An electronic book is a book published in electronic form. It could be born digital or scanned from print. In the context of this Guide, we are focusing on contemporary scholarly books and textbooks. Reference works and primary source materials are a lesser focus.
On the surface, the advantage of an ebook is its portability, searchability and highlighting and notetaking etc. Where it gets complicated is in the vast array of formats, bookshelfs, platforms, e-readers, system requirements, various forms of digital rights management, particularly subscription/ownership and online vs downloadable, accessibility and the list goes on and on.
Printing allowance is governed by the terms of the licence agreement between the University and the vendor. Specific allowances vary among resources.
Typically, ebooks hosted on a publisher platform are in DRM-free PDF and can be printed on a chapter by chapter basis.
Downloading allowance is governed by the terms of the licence agreement between the University and the vendor. Specific allowances vary among resources.
Typically, ebooks hosted on a publisher platform are in DRM-free PDF and can be downloaded on a chapter by chapter basis.
Two platforms (EBSCOhost and ProQuest Ebook Central) allow download of the complete book and transfer to mobile device. Digital rights management (DRM) restrictions apply and after the loan period ends, the book is no longer accessible. (The Download tab has more information.)
Many of our ebooks are accessible to an unlimited number of users at the same time. Some are limited to one user at a time.
The Locations tab in the catalogue record will, in most cases, include an alert if there is a limited number of simultaneous users. Click on the Locations tab and then the Waterloo (or TUG) link to view the holdings information.
Below are the most commonly used E-book file formats.
Patrons using iPads or iPhones can download content to their Apple device and read via the free Bluefire reader app.
Downloaded ebooks can also be transferred to any portable ebook reader that supports Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). There's a list of these compatible devices on the ADE website.
In addition to these options, all portable devices with browser support can be read online via the web.
Usage rights are a specific set of rules about what you can or cannot do with Library licensed content. eBooks and eJournals are almost always covered by Library licenses. Below is an example of how to use the usage rights information. More information about Library licensed content is available on the Copyright and Licensing page on the Library website.
eBooks from the collection of University Press Scholarhip Online, have the following usage rights, as presented in usage rights bar:
For this set of eBooks you can use portions of the content on eReserve, in a Course Management System (CMS) such as LEARN, or link to the content, but you are not allowed to use the content in a Course Pack. For areas in the usage bar that state 'Ask', the Copyright & Licensing Librarian is available to answer questions.