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Library Services



Electronic books (e-books)

Guide to finding, using, and citing e-books at UCL.

Downloading e-books content

On this page are downloading instructions for specific platforms:

Downloading and saving content from electronic resources is governed by copyright law and the licences that UCL signs. Some e-books use technical measures called Digital Rights Management (DRM) to set the amount that you can save and / or require you to use apps or additional software, such as Adobe Digital Editions, to download content for offline reading. Even if a platform does not physically restrict saving of content, you should still comply with our terms and conditions of use.

Please note that you cannot download any software, including Adobe Digital Editions, onto student desktop computers available on UCL campus.

You can also download an Adobe Digital Editions app for iOS and Android from the relevant app store.

You will need to authorise the software or app with an Adobe ID. To create an Adobe ID, go to the Adobe website, click Sign In in the top right, and then Create an account. You can authorise up to 6 computers / devices with your Adobe ID. Authorising your computers / devices with the same Adobe ID means that an e-book you download to one will be available to you on the others.


To read BibliU e-books offline, you will need to download the BibliU App. You can do this easily by clicking the Read offline button in top right corner of the web reader:

Screenshot showing 'read offline' button highlighted

This will cause a screen with download links to show up. Select your device type and download the app from there. After you have logged into the app with your UCL id and password, you can easily download e-books by clicking the download icon in the corner of the e-book cover. Access your collection of downloaded e-books from the tab on the bottom of the app screen:

Screenshot of BibliU library ebook choices

You can also save a limited number of pages in PDF from the BibliU web view or app. Click the Save to PDF button in the top right corner of the reader. From there, you will be able to see the save allowance and save a page range to your device:

Screenshot showing Save to PDF option

Clinical Key Student

To read Clinical Key Student e-books offline, you will need to download the Clinical Key Student Bookshelf app. Sign in to the app using the Login via your institution option and selecting UCL (University College London).

Note that books don't automatically appear in the app - you need to add the books to your online bookshelf first.

First access the book that you want via Explore.

Click on any link from the book's table of contents and click the Add to bookshelf button.

Now refresh your app and the book will appear. Click Continue reading and the book will download.

EBSCOhost e-books

To download (borrow) a full e-book on EBSCOhost, you must sign up for an account with EBSCOhost. This is not the same as your UCL userid and password. You will be prompted to sign in or create your EBSCOhost account when you try to download a full e-book.

You will need Adobe Digital Editions software to open the downloaded e-book. Your downloaded file will expire after a given amount of time (shown when you download) but you can download the file again.

To download the full e-book, click on Full Download.

Screenshot showing Full text download highlighted

Alternatively, you can download individual extracts up to the limit set by the publisher. Downloading in this way means the file will not expire and you will not need any special software to open the file.

Click on PDF Full Text and it will open the book in your browser.

Screenshot showing PDF full text highlighted

When the book is open, you will see the publisher limits on downloading, printing, and copy/paste in the right-hand column.

Screenshot showing right hand column with limits described

Click the download button next to the chapter and select the pages you would like to download, in line with the page limit.

Screenshot showing page limit for downloading


To read Kortext e-books offline, you will need to download the Kortext app.

Before downloading the app, first access your e-book in the online reader on the Kortext website. This is important because:

  1. It will ensure that your account is set up correctly and automatically create a username and password for logging in to the app.
  2. Only books that you have accessed on the Kortext website will appear on your mobile app.

When you access the e-books on the Kortext website, your UCL email address in the format will automatically be passed to Kortext and used to create your account.

You will receive a welcome email from Kortext - this will show you the correct format for using your UCL email address as your username and give you a temporary password. Download the mobile app and login with the username and password from the welcome email - you can change your password once you are logged in. The mobile app and the website will sync and your book will be listed in the app - click to download it.

Although you cannot download chapters from Kortext, you can download a limited number of pages by clicking the print icon in the online reader and saving a page range in PDF. The number of pages you save will be deducted from your copy and print allowance for that e-book. Find out more in the Copying and printing section of this guide:

ProQuest Ebook Central

In ProQuest Ebook Central, you can either download the whole e-book for a limited time or download individual chapters as a PDF up to the limit set down by the publisher. If you download the whole e-book, you will need Adobe Digital Editions software to open it and the file will expire after the amount of time selected at download.

Screenshot of an e-book details page in Ebook Central. Relevant part reads: Download Book: Get all pages, require free third-party software, Check out this book for up to 21 days. Download PDF Chapter: Get up to 97 pages, use any PDF software, does not expire.


In VLeBooks you can download a whole e-book for a limited time by clicking the Download button on the e-book details page. You will need Adobe Digital Editions to open the downloaded e-book and the file will expire after the amount of time selected at download.

Screenshot of an e-book details page in VLebooks with the "Download" button highlighted in yellow.

You cannot download individual chapters form VLeBooks. You can, however, save a limited number of pages by clicking the print icon in the web reader and saving a page range in PDF format. The number of saved pages will be deducted from your copy and print allowance for that e-book. Find out more in the Copying and printing section of this guide.