Using EBSCO eBooks

What is the EBSCO eBook Academic Collection?

The EBSCO eBook Academic Collection contains over 130,000 titles from university presses and academic publishers across many disciplines. Cowles Library subscribes to this collection, which means we do not own the titles, but most titles allow unlimited simultaneous use.

Find EBSCO eBooks

You can search for EBSCO e-books in SuperSearch or directly in the EBSCO interface. When you have found a title you’re interested in, you can click the title to get more information about the book. From that page, you can view the e-book online or download it to your computer or mobile device.

Read EBSCO eBooks online

To view the eBook from SuperSearch, click “Full text options” and select the “EBSCOhost Academic eBook” link to load the detailed eBook record. Choose “PDF Full Text” or “EPUB Full Text” and the EBSCO eBook Viewer will load in your browser. The Viewer allows you to page through the book, jump to a specific page (either by page number or table of contents), view details about how many pages you are allowed to copy/print, search within the eBook text, and download the eBook, among other things.

Recommended browser settings for the EBSCO eBook viewer.

Save Pages (PDF download)

You can download parts of an eBook as PDFs using Save Pages in the EBSCO eBook Viewer. When you select Save Pages, E-mail Pages, or Print Pages, you’ll see a dialog indicating how many pages you’re able to retrieve at one time (see images below). This limit is set by the publisher and can be up to 100 pages.

Save Pages option in the EBSCO eBook Viewer
Save Pages dialog window

The Save Pages method is much easier and faster than downloading the full eBook option (below). You do not need to create or log in to a My EBSCOhost account to Save Pages. To save more than the displayed limit, save as much as you can, then close your browser and come back to the eBook full text after 30 minutes or so. You will find that the limit has been reset. However, to avoid saving the same pages, you will need to navigate to the last page you saved and choose the “Current page and the next xx pages” option.

For example, if you saved pages 1-100, then later returned to the eBook, you would need to navigate to page 101, select Save Pages, and choose “Current page and the next 99 pages” to save pages 101-200 to PDF.

Download full EBSCO eBooks to a desktop computer

Downloading an entire EBSCO eBook is equivalent to borrowing a physical book from the library. You will not be able to indefinitely save the file like you can with PDFs, and you will have a limited amount of time to read the book. This is why we recommend using the Save Pages method, above.

To download the full eBook all at once, you will need either Adobe Digital Editions (Windows / Mac) or Bluefire Reader for Windows. Once you install one of these free apps, you will need to create an Adobe ID and authorize your device to use it.

You will also need to create a free My EBSCOhost account if you don’t already have one.

  1. From the results list or Book Details page, click PDF Full Text to load the eBook Viewer.
  2. When the book loads, select Full Download from the upper right. You will be prompted to sign in to your My EBSCOhost account if you haven’t already signed in.
  3. In the Download dialog window (see image, right), choose a checkout period between 1 and 7 days, select PDF or (if offered) EPUB format, check the box to indicate that you have installed Adobe Digital Editions or equivalent, and click Full Download.
  4. The downloaded file will be in .ascm format. This is not the eBook itself, but a license file that Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire uses to retrieve the eBook. You can either save the file and open it with one of these apps, or right-click the file, select Open with…, and use the dropdown to select one of these apps. If you are using a public computer or otherwise do not have access to either program, you can save the ACSM file to an external drive and open it on a computer that has one of the apps installed.
  5. Once the checkout period you selected in Step 3 has elapsed, you will need to download the eBook again. There is no Renew option for EBSCO eBooks.

Download EBSCO eBooks to mobile device (iOS, Android)

  1. Install the free Bluefire Reader app on your device and authorize the app with an Adobe ID.
  2. Open a web browser on your device and find an eBook, as indicated in the Find section. View the eBook and select the Read Online button. Bluefire Reader will open automatically and download the eBook.

Download to an eReader (Nook, Sony, etc.)

  1. Complete the steps outline in the Download to computer section.
  2. Connect your eReader to your computer and open Adobe Digital Editions.
  3. Make sure you’re in the Library view. In the left pane, you should see your eReader listed under Devices. In the right pane, you’ll see your eBooks. Drag the eBook from the right pane onto your device in the left pane. Note: Transferring an eBook to your eReader will authorize it with the same Adobe ID that your computer uses.
  4. Once the transfer is complete, you can disconnect your eReader and start reading.

Questions or Problems?

EBSCO offers a number of helpful documents related to downloading and using EBSCO eBooks on their eBooks & Audiobooks Support Center, including this QuickStart Guide.

Adobe Digital Editions offers an FAQ and Support guide for the latest edition of the app.