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Ebooks at QUT Library

Important software and apps


Adobe Digital Editions

Bluefire Reader app

OverDrive Media Console


Ebooks at QUT Library

NOTE: The first source of support information for ebook related queries is the ‘Viewing, downloading and printing ebooks’ website at

This ‘Detailed Guide to QUT Library Ebooks’ is a secondary more detailed source but many queries should be able to be answered via the link above.


The term ebook is an abbreviation for electronic book that is available in full text online. Some ebooks are old books that are no longer subject to copyright and have been scanned and made available on the web. These old books might be included in a freely accessible database like Google Books. The most useful ebooks are usually the recently published books that are still subject to copyright. Some of these are made available free online by the organisations that publish them, but in many cases the Library has to pay so that QUT users can access these books.

The benefits to using ebooks include:

  1. access from any location with Internet access via the QUT Library website
  2. they cannot be lost or stolen
  3. in most cases unlimited numbers of people can access the same ebook at the one time and
  4. depending on the platform that the ebook is hosted on it may be possible to download the ebook to your computer and/or smart phone/tablet device and/or ebook reader

QUT Library acquires access to ebooks by three means:

  • Annual subscription or lease
  • Outright purchase
  • Seamless Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA)


Typically ebook files will be in either PDF or ePub format. PDF files don’t adapt well to various sized displays and devices and therefore it is difficult to view some PDF files on small screens that come with some smartphones, tablets and ebook readers. Therefore ePub is the preferred ebook file format as the text reflows to fit the dimensions of the screen. For this reason ePub has been adopted as the official standard of the International Digital Publishing Forum. The ePub ebook file format supports Digital Rights Management (DRM) but it is not required by the specifications. For more information on DRM see the Downloading to Adobe Digital Editions tab.


There are a number of benefits to etextbooks such as that they generally include features not available in the print format such as quizzes, multiple leves of interactivity and social media that facilitate student interaction with the learning material.

However it is important to note that publishers generally do not licence etextbooks to academic libraries at a price that libraries can currently afford. They are typically sold to individuals only.

This area is one that is rapidly evolving. Additional information will be added as it emerges.

Ebook Platforms

At QUT Library there are many platforms that you may use to access ebooks. Most of these are listed below. QUT Library currently provides access to over 500 000 ebooks and is regularly adding more. Typically you will access an ebook as a result of a search of the QUT Library Catalogue or via a Quick Find search but you may also connect to the ebook platform directly and search and/or browse.

Most ebooks are hosted on the native publisher platform (in other words not hosted on aggregator platforms such as EBL, ebrary, Books24x7, Ebooks on EBSCOHost and Knovel). Typically for ebooks hosted on publisher platforms each chapter of an ebook is provided in Digital Rights Management (DRM) free PDF format you are able to download and read immediately on your computer using Adobe Reader. (The current version of Adobe Reader is Adobe Reader XI.)

You may also copy and transfer DRM free PDF's to an unlimited number of other computers, tablet devices/smartphones and ebook readers. There are also no technical restrictions on printing and copying/pasting however please take note of the Fair dealing provisions for study or research (Australian Copyright Act 1968) as explained more fully in the Printing and Copying/Pasting from Ebooks tab.

ABC-CLIO eBook Collection (Business & Economics)

AccessEngineering (Engineering and Materials Science)

American Chemical Society (ACS) Symposium Series Online (Chemistry and Engineering)

American Chemical Society (ACS) Symposium Series Archive Online  (Chemistry and Engineering)

American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) conference proceedings via ASCE Library (Engineering)

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Ebooks (Engineering)

ASM Handbooks Online (Materials Science)

Books24x7 (Business & Project Management)

Cambridge Books Online

Chandos Library and Information Management 2012 ebook collection

Clinical Key (Australian edition) (Health sciences)

Cold Spring Harbor Monograph Archive (Life Sciences)

Colloquium Digital Library of Life Sciences (Science)

CRCnetBASE (Engineering)

   CHEMnetBASE (via CRCnetBASE)

CSIRO Publishing Ebook Collection

Ebook Library (EBL) (All subject areas)

Ebrary (All subject areas)

Ebooks on EBSCOHost (All subject areas)

Emerald eBook Series (Business, Economics and Social Sciences)

Google Books (All subject areas)

ICE Virtual Library (Engineering)

IEEE eLearning Library (Online tutorials) : (Electrical Engineering, IT and Physics)

IEEE - MIT Press eBooks Library (Engineering, IT and Science)

IEEE-Wiley eBooks Library (Engineering, IT and Physics)

IET Books (via IET Digital Library)

IGI Global Research Collection (IT)

Industrial Press (Engineering)

Institute of Physics (IoP) Ebooks (Physics)

JSTOR (Many subject areas)

Knovel (Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences)

Lecture Notes in Computer Science Online (LCNS Online) (IT)

Martinus Nijhoff Online (Law)

Mosby's Nursing Consult (Nursing)

National Academies Press Publications (Many subject areas)

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Bookshelf (Life Sciences)

OverDrive (Education; Creative Industries; Recreational Reading)

Oxford Handbooks Online : (Business & Management and Philosophy)

Oxford Scholarship Online : (Business & Management; Law; Philosopy; Biology; Mathematics; Physics)

Palgrave Connect (Business & Management; Economics & Finance; Literature & Performing Arts, Social Sciences)

PsycBOOKS (via EBSCOHost) (Psychology)

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) eBook Collection (Architecture)

Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing (Chemistry)

SAE Digital Library

Safari Books Online (IT)

SAGE Reference Online (Multiple subject areas)
SAGE Research Methods Online (SRMO) (Multiple subject areas)

ScienceDirect ebook collections (Engineering; Materials Sciences; Business, Management, Hospitality and Tourism; Media Technology; Chemistry; Forensics and Energy)

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Reference Collection (Engineering & Mathematics)

SPIE eBooks (SPIE Digital Library) (Electrical Engineering, IT and Physics)

SpringerLink Books (Multiple Subject Areas)

SpringerLink Reference Works (Multiple Subject Areas)

STAT!Ref Electronic Medical Reference Library (Health Sciences)

Synthesis digital library of engineering and computer science (Engineering, IT)

Taylor & Francis eBooks (Many subject areas)

Thieme E-Book LIbrary (Health)

Thieme Teaching Assistant : Anatomy and Physiology (Health)

Wiley Online Library Ebooks

Woodhead Publishing (Materials and Engineering 2009-2011 + 2012 Collections

Author profile

​ Science and Engineering (SEF) Team