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About eBooks

eBooks are digital full text versions of books that can be accessed online. 


eBooks can generally be placed in two categories, an eBook that is hosted directly on a publisher's platform, and those that are hosted by a corporation, often referred to as an aggregator. Conditions of use vary.


Aggregator Platforms - EBSCO, ProQuest, Ovid 

  • eBooks can be in PDF or EPUB format
  • More restrictions apply to printing, downloading and saving
  • Readable online before you are required to download or 'borrow' 


Publisher Platforms - SpringerLink, Wiley, SAGE, Ovid

  • eBooks are in PDF format
  • Fewer restrictions on downloading, saving or printing though copyright restrictions still apply
  • No loan periods


eBooks are not so simple...

eBooks are provided through different publishers that present and control the use of eBooks differently. Key things to know about eBooks:

  • eBook Academic Collection (EBSCO) and ProQuest Ebook Central are the major eBook providers you will see at USC
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) is copyright protection for electronic products. It limits the loan length of the eBook, the amount of copying and printing, and the devices on which the eBook can be accessed. The DRM is set by the vendor and publisher and is why the conditions on eBooks vary from title to title. 
  • Downloading an eBook from an aggregator usually requires Adobe Digital Editions software and an Adobe ID
  • eBooks can present in two file formats PDF (Adobe) or EPUB format

Major eBook Platforms

Why eBooks?

Benefits of eBooks 

  • 24/7 access from any location and device
  • Cannot get lost
  • No possibility of overdue fees 


RMIT University. (2014). e-Books in Academic Libraries | RMIT University. Retrieved from YouTube via



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