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Ebooks: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Below is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). If your question about ebooks is not answered in the list below, there are a number of places you can turn for help. These are listed in the 'Help with ebooks' box.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I find ebooks?

The best way to find ebooks to which you will have full-text access is to search SOLO while signed in. Ebook records will have a green or orange link which you can click on to navigate to the content. Some restrictions apply. See the Accessing ebooks page of this guide for more information.

What are my options if I cannot find an ebook on SOLO?

If you cannot find the title you are looking for as an ebook on SOLO, consider changing your search settings. Sign in to SOLO and double check you do not have any active search parameters or filters that might prevent an ebook entry from displaying.

Individually purchased ebooks are all searchable on SOLO, but not all purchased ebook collections are, so it is important to visit the websites of ebook collections too. These are indexed in Databases A-Z.

In many instances, a physical print copy of the title will be available to consult as an alternative. If this is the case you can usually request a scanned chapter, or 5%, of the work be sent to your email as a PDF.

If you are sure the Bodleian Libraries do not have a copy of a certain title that you need, you can recommend a purchase or request an Inter-library Loan at the links below. Please note, not all titles are available to purchase as ebooks. See the 'Why are some books not available electronically?' box on the Finding ebooks page of this guide for more information.

Why are some titles not available as ebooks?

There are a number of reasons some titles are not available as ebooks on SOLO. Sometimes they are not available for institutional access, sometimes they may be prohibitively expensive. See the 'Why are some books not available electronically?' box on the the Finding ebooks page of this guide for more information.

I am being asked to log in to access an ebook, what should I do?

Try signing in to SOLO before attempting to access the ebook via the catalogue. If you are still being asked for a separate login please contact

Please note, a small number of Bodleian Libraries eresources require you to create an account prior to using them.

I keep receiving an error message when I click on a SOLO link for an ebook. What should I do?

On occasion, the Bodleian Libraries or the third parties that supply eresources experience brief service disruptions. Such disruptions are often communicated via the 'SOLO status' box on the SOLO homepage.

It is more common for users to experience client end errors, which may present the user with messages such as 'Stale request'. These issues can usually be resolved by clearing the browser's cache and cookies, or by switching browser. Find out how to reset your browser at the link below.

Do I need to pay to read an ebook?

You do not need to pay for any of the ebooks available via SOLO. If you encounter a paywall seek help from one of the sources listed in the box opposite.

Can I access ebooks if I am not a member of Oxford University?

Bodleian Reader Card holders have access to a significant portion of the University's ebook collections, though licence restrictions dictate these resources be consulted on a Bodleian Libraries Reader PC. Some green 'Online access' ebooks are Open Access and freely available to everyone. See the Accessing ebooks page of this guide for more information.

I have received a message telling me an ebook is already in use, or that I am waiting in a queue. What should I do?

Some Bodleian Libraries ebooks are licenced for use by a set number of concurrent users. If the university were to exceed that number, a message, temporarily blocking access, will appear. Try checking back later. In some instances, you can join a queue and receive a notification when an earlier user has finished with the ebook.

More information on ebook licences is available on the Accessing ebooks page of this guide.

Can I download an ebook to my device?

The vast majority of ebooks can be downloaded whole or in part to a personal device, often as a PDF. Depending on the Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions imposed on the ebook, users may be required to download Adobe Digital Editions. In all instances, users are reminded to observe the Bodleian Libraries guidance on copyright

For more information about downloading ebooks see the Using ebooks page of this guide.

How do I cite an ebook?

Different citation styles require the author to present a reference for an ebook in slightly different ways. However an important component of any ebook citation is the specific part of the text that is being referring to.

Ebooks as PDF are best at retaining the precise pagination of the print copy, as page numbers in other formats can change, or are simply unavailable. If precise page numbering is not an option, reasonable paragraph numbering is recommended. More information about citing ebooks is available on the Citing ebooks page of this guide.

How do I print from an ebook?

Depending on the ebook you are consulting, you may be able to download a portion of the text as a PDF and print it as you would with other digital documents. However, printing from some ebooks is controlled by Digital Rights Management (DRM). In such instances, you may be required to print up to a specified number of pages directly from the platform that hosts the ebook. You will not be able to exceed any stipulated printing allowance.

More information on printing in the Bodleian Libraries is available at the link below.

Help with ebooks

Help with ebooks is available from a variety of sources. Users are encouraged to speak with frontline library staff while onsite or reach out remotely to the relevant support contacts listed on the Home page of this guide. A list of related and/or useful links also appears on this page.

Queries regarding access to Bodleian Libraries eresources can be directed towards

Users can also speak to a librarian in real time using the Live Chat service available on the SOLO homepage and Bodleian Libraries website. A Live Chat box is also provided here for convenience. A green circle indicates when the service is available.