The Vanderbilt University Library provides its users with access to over 1,500,000 electronic books. If a book is available in electronic format, there will be a web link at the top of the Library Catalog record. Follow that link to access the electronic content of the book.
You can distinguish between an electronic book and an electronic journal by looking at the Library Catalog record. An ebook will have a web link at the top of the page. An ejournal will have this button
This button is used to reach journal content. It is not used on an electronic book.
PDF/A refers to an ISO standard that attempts to keep a PDF document in its original format. In the case of a PDF/A document, the reader will be unable to annotate, highlight, or change a document. For example, Springer uses this format and chapters from their ebooks cannot be modified. This format does not preclude printing.
Some ebook collections use a pdf that cannot be annotated in the basic Adobe reader but, if opened in the full version of Acrobat, can be annotated.
Because our ebooks come from a variety of sources the methods of access will vary
How you access, use, and print this material will depend on the manner in which the owner makes it available. This guide contains information on the individual providers and on some of the issues you might need to know about.
Many of these providers use IP authentication to determine if you may view their content. If you are off campus that will mean you need to proxy in. The way to do this is to locate the item through the library's web site (a title search in Library Catalog, for example). Then, when you are prompted to enter your VUnet ID and epassword, you will be allowed access to the source, even if you are off campus.
Digital rights management (DRM) refers to access technologies used to limit the use of digital content. For books in electronic format this can mean downloaded books cannot be shared with another user or that downloaded ebooks will no longer be accessible after a given loan period. What this loan period will be depends on the agreement the Vanderbilt University Library has with the ebooks supplier. Some of our ebook providers do not use DRM and for titles available under those agreements, downloaded chapters can be retained indefinitely.
Clearly there are many devices that can be used to read electronic books. Besides a laptop or desktop computer, many of these books can be read on a Kindle, Nook, iPad, or even a smartphone. Again, this will vary by provider. In this guide we try to touch on the issues a particular device might cause with each platform.
However there are often software hoops to jump through in order to get these to load and in some cases a particular provider cannot talk to a given device. In these cases we recommend you use your desktop computer to access these books.