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Library Information for International Students

Library Guide for international students

E-books: What are they?

An e-book (short for electronic book, also written eBook or ebook) is converted digital text that forms the equivalent of a conventional printed book, sometimes protected with a digital rights management (DRM*) system. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines the e-book as "an electronic version of a printed book," but e-books can and do exist without any printed equivalent. These e-books are said to be born digitally.   

*DRM or Digital Rights Management refers to the controlled use of digital media by preventing access, copying or conversion to other formats by the end user.


UVic Libraries provides access to hundreds of thousands of eBooks via the library search

Access to eBook titles is provided in a number of different ways and the license dictates what the user can do with an eBook (such as downloading, printing a chapter, requesting via inter-library loan).

The main ways in which UVic Libraries provides access to eBooks can be summarised as follows:

Subscription: UVic Libraries buys a subscription to an ebook collection/database and access is provided to the content whilst the subscription is maintained. The collection of e-books is not static and items can be added (i.e. newly available content) or removed (i.e. items are no longer licensed for inclusion) during the subscription period. Examples of popular ebook collections are Academic Complete via Ebook Central and ???

Evidenced-Based Acquisitions (EBA): UVic Libraries has four new EBA packages with Taylor & Francis, Wiley Online Books, Cambridge University Press, and Oxford University Press. These agreements last for one year and in that time, UVic Libraries has access to the whole publisher package offering and at the end of the EBA agreement, UVic Libraries purchases titles used most often. For more detailed information about EBA packages plea see the EBA guide.

Perpetual: These titles have been purchased outright and we have perpetual or permanent access to these titles.

Library Search

Library Search is a google-like search in the UVic library collection. Do you know we have books in different languages? You can search your keywords in German, Chinese or Japanese to find these books. Here is an example. Use the limit "Library catalog" (on your left side of the result page) to limit your results to books in our collection only.

Get Call Numbers

Find the book you want in the Catalogue and get its call number (see Reading call numbers to locate your book ). Also check its location: McPherson, Reference, Music and Media, Priestly Law, etc. You can see this information in the main result list or the catalogue record (shown below), which you see when you click the item's title.

When you find a book, look at the ones shelved around it - because they're arranged by subject, they should be similar. You can also browse similar items virtually by clicking on relevant subject headings listed in the item record.

Creative Commons License
This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.