Finding and using ebooks

If you are used to using printed books, the first time you change to ebooks can be a bit of a shock.  This blog post guides you through the basics of finding an ebook and getting started.

Ebook reader, tea and cookies

Start with Discovery

The EBSCO Discovery Service (“Discovery”) is your main ebook portal.  Follow these simple steps to find all the ebooks you need:

  • Click on the blue “Click to search library resources” button in the top right-hand corner of the library website.
  • Search Discovery by entering the ebook title, author or 2-3 words describing your subject in the first search box on the search page and clicking Search.
  • On the left-hand side of the search results screen, choose ebooks from the list of options under “Formats”.  The search results displayed will be reduced to just ebooks.
  • Check that the Full-text online option on the left-hand side is selected, so that you can be sure everything is available for you to read online. Browse the results or refine your search by changing or adding new search terms.
  • When you find an ebook you want to read, click on the Online access or similar link beneath the title.
  • If you have set up the VPN, you will be given access to the ebook.  Otherwise, you will have to log into the ebook.  You should look for an option that offers institutional login, Shibboleth login or UK Access Management Federation login – all these are different names for logging in through the library.
  • Once you reach the ebook homepage, click Read online to read the ebook.

Discovery can find much more than just ebooks – it is also the best starting place for finding academic journal articles.

Guides for going further

JSTOR ebooks

Some ebooks are available through JSTOR.  Log into JSTOR through the Library using the link at the top of the screen if you have not set up the VPN, search the collection for the subject or ebook you want, and then select the Books filter at the bottom of the page to show only ebooks.  Click on any ebook title to get started.

Cambridge University Press ebooks

Cambridge University Press (CUP) ebooks are also available through their own separate platform and are particularly useful for some humanities and media subjects.

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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