Skip to main content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Finding and Using E-Books

Looking for an e-book? You're looking in the right place!

Comparison Chart

Guide to features of e-books in the University Library collection.

This chart is intended to explain the main features of the major e-book vendors the library purchases from, but it does not include all of the e-book vendors. Please note that interfaces and features can change.

Vendor Printing Download Use Rights Number of Users E-Reader Compatibility
ABC-CLIO Page, chapter or range of pages No License Agreement No limit Can access the e-books platform in a standard web browser setting on all mobile devices
ACLS Humanities Ten pages at a time (from pdfs) Three pages at a time (as pdf) Follows fair-use rights and restrictions No limit Mobile device formats available for sale
Brill Whole book (from Read pdf) Whole book  Rights & Permissions No limit Whole book (pdf)
Cambridge Varies by book; usually either 1 chapter or twenty percent of collection in question Individual chapters  Rights & Permissions No limit (except for select order titles) Can be downloaded to up to 5 handheld devices
Credo Reference Individual entries Individual entries (click on "Print & Export, then "Print")  License agreement No limit Individual entries (pdf)
Ebrary Yes; maximum dependent upon percentage and number of pages (right click on page text) Create account to download a standard pdf (60 page max) or entire book for 7 days Terms of service & copyright information Limited user titles Requires ebrary Reader. Downloaded sections (from pdf)
EBSCO E-Books Up to 60 pages (or fewer depending on the publisher) of an e-book can be printed per user as a PDF file from within the e-book Full Text viewer. In the viewer use the EBSCO print button, not the pdf print button Create account to download and "checkout" the whole book for up to 7 days; otherwise can save up to 60 pages (or fewer depending on the publisher) at a time from the viewer as pdf  

Depends on the book: 1,3, or unlimited users

Whole book when "checked out" pdf, and some have ePub option
Elsevier (ScienceDirect) Individual chapters (from pdfs) Individual chapters (as pdf) Re-use Permission Policy No limit Individual chapters (pdf, epub, mobipocket)
Gale Virtual Reference The number of pages may depend on the individual publisher specified limits  Individual entries/articles/chapters (depending on the book) as html or pdf   No limit Individual entries,articles,chapters (download pdf to eReader)
Google Public domain books can be printed (from pdf) Whole book (from Google Books not Google Play)   No limit ePub and pdf (android, iphone, and ipad apps available)
HathiTrust Depends on book; Page by page (non-affiliates) or whole book (with partner login) Page by page (non-affiliates) or whole book (with partner login) See Help Page No limit Depends on book; mobile friendly site; can be downloaded as pdf
IGI-Global (Info-Sci) Individual chapters (from pdfs) Individual chapters (as pdf)   No limit Individual chapters (pdf)
Internet Archive Whole book (options include pdf, epub, daisy, kindle, and more) Whole book Near-unrestricted. See for more information. No limit Yes--multiple formats and options available for download. Website designed for mobile as well as desktop users.
Oxford Reference Individual entries only; Restrictions on systematic download No  See "Users of institutional subscriptions," under "Legal Notice" No limit No
Palgrave Whole book Whole book Terms and conditions No limit Whole book (pdf, and some have ePub option)
Project Gutenburg Whole book Whole book (as textfile, html, or format for e-readers)

E-books from Project Gutenburg are free in the United States because their copyright has expired. They may not be free of copyright in other countries.

No limit Whole book (ePub, Kindle, Plucker, QiOO mobile) Mobile Reader How-To
Project Muse Sections of chapters or chapters at a time depending on the book (from pdfs) Sections of chapters or chapters at a time depending on the book  See license review No limit Sections of chapters or chapters depending on the book (pdf)
Safari Individual pages No Near-unrestricted access Limits to 6 simultaneous users on the account No
Sage Individual chapters from viewer or pdf Individual chapters (as pdf) Terms of Use No limit Individual chapters (pdf)
Springer Whole book and individual chapters (from pdfs or chapters from view screen) Whole book and individual chapters (as pdf)  DRM-free; see terms and conditions No limit Whole book (pdf)

Taylor & Francis CRCnetBASE

Individual chapters Individual chapters (as pdf)  See terms and conditions. No limit Individual chapters (pdf); Mobile version of the site for searching, then can download individual chapters to device (pdf)
Wiley Individual chapters Individual chapters (as pdf) Wiley Rightslink No limit Individual chapters (pdfs)

Please see this e-books advanced guide for additional information about more features such as e-mailing, exporting citations, copy and pasting capabilities, and special features.