Skip to main content
University of Newcastle Library guides

eBooks: FAQs

An independent scholarly press publishing books

ebooks FAQs

Access

Q: Can I access an ebook multiple times?

  • Yes, our ebook collections allow for multiple uses.

Q: Can more than one person access an ebook at once?

  • Yes, however, the number of users at one time varies between the collections.

Q: What kind of device do I need to read an ebook?

  • ebooks can be read on many electronic devices, including computers, smart phones, tablet computers, and ebook readers.  The most popular dedicated ebook readers available in Australia are:
    • Kindle
    • Kobo
    • Sony
    • Apps for these products are available to download to computers, Macs,and iPad and Android tablets.

Q: Where can I use ebooks?

  • ebooks can be read online via the web and many can also be downloaded to read offline. eBooks that can be downloaded often require special software to be installed on your computer or mobile device. This software is used to control the Digital Rights Management (DRM) of the books. The option to download an ebook is not available for all the ebooks the UON Library provides access to. When it is available it usually requires your computer or device to have special software installed. The two most common are:
  • Adobe Digital Editions (ADE); software designed for reading and managing eBooks in EPUB or PDF format that are protected by DRM. It is needed to download ebooks from many of our eBook collections. It is not compatible with Apple devices. 
  • Bluefire Reader is available for iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone, and Android devices.
  • When you next download a book on that device Bluefire Reader will ask you to enter you Adobe ID. If you do not have one, you can create an Adobe ID here.

FAQs - Reading

What kind of device do I need to read an ebook?

ebooks can be read on many electronic devices, including computers, smart phones, tablet computers, and ebook readers.

The most popular dedicated ebook readers available in Australia are:

  • Kindle
  • Kobo
  • Sony

Apps for these products are also available to download to PC and Mac computers, as well as tablets, e.g., iPad, Android.

What formats do ebooks come in?

The most common ebook formats are:

  • azw - Amazon's proprietary format, used only for Kindle eReaders, DRM restricted

  • EPUB - An open ebook standard, can be used on all ebook readers except Amazon's Kindle

  • PDF - The most common format for providing electronic documents. It is supported by almost all modern ebook readers, tablets and smartphones.

  • HTML - the content is structured as if reading a web page (Hyper Text Mark-up Language)

  • ACSM - digitally locked format that requires Adobe Digital Editions to read e.g. EBL and Ebrary

Popular eBook readers and their formats - from Wikipedia

FAQs - Downloading

Can I download ebooks?

Please note: The option to download allows you to receive the content from ebooks, it does not allow you to save the book.

EBL and ebrary allow download of an ebook to a computer in either PDF or EPUB format if Adobe Digital Editions software is installed on the computer. Once downloaded they can be transferred to a variety of mobile devices providing appropriate apps are installed.

Apple devices (eg. iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) using a web-browser can download an ebook in PDF or EPUB format as long as the Bluefire Reader application is installed on the device.

Android devices using a web-browser can download an ebook in PDF or EPUB format as long as a compatible reader app, e.g. Bluefire Reader or Aldiko, is installed on the device.

Kindles use Amazon and proprietary ebook format, and other ebook formats cannot be read on a Kindle. Kindles will read PDFs. If an ebook is available to download as PDF you will be able to transfer it to a Kindle. However, if it is only available in EPUB format you will not be able to view it on a Kindle.

Adobe Digital Editions

Bluefire Reader - free app for iPhone/iPad/iPod that allows you to view DRM PDFs and epub formats.

Calibre - free software that allows you to convert e-book formats to read on different e-reader devices. It syncs to your e-device and helps manage your ebook collection.

The option to download an ebook is not available for all the eBooks the UON Library provides access to. When it is available it usually requires your computer or device to have special software installed. The two most common are:

FAQs - Printing

Can I print from ebooks?

You can print from eBooks, however, many publishers restrict the amount that can be printed, and sometimes it is not easy to find out what and how you can print. See the 'Using ebooks' link on the left of the screen.

Always remember the copyright rules (fair dealing provision for study or research); a reasonable portion for an electronic publication such as ebook states that the 10% limit applies to the total number of words in the work.

Loading ...

Need some help?

Ask the Library

Click  Ask the library above to access Library Help and Information


Use our Library Chat service below (when available)