Skip to Main Content

e-Books guide

Everything you need to know about finding and using e-books in our Library and beyond.

Accessing RMIT e-books

To access any of the electronic resources provided by RMIT University Library, you will be prompted to login with your RMIT username and password.

Reading e-books

e-Books are easy to read online using a computer or a mobile device such as an e-book reader, tablet or smart phone

Many e-book databases include the option of searching for keywords or phrases within the book, and some have enhanced features such as animations, video and audio supplements, hyperlinks and inbuilt dictionaries.

Most e-books display as PDF files using Adobe. To read an e-book online, usually all you need is:

  • a computer with an Internet connection
  • PDF viewing software
  • an up-to-date web browser.

Some e-books have their own inbuilt reader which displays content similar to PDFs, however some e-book publishers require you to download additional software such as Adobe Digital Editions to save or download an e-book.

RMIT University provides technical support for accessing e-books on RMIT computers.

ebook icon, by Khanke                     

Borrowing e-books

Different e-book databases use the terms 'Borrowing', 'Loan', ' Download' or 'Check-Out'. However, this is not the same as borrowing a print book from the shelves.

Choosing one of these options enables you to read an e-book offline for a prescribed period of time. This could be a week, a day, or an e-book viewing session that finishes when you log off. Borrowing e-books does not require your library card, only your RMIT username and password.

If RMIT University Library doesn't own the e-book you want, you can send a purchase suggestion to the Library.

If another Library owns the e-book you want, it may be possible to request a copy of a chapter or portion of the e-book. Generally e-book licenses do not allow universities to 'lend' their e-books to staff or students from another university, but saving or printing some sections may be possible. Talk to the Document Delivery staff for advice about borrowing from other libraries.

Printing, copying and downloading e-books

Copyright applies to e-books too!

Each e-book database has different restrictions on downloading, copying and printing. Some publishers permit downloading portions of an e-book for printing or reading later. Other publishers may only allow reading online.

For advice about using e-books, Ask the Library.

Referencing e-books

e-Books must be referenced too!

If you use an e-book for your research, you must reference it using the correct format. Use the Referencing Style specified for your course or School, and follow the examples available from the Library's Easy Cite referencing tool.

Some e-book collections, including ProQuest and Ebook Central provide a "Cite this book" feature or allow you to export the citation details to your EndNote library.