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eBook Guide

What is an eBook, and why is reading a library eBook any different?

ebook icon 

When you use eBooks from a library they can appear differently to other online resources, like pdf reports and articles. This page explains what you need to know to use our eBooks easily.

The term eBook is an abbreviation for electronic book. It means a book that is available online in a full text formatThe James Cook University Library’s eBooks are designed for research and can be read on any desktop or laptop computer and on a number of smart phone/tablet devices and eBook readers.

eBooks in digital format offer convenient access and enhanced search capabilities.  This guide presents eBook options available to James Cook University users.

Use eBooks in your research as you'd use print books

Tips about reading library eBooks

When you are reading a library eBook, you might start reading on the web page that it opened on, and that will be fine if you only need to read a few pages. If you want to download a chapter, within the usual copyright rules you can usually download a chapter as a pdf file with minimum fuss. If you want more of the book available to you in another format, you will need to follow the steps to download to your preferred device (computer, tablet, or phone).

Please note that there is no single, standard way of accessing eBooks:

  • Many can be downloaded as a PDF file
  • Some require Adobe Digital Editions to download
  • Others can only be read online
Downloading eBooks

eBook providers differ in the way they facilitate the downloading of their eBooks. While most procedures are similar there are differences which can cause confusion. In the following boxes the instructions for downloading from 2 major eBook providers at JCU have been supplied. If you experience difficulties downloading any eBook, please check the eBook providers webpage for information or contact the InfoHelp Desk for further support.

Downloading eBooks from ProQuest eBook Central

ProQuest eBook Central is the platform for ebrary and EBL multi-disciplinary collections. 

To download an eBook:

  1. On the eBook information page click the "Read online" button.

  2. Click either the "Full download" or "Chapter download"  icons located at the top of the page, circled in red in the picture below.

  3.  You will be prompted to sign into your ProQuest eBook Central account. If you do not have one you will be prompted to create a free account.

  4. Select the type of device you are using (desktop/laptop, iOS, Android), click "Continue"

  5. If you selected desktop/laptop you will be advised that you will need to use Adobe Digital Editions to view the eBook, a link is provided to download the free software if you do not already have it. If you selected iOS or Android you are advised that you will need the Bluefire App to view the eBook, a link is provided to download the app if you do not already have it. Click "Done with this step" to continue.

  6. Select the download period (how long you would like to borrow the eBook for). Click "Download"

For non-Android, non-iOS devices (e.g. Windows phone or Surface tablet), select "Desktop/laptop" as your device, then use an Adobe-DRM-compatible reader app available on that platform (e.g. DL Reader).

 

If an eBook cannot be downloaded, it might be that:

  • The eBook is provided as a loan - loaned eBooks cannot be fully downloaded.
  • Publisher does not allow full download - Check this page for a list of publishers.
  • There is a limit to the number of simultaneous users and no more downloads are allowed for the eBook.
  • User has the maximum 10 eBooks downloaded - Return eBooks

 

If you need help with any of these steps, please see the ProQuest eBook Central support page, or contact InfoHelp.

Downloading eBooks from EBSCOhost eBook Collection

EBSCOhost eBook Collection is a multidisciplinary eBook collection.

To download an eBook:

  1. On the eBook information page, click the button on the left that says "Download this eBook (Offline)".
  2. Sign into your EBSCOhost account. If you do not have an account, create a free account using the link provided.
  3. Select the checkout period.
  4. Please note the Viewing requirements information at the bottom of the popup screen.
  5. Click "Checkout and download"

 

If an eBook cannot be downloaded, it might be that:

  • Some publishers only allow reading online and not downloading.
  • Each book can only be used by 1 person at a time. If the book is already checked out, a note will advise "this book is in use"

 

If you need help with any of these steps, please see the EBSCOhost support page, or contact InfoHelp.

Readers and Devices

What you need to know about readers & devices at JCU

Often eBooks at JCU use DRM (Digital Rights Management) to handle downloads.

What is Digital Rights Management?

DRM is how publishers keep track of how long a book is checked out electronically.  The same way you have a loan for a regular book, when you download an ebook you have it for a certain amount of time  DRM is how this is tracked. 

eBooks with Digital Rights Management require specialised readers. The two readers recommended below are supported by the major eBook providers used at JCU.

Desktops and laptops

For both Windows and MAC it is recommended that you use Adobe Digital Editions. The program is free to download and requires you to create a free Adobe account.

Mobile Devices

The free program Bluefire Reader is recommended for mobile devices, both Apple and Android, this reader requires the creation of a free Adobe account. Other DRM compatible readers are available. 

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