded to a mobile or personal device for 24hrs or more depending on the provider. Once the downloaded period expires you will not be able to reopen that copy, but the book can be downloaded again as many times as you wish.

eBooks cannot be downloaded to public (library or lab machines). Adobe DE is not designed for a multiuser environment and it is not viable for it to be installed on our public machines.

In order to download, read and transfer e-books to a mobile e-reader you will need Adobe Digital Editions and an Adobe ID account.

To download and read e-books on a tablet you will need Bluefire Reader (freely available on the Android and Apple app stores) and an Adobe ID account.

To create an Adobe ID:

1. Go to the Adobe Account Creator , click on Sign in, and then Don't have an Adobe ID?

2. Complete the registration form.

3. An e-mail will be sent to the account you have registered with Adobe, go to this e-mail and validate your account.

A list of Adobe Digital Editions supported devices.


Make sure you are using the latest browser and version of Adobe Acrobat Reader

User Support

EBSCOHost eBooks -

DawsonEra -

ebrary -


The University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
+44 (0) 1206 873192