What is an e-book?

An e-book is a book in electronic format, readable on computers or other electronic devices. 

How do I find an e-book?

You can search for e-books on the Falmouth University Library Catalogue or One Stop Search (Falmouth University) or University of Exeter Library Catalogue (Exeter Students).

To search on the Falmouth University Library Catalogue

1.    Go to the search screen and set the limiter to 'E-books'.

2.     Enter your search terms e.g. 'French Cinema'.

3.     Click on the title you wish to use, and when the record opens up click on ‘Link to eBook' or 'Click to View Online'

4.     If prompted, enter your IT username and password to access the book.

Which e-book suppliers does the Library use?

The main supplier of Falmouth and Exeter e-books is dawsonera. We also use other suppliers such as Ebrary Academic Complete. 

List of Falmouth e-book suppliers

Can I access e-books off Campus?

You can access the Library electronic resources off Campus by logging into the Library webpages.  You can either find the book from the search screen and login as detailed above, or, go to ‘Falmouth Resources’ on the tab at the top of the Library Services page and login from there.

Where can I get help with using e-books?

Click here to access the dawsonera help page for help with downloading eBooks to Android and iOS devices as well as general user guides, tutorial videos and technical FAQs.

If you require further assistance please contact the library helpdesk.

Can I print & copy from e-books?

You are able to print and copy from most e-books within the limits set out by copyright law and/or licence agreements.  

E-book suppliers can use DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology which will limit the amount you are able to print and copy.  You will usually be told what these limits are when you try to print and copy from the book.  Copyright law states that you are able to copy or print one chapter or 5% of the book (whichever is greater) just as you are for a standard printed book.

Can I download  e-books to my computer to be read later?

Chapters from DRM-free books can be downloaded and saved within the limit of one chapter or 5% of an e-book.

E-books on the dawsonera platform can be downloaded for a limited time period (usually 1-2 days) after which the file will become unusable.  You cannot print or copy from downloaded dawsonera e-books.

You can download a dawsonera title more than once and you are able to preview the book for five minutes before downloading.

For providers of out of copyright materials such as Project Gutenberg and Internet Archive please consult their user information pages.

Help with dowloading dawsonera e-books to iOS/Android devices can be found here.  

For help with downloading Ebrary titles please see the following general guide to downloading from Ebrary.  For specific help with using the Bluefire app with Ebrary titles please click here.

Why am I having trouble accessing e-books using Internet Explorer 9?

Users have reported that attempting to access a Dawsonera e-book using Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) results in the full title display screen refreshing itself repeatedly, making it impossible to click on the "read online" or download options.

If the e-book is reached, an error message "TypeError: Function expected" is displayed. To stop this happening, enable compatibility view by either:

Going to the e-book and then selecting tools>compatibility view on the IE9 toolbar, which will add the Dawson site to compatibility view settings

Opening up an IE9 browser window, selecting tools>compatibility view>settings on the IE9 toolbar and either adding www.dawsonera.com or ticking "display all websites in Compatibility View".

I can't read e-books downloaded on my Mac?

Files downloaded from Dawsonera do not work with Preview, the default pdf viewer on a Mac. You will need to download the latest Adobe Acrobat reader and open the file using that program. To set Adobe Acrobat as the default PDF viewer, CTRL-click on any pdf document in the Finder window, click 'Get Info', then choose 'Adobe' in the 'open with' dropdown list and also click on the "change all" button.

Pages are opening one at a time in individual PDF files when reading online on Dawsonera?

This problem should be solved by checking the settings in Adobe itself. Open Adobe Reader and go to Adobe>Preferences>Internet and make sure that "display PDF in browser using" is checked. If your browser is Safari 5.1 or higher, reading e-books on dawsonera  is impacted by the lack of compatibility between the browser and Adobe. You need to either download and use Google Chrome (in Google Chrome, type about:plugins in the address bar and check that Chrome PDF Viewer is enabled), and/or download the Schubert plugin.

Can I download Library e-books to an ereader such as Kindle or Kobo?

How an ebook can be read on a device depends upon the file format used and whether there is DRM employed in the book.

DRM is used in dawsonera books and the PDF file format used by dawsonera is not compatible with these readers.

Material provided that isn’t DRM protected may work with portable reader devices.

The downloading of ebooks onto Apple and Android devices is hoped to be resolved by DawsonEra in the near future

Can we ask the Library to buy e-books from Amazon or Google eBookstore?

These sites only sell e-books to individuals and not to libraries.  The Library Service will try and fulfil requests from students and staff using our suppliers where able.  You can ask if it is possible to obtain an electronic copy of a title by emailing:


Are there charges for renting e-books?

No, all of the costs are covered by the Library Service.

How long can I rent an e-book for?

Books are available for a period of seven days

Can I rent the same e-book more than once?

Yes, and you can rent multiple titles at the same time too.