Skip to Main Content

Marketing: Ebooks

Finding and Using eBooks

Aston University Library has 1000's of titles in eBook format.  You can find and access all of our eBook titles by searching Library Search.

*NEW for 2016 / 2017* - E-Book Collection

For 2016 / 2017, the Library has decided to fund an Evidence Based Acquisition project and have made arrangements with several major publishers to provide access to a large number of their e-book titles for the 2016/2017 academic year.   After the year is over, we’ll analyse the usage statistics for these e-books and make informed decisions about which ones to keep in our permanent collection.  All the titles are discoverable via Library Search



OSO (Oxford Scholarship Online) provides access to 12,645 e-books covering the celebrated scholarly list of Oxford University Press.  OSO covers subjects across the Humanities, Social Sciences, Medicine and Law.


SAGE Knowledge has selected 4,000 titles by world class authors on hot topics across the social sciences including titles in core areas of research and debate, student reference and professional education titles.
The Library has carefully selected subject collections that match the teaching areas at Aston University including Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, Behavioural Sciences, Built Environment and Law.

The Library has selected from 18,000 titles in the Health Sciences, Social Sciences, Physical Engineering and Life Sciences


Can I print / copy or download an eBook?

Printing and copying from e-books

  • The amount of printing and copying you can do depends on restrictions put in place by the publisher and varies from between 10% to 40% of the e-book.
  • Many e-book platforms will inform you of the limits for each title.

Downloading e-books

E-books are subject to DRM (Digital Rights Management) controls. In order to download an e-book:

  • Open the e-book file you’ve saved from the platform (usually an .acsm file) in Adobe Digital Editions.
  • Once you’ve done this, you can continue to view the e-book in Adobe Digital Editions, or use an app such as Bluefire Reader to view on your mobile device (Android or Apple iOS). You can register your Adobe login with the Bluefire Reader meaning you don't have to open the e-book in Digital Editions beforehand.
  • The downloaded e-book will expire at the end of your loan period (1-14 days depending on the platform).


  • Downloadable e-books can't be viewed on a Kindle (except Kindle Fire for reading online).
  • Not all e-books can be downloaded – look out for a “Download” icon when you’re viewing the e-book online.
  • You may need to register a separate account to download e-books on some platforms.

Free e-books on the web publishes free and openly available eBooks for students and business professionals. The books can be downloaded in PDF without registration

If the book is out of copyright, or the publisher has given permission, you'll be able to see a preview of the book, and in some cases the entire text. If it's in the public domain, you're free to download a PDF copy.

eBook Platforms explained

Image result for dawsonera

The Library purchases individual titles from Dawsonera and they are all available via Library Search.  You can also search  Dawsonera as a single database of e-books which will include titles that the Library does not have a licence to view online.  You may not be able to access every title but it will give you an insight as to what is available and you can notify your Information Specialist if you would like to access something for your research.

Features include:

  • Online reading
  • Downloading entire e-books for 1 day
  • Making notes within e-books
  • Adding e-books to a favourites list
  • Exporting citations to End Note

Ebook Central How to Guides...

Ebook Central is a large database covering multiple subjects. The Library has provided access to over 120,000 e-books on this platform, all of which are available via Library Search. 

Features include:

  • Online reading
  • Downloading chapters
  • Downloading entire e-books for 14 days
  • Making notes within e-books
  • Exporting citations in to EndNote


The Library purchases individual titles from EBSCOhost e-books and also provides access to a large Business collection. All titles are available via Library Search.   

Features include:

  • Online reading
  • Downloading up to 3 items at a time for 1-2 days
  • Reserving up to 5 titles that are already in use
  • Saving sections for printing or emailing
  • Adding favourites to a folder
  • Adding notes to e-books
  • Exporting citations in to EndNote

In order to download the e-book, you'll need to log in to your Ebsco account. You can create an account at the time you download the item.  


The Library purchases individual titles from VLeBooks and they are available to search via Library Search.  

Features include:

  • Online reading
  • Downloading up to 5 e-books at a time for 1-7 days
  • Reserving up to 5 titles that are already in use
  • Adding notes and bookmarks to e-books
  • Exporting citations in to EndNote


Ebook Providers

Having trouble accessing an e-book?

Are you unable to access an e-book?

Licence Restrictions
Some e-books are restricted to a single user or 3 concurrent users.  The e-book may have reached the limit of users logged in at the same time.  If this is the case, you can place a reservation or try again later.  If the problem persists please notify your Information Specialist and we will investigate whether we can purchase additional licences.

Hints and Tips

  1. Try clearing the cache of your computer. 
  2. Try using a different browser.  Firefox seems to work the best.
  3. Have you downloaded the e-book?  Make sure you have Adobe Digital Editions installed otherwise you will not be able to open the book.

If you experience a problem accessing an e-book please let us know.  Contact your Information Specialist with the details of the book you are trying to access.  A screenshot of the error message is also really useful

Economic eBook Platforms