Gå till huvudinnehållet
Lund University

eBooks @ Lund University Libraries

FAQ: What are eBooks and How do you Use Them?

This FAQ will provide you with information about general terms of use, access and restrictions for licenced ebooks. For detailed information about terms of use for individual publishers please choose a publisher in the 'List of Publishers' or an ebook platform in the drop-down menu of the 'Resources' tabs.

Q: What are licenced ebooks?
A: Ebooks that must be purchased or subscribed to have a licence agreement that gives the buyer permission to use the ebook in accordance with the terms set up by the publisher/vendor. The licence often includes restrictions on the number of concurrent users, copying, printing etc, and also prevents the library from offering off-campus access to anyone except registered students and staff. Licenced ebooks may also be restricted by different forms of Digital Rights Management (DRM) that ties the ebook to a certain software or device.

Q: What are "DRM-free" ebooks?
A: Some publishers, like for example Springer, has anounced that their ebooks are available "without restrictions" and free of DRM (Digital Rights Management). But what does this mean? DRM restricts the number of formats in which you can download an ebook, so if an ebook is "DRM-free" you can probably download it to different devices. If a licensed ebook is "DRM-free" it also means that you as an authorized user (registered students and staff at Lund University) are allowed to download an ebook chapter without having to create a personal account. However, the ebook is still under license and you may still only download book chapters and articles for your own personal use, you may still not post articles on the Internet och sell or distribute them to people outside Lund University. And please remember that "DRM-free" ebooks are still under the copyright of either the publisher or the author, and cannot be used for any other purpose than the above without their written permission.

Q: What are eBook Reader software?
An ebook reader is a viewer software that must be installed on your device in order for you to be able to read ebook files. There are a large number of e-reader software available for different types of devices, some are free and some you have to pay for. Here are three examples:
* Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) This e-reader works on almost all platforms and supports DRM-protected files. An Adobe ID account is needed to use ADE.

File-formats: PDF, EPUB, EPUB3, ACSM

Supported platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Cost: FREE

URL: https://www.adobe.com/se/solutions/ebook/digital-editions.html  

* BlueFire Reader  Bluefire Reader requires authorization from Adobe in order to read DRM-protected files from Adobe. The Adobe ID account that you create there will be the same as the one you use to authorize Bluefire Reader.
File-formats: PDF, EPUB, EPUB2, ACSM

Supported platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux
Cost: $ 3.99
URL: https://www.bluefirereader.com/bluefire-reader.html

* Calibre  An easy to use ebook manager and reader with a built-in editor that allows you to edit your ebooks. Does not support DRM-protected files.


Supported platforms: Calibre supports all the major (and most of the minor) ebook reading devices, smartphones, tablets, phablets, etc.

Cost: FREE (open-source)
URL: https://calibre-ebook.com/

Q: What are ebook formats?
A: An ebook format is the technical format in which an ebook is created and this is what decides how the ebook can or may be used. Here are some examples of ebook formats:
* AZW - An Amazon format used exclusively on the Amazon Kindle. AZW format files can also be opened on smartphones (iPhone, Android phones, and BlackBerry), computers (Mac and PCs), and tablets (iPad, Android tablets, and Windows tablets).

* ACSM -
Adobe Content Server Message-file. Licensed ebooks with DRM-protection are usually downloaded as an encrypted ASCM-file that can be opened with a software like for example Adobe Digital Editions and Bluefire Reader. If you already have the software installed, the ASCM-file should open automatically when you download it. ASCM-files are mostly used for ebooks that must be “borrowed” (i.e. downloaded) on an ebook platform. Please note that Adobe Digital Editions currently does not support Linux. However, the program can be downloaded via WINE, see this step-by-step installation guide.
* Adobe Flash Player - This was a plug-in used to display interactive content that was required to be able to read some ebooks. These features have now been integrated directly into most browsers, and Adobe stopped supporting Flash Player as of  December 31, 2020 (the EOL, end-of-life date). Adobe has blocked Flash content from running in Flash Player beginning January 12, 2021 and strongly recommends that all users immediately uninstall the Flash Player plug-in to help protect their systems.
* EPUB  - EPUB, short for electronic publication, is the ebook format that is supported by the largest number of hardware readers, including iPad/iPhone/iPod, Sony Reader, Nook, Kobo, Amazon Kindle Fire and many other eReader devices and programs. One of the main differences between EPUB and PDF and other formats, is that it supports both reflowable and fixed layout content. This means that the content of an EPUB document can flow or reflow to fit the size of the screen for a particular device.
* HTML/Online  - HyperText Markup Language, formatted for use with a browser.
* LIT - An ebook format for the Microsoft Reader software, content in LIT format was discontinued starting November 2011.
* Microsoft Reader  - Formatted for the Microsoft Reader on PC and Pocket PC platforms.
* MOBI - The ebook format used by the MobiPocket Reader, it can be opened using MobiPocket’s reading software which can be used on smartphones. Third party readers such as Stanza, FBReader, Kindle for PC and Mac, and STDU Viewer can open MOBI files. MOBI format is supported by Amazon Kindle and Palm devices.
* PDF - Portable Document Format, created by Adobe for Adobe Acrobate. Examples of PDF viewers are Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader, Nitro PDF reader, PDF-XChange Viewer, Xpdf, and many more. Content in PDF is usually scaled for A4 or letter size, which becomes unreadable when reduced in order to fit the small screens on smartphones.
* RTF - Rich Text Format is the format supported by most word processing programs such as Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, etc.
* Sony LRF  - LRF format is supported by Sony Librie and Sony PRS-500 Readers.

