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Accessing Law ebooks

A guide to finding and using legal ebooks and publisher platforms

Further tips of accessing ebooks

How do I read an ebook

You can read an ebook while online (in your browser), print out part of the text (usually a chapter) and sometimes save a file to your computer of device. The publisher's page will tell you how you can access the files. 

The book is listed in the catalogue but the ebook platform is telling me it isn't available

The library does not have access to all titles on any given platform. Sometimes, a subscription to a title will lapse if it hasