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Lund University

E-books and E-readers - FAQ: Different kinds of e-books

Different kinds of e-books

There are five main categories of e-books:

  1. E-books that are identical to the printed version, usually published in pdf format and downloadable by chapter.

  2. E-books that can only be read online, in HTML-format. The book is in short a webpage.

  3. E-books that imitate printed books, contain text and sometimes give the reader the option of making notes, look words up, turn pages etc. These e-books are normally in the EPUB format, they are generally DRM-protected and require special software and an Adobe-ID to be downloaded from the library. (Most e-books that are bought to a Kindle, in iBooks etc are also of this kind, however not in the EPUB file-format.)

  4. Enhanced e-books (a k a interactive e-books, smart e-books) are a hybrid between categories 3 and 5. They contain both text and other features such as quizzes, videos, intercative tables and charts and 3D objects. One example is Apple iBooks (created by using iBooks Author software) that can only be read using an iPad or Mac computer if you want full functionality. 

  5. E-books that are apps of their own. Text and illustrations are published as an app, usually with sound, movement or other special features.

Lund University Libraries offer books in categories 1-3. 

Elib - E-books from Public Libraries

Anyone can, without any cost, borrow e-books online for free from the public libraries in Sweden. You will need a library card and a PIN code. You are sometimes limited to only one or two books per week.

A lot of public libraries offer e-books through Elib.  Some e-books from the Swedish educational publisher Studentlitteratur, that publish advanced textbooks and technical literature, can be found in Elib. See list of titles in Elib. For information on holdings click on the title and then ‘anslutna bibliotek' (affiliated libraries). The information is only in Swedish.

Reference Works in e-format at Lund university

Licenced e-books: Restrictions, Access & Use

Q: Are there e-books that do not have a license?

A: Yes there are, but please remember that “free” does not necessarily mean that you can do whatever you want with an e-book, many “free” e-books are still under copyright. This means that you can read and download the e-book for personal use, but if you want to do anything else with it you must contact the copyright holder (= the author or the publisher) to make an agreement.

Q: What are licensed e-books?

A: E-books that must be purchased or subscribed to have a license agreement that gives the buyer permission to use the e-books in accordance with the terms set up by the publisher/vendor. The license often includes restrictions on copying and printing etc, and also prevents the library from offering online access to anyone except registered students and staff. Walk-in users (users that are not affiliated with Lund University) are not allowed off-site access and will have to visit the library in person to get access to the e-books. Licensed e-books may also be restricted by different forms of Digital Rights Management (DRM) that ties the e-book to certain software or device, such as for example Adobe Reader.

Q: What are the restrictions on access & use of licensed e-books?

A: These are the general restrictions on access and use. If you need to make a more extensive use of a text it may be allowed if you first request a written permission of the copyright holder (= for licensed e-books this means the publisher). If you have any doubts as to what is allowed, always ask your library for advice! If you are a librarian and want to make an Interlibrary loan or send an article to another library, you must read the information in Publishers and Providers for that particular publisher to see if ILL is allowed.

General Terms of Use
* The content of the e-books may be read and used by registered students and employed staff at Lund University solely for reasonable personal use for scholarly purposes, research and educational use.
* By “content” is meant the entire e-book or individual chapters and pages.
* By “reasonable personal use” is meant downloading, printing or copying one (1) copy for personal use.
* By "Document" is meant an individual chapter, an article or other single item, but not a complete e-book.
* Printing and/or copying an entire e-book is not permitted.
* Posting of the content of an e-book on institutional or commercial websites is not permitted.
* Altering, recompiling, systematic or programmatic copying, reselling, redistributing, publishing or republishing of data from an e-book is not allowed.
* Students and staff at Lund University who violate these restrictions may loose their STiL or LUCAT identity.

Q: Where can I find licensed  e-books at Lund University?

A: Lund University owns or subscribes to thousands of licensed e-books. With a few exceptions, all access is by IP-address. If you are off LU-campus you will need to use your STiL or LUCAT identity in order to be recognized by the publisher as a user from Lund University. Please note that your STiL or LUCAT identity can NOT be used to log on to the resource itself, only to authenticate yourself after you’ve found the e-book through a LU catalogue or search engine (LUBcat / LIBRIS / LUBsearch).

Free e-books