Q: Can the public access ebooks owned by the libraries at Lund University?
A: By "the public" is meant all users that are not affiliated with Lund University, i.e. not registered students or staff. The public may be permitted access to most, but not all, licenced ebooks, but only within the physical premises of Lund University Libraries. Please note that LU alumni and persons employed at Region Skåne or ESS, are not considered as authorized users. Please contact info@ub.lu.se if you are in any doubt as to what is allowed.

Q: What are the terms of use for licenced ebooks?
A: These are the general terms of use for ebooks. If you need to make a more extensive use of an article or text it may be allowed, but only if you first request a written permission of the copyright holder (= for licenced ebooks this usually means the publisher). If you have any doubts as to what is allowed, always ask your library for advice.

General Terms of Use for ebooks
* By "authorized users" is meant registered students and staff (but not alumni) at Lund University. The public is not considered as "authorized users".
* By “content” is meant an ebook or individual chapters and pages of that ebook.
* By “reasonable personal use” is meant downloading, printing or copying one (1) copy for personal use only.
* By "document" or "indiviudual document" or "reasonable amount" is meant an individual chapter, an article or other single item from an ebook, but not a complete ebook. Some publishers limit the meaning of a "document" to a certain percentage (%) of an individual ebook or journal issue, so please check the publisher info for further information.
* Use. The content of licensed ebooks may be read and used by authorized users at Lund University solely for reasonable personal use for scholarly purposes, research and educational use.
* Downloading. Downloading a complete ebook is not permitted, unless otherwise stated, i.e. when a full ebook download function is available.
* Printing/Copying. Printing and/or copying a complete ebook is not permitted.
* Web sites. Posting of the content of an ebook on institutional (LU) or commercial web sites is not permitted.
* Course-packs. Whether you are allowed to incorporate parts of electronic documents into course-packs or not vary a great deal between publishers. We therefore recommend that you always investigate, or ask your librarian, to see if this option is allowed for the publisher in question.
* Inter-library loan (ILL). ILL requests may only be performed by library staff. Since supply of copies to other libraries (ILL or otherwise) is forbidden by many publishers, you must check the information for the publisher in question. Please also note that in most cases where ILL is allowed copies may only be supplied in print format to another publicly funded library or institution in Sweden (but not outside). Delivery of copies to libraries at private companies as well as any commercial use is prohibited (= sale, resale, loan, transfer, hire or other form of exploitation). ILL or supply of copies in any electronic format is in general not allowed, but when supply in electronic format is allowed the electronic copy must be deleted by the recipient library immediately after printing a paper copy of the document for the user.
* Recover Copying Costs. Since any commercial use of licensed material  is prohibited you must not charge for copies, but the library (UB/LUB) may charge a reasonable fee to cover costs of copying or printing of products for Authorized Users.
* Pass on documents between colleagues. In most cases authorized users are allowed to copy and send (via e-mail or fax) a "document" (see above) from an ebook to another authorized user at Lund University (but not outside) in a “person-to-person”, non-systematic scholarly exchange. You are also allowed to send a URL (link) to individual ebooks, chapters or articles of licensed material since the links only can be accessed by authorized users.

* Copyright/Citation. Please remember that all content from ebooks are under the copyright of either the publisher and/or the author and when used each item must carry appropriate acknowledgement of the source, listing title and author of the extract, title and author of the work, copyright notice, and the publisher. For help, tips and information about citation please see the APA Style Blog.
* You may not. Altering, recompiling, systematic copying, reselling, redistributing, publishing or republishing of an ebook is not allowed.
* You may not. Excessive downloading of ebooks, or the content of ebooks, is not allowed.
* Suspension. Students and staff at Lund University who violate these restrictions will loose their Student Account or LUCAT-ID.

Please note: Several publishers have additional, or higher, restrictions for access and use, especially for printing, copying and inter-library loans and supply of copies to other libraries. Before doing any of this, please check the information for the specific resource. If you are in any doubt as to what is allowed, please contact info@ub.lu.se

Q: Where can I find licenced ebooks at Lund University?
 Lund University owns or subscribes to thousands of licenced ebooks. With a few exceptions, all access is by IP-address. If you are off LU-campus you will need to use your Student Account or LUCAT-ID in order to be recognized by the publisher as a user from Lund University. Please note that your Student Account or LUCAT-ID can not be used to log on to the resource itself, only to authenticate yourself after you have found the ebook through a LU catalogue or search engine. These are the catalogues where you can find and access our licensed ebooks:
* Lund University Libraries discovery system: LUBsearch Discovery
* Index of all available eBooks and eJournals: LUBsearch ePublications
* An entryway to databases and platforms: LUBsearch Databases A-Z

Q: Are there ebooks that do not have a licence?
A: Yes there are, but please remember that “free” does not necessarily mean that you can do whatever you want with an ebook, many “free” or Open Access ebooks are still under copyright or may have a Creative Commons license. This means that you are allowed to read and download the ebook for your own personal use, but if you would like to do anything else with it you must contact the copyright holder (= the author or the publisher) to ask permisson and make an agreement.