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Library Guides

Library Skills


The Library has many eBooks in it's collection.  Our policy is 'Digital First' which means that if an eBook is available, we will purchase it in this format rather than print, unless there is a particular reason not to.  Buying books as eBooks means that access to the stock increases.

All of our eBooks are listed on Primo, the Library catalogue, however Primo has its limitations when conducting searches.  Primo tends to only search at title or at basic book record level rather than searching the full text of an eBook, therefore there could potentially be some really useful eBooks that could be missed by just using Primo. 

Primo is great if you know the title but if you are conducting a subject search it is important to search within the eBook collections themselves.

Where else can I look?

We buy many, but not all of our eBooks in two major eBook platforms, eBook Central (Proquest) and eBook collection (EbscoHost). These search within the full text of the book and you can also search within the eBook itself once you have found one of interest to further refine your search.  In this way you may be able to find a useful title that may have been missed on a Primo search alone.

You can access some of our main eBook collections via Primo, under Databases, All Database Types and selecting eBooks


Here is a brief guide to accessing and navigating your way around ebooks on the EBook Central platform

You can print or copy a limited number of pages from most ebooks.  eBooks are subject to copyright law and so publishers determine how much of a book can be downloaded, printed or copied.  This can vary depending on the eBook suplier. 

For eBooks from EBSCO and eBook Central information on the printing allowance of an eBook can be found on the front description page when you first access the book.  Each allowance is unique to each book.

Generally, printing and copying restrictions are set at a maximum of 10% or one chapter of the whole, whichever is greater.

Using the 'Read Online' function you should be able to read all eBooks online on a variety of devices.

To read offline many of our eBooks are available to download.  You will usually be able to download individual chapters as PDF files, and in some cases, the full ebook.

If you are able to download the entire book you may find that they are available for a limited period eg. 1 day in order to keep the book in circulation for other users.  Once your download time has finished you will no longer be able to access the book offline and would have to download it again to do so.

There are a growing number of open access eBooks available.

  • Bookserver (Internet Archive) -  project of the Internet Archive. Access eBooks via the search box. Includes out-of-copyright texts from Project Gutenberg among other collections.
  • Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB - ontains over 16,000 open access academic peer-reviewed books from over 300 publishers, including university presses.
  • InTechOpen - More than 2,400 books across engineering, physical sciences, life sciences, health sciences, and social sciences published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
  •  Internet Archive - Contains a wide range of fiction, popular books, children's books, historical texts and academic books.
  • OAPEN Library (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) -   A multidisciplinary Open Access library comprising of thousands of titles from European publishers freely available as PDF files, including titles in several languages. Includes 30 titles from UK publishers under the OAPEN-UK JISC ebooks project.
  • UCL Press - Established as the UK’s first fully open access university press in 2015, UCL Press publishes both traditional peer-reviewed scholarly works and innovative research outputs.