Introducing e-books

Many e-books are electronic equivalents of printed books, while others may be published in e-format only. Older works no longer under copyright restrictions may be freely available on the internet but many have to be paid for. E-books are often purchased as packages of multiple titles from a publisher. This page will help you to find books purchased by Oxford University, although some information on free sites is given in the final section.

Finding e-books

Most e-books that have been purchased by Oxford University are catalogued individually in SOLO, alongside their print equivalents. Where there are both print and online versions of a book, SOLO will indicate "Multiple versions found". Look for [electronic resource] next to the title to identify e-books. To find e-books on your topic, enter your search term(s) in the SOLO search box as usual. Select 'Books' from the 'All items' dropdown box and 'Online Resources' from the 'All libraries/collections' dropdown box.

E-book packages

Oxford University purchases e-books in packages of multiple titles from a publisher. E-books will look different on the screen depending on the publisher. Sometimes you may wish to look at a package of e-books to see what titles are available, or to search for information across a range of titles. The guide e-Books at Oxford University provides an annotated list of available e-book packages.

Saving and printing e-books

You can usually save or print extracts from e-books but bear in mind that copyright restrictions exist. These are generally equivalent to photocopying from a printed book: you may save or copy one chapter or 5% of a title. You should always take note of any restrictions displayed for a specific title or package.

Please note: abuse can result in access to the title being cut for the whole University.

Methods of saving/printing will vary. Look for information displayed on the screen, or check Help facilities provided.

Free online books

Some online books are available for free. These are generally older books which are out of copyright. Oxford University has scanned many of our out-of-copyright books, so that they are freely available in digital format without the need to log in. See Oxford Google Books Project for more information.

The following sites also provide free access to online books:

Finding out more

To learn more about finding and using e-books:

  • see the online guide E-Books
  • attend the course ISKILLS: E-books.
  • See the printed guide to using e-books available in the Rewley House Library.
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