Ebook frequently asked questions 

Answers to frequently asked questions about using ebooks at the University of Nottingham.

Questions about:

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Finding and using

How do I find an ebook?
All ebooks are in NUsearch and are linked to your reading list, if available.


Does it matter which internet browser I use?
It shouldn’t for most, but if you have problems, try another internet browser if you are able.


Can I read an ebook on a Mac?
Yes, you should be able to.


Can I read an ebook if someone else is reading it at the same time?
Yes, for most. Some ebooks have restrictions on the number of simultaneous users. If so, you will be prompted to try again later.


Can I keep my ebooks forever?
Library ebooks are in most cases like printed library books – available for you to use for a period but not yours to own.


Is there a charge if I return an ebook late?
No. It is not possible to have an 'overdue' ebook if you have downloaded it, since the Digital Rights Management software will automatically control the loan length.


Do I need a password to access an ebook off campus?

Unless you have downloaded an ebook to your own device, you will always have to identify yourself as a Nottingham user when accessing electronic resources from off-campus.

If you are not automatically prompted for your University login, look for the Institutional/Shibboleth login option to reach the correct sign-in page for the University of Nottingham.



Can library users without a university username and password access ebooks?

Some electronic resources are available for use in library buildings only via the Walk-in User service

Ebooks are available on library PCs but not direct from the NUsearch library catalogue terminals which are for catalogue searches only. 



Why do I have to 'Request Loan' for some ebooks?
Some ebooks require further authorisation before the library is charged for them and the text is made available to you. Click on the Request Loan button if prompted and your request will be sent to the relevant librarian.


Why can I only view some ebooks for five minutes?

For titles in one of our ebook collections, there is no charge to the library whilst users browse for 5 minutes to determine how useful the book is.

Please do take advantage of this free browse before deciding to proceed with the loan, as it will help us use our budgets most effectively, and then just click to continue if you wish to read more.


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Downloading and printing

Can I print, copy and paste from ebooks?
Yes, you can. However, there are copyright limits which are usually shown on the ebook page. Refer to the ebook quick reference guide for further information.


What software do I need to download?

For most library ebooks you will need Digital Rights Management software such as Adobe Digital Editions (ADE).

Most of the interfaces will offer you a link to install ADE if you do not already have this. You can also find it on the Adobe website.



Do I have to be online to read my ebook once downloaded?
No, you should be able to read the ebook offline once downloaded. When the download period has expired (which is controlled automatically), you will have to go online to download again if you want to continue using it.


I am having problems printing from an ebook

Library ebooks are subject to copyright restrictions, so you may not be able to print out all that you would like.

The ebook Quick Reference guide gives information about some of the main interfaces but if this is not working as you would expect, please fill in the eResource issue help form

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Help and support 

What do I do if an ebook doesn’t work, or if I can’t access it from NUsearch?
For assistance, fill in the eResource issue help form


How do I reference ebooks?
The Studying Effectively website includes a Referencing books page. This explains how to reference eBooks.


Are visually impaired students supported?

Some ebooks allow users to customise them for their own needs and many will work with assistive technologies such as screen-reader software.

The library’s Alternative Formats Service works with disabled students who need help in this area, and can be contacted on


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University of Nottingham Libraries

King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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