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E-books and Accessible Format Books: FAQs

A short guide to understanding e-books and other accessible format books

Accessing books

Why don't e-books look the same? 

This is because e-books are available from different e-book platforms, each with their specific features.

Do I need specific software to read e-books?

Some e-books can be downloaded as PDF (fully or by chapter) or they need specific e-reader software to be accessed such as the freely available Adobe Digital Editions.. 

Can I download e-books to read later or do I read them online?

Some e-books are available to download for a limited time 1-2 days (whole book or chapter) e.g. if we had a thee-user licence, two copies can be downloaded by two separate users and the third e-copy would be available to a third user to read online only. Some books are only available to read online. 

Why is a book unavailable even if I have found it on the library catalogue?

There could be two reasons for this:

1. You may not yet be logged into the ebook platform and therefore not recognised as a QMU user. Please look for institutional or Shibboleth log in to find our institution first and then log in with your QMU credentials.

2. If the number of users trying to access an e-book is higher than the number of licences we have, the extra users will be "turned-away" (temporarily denied access) at that moment in time. The number of concurrent users allowed can be ascertained on the e-book's landing page. Some platforms, use a queuing system whereby they can email you when the book becomes available, while with other platforms, users need to check back later to see if the book is available.

Do I need to let you know if I have been denied access?

If "turnaways" happen (being denied access temporarily due to licence limits), our systems let us know that a title is in high demand and we will then consider either purchasing more credits (for a credit base model) or an extra e-book licence if necessary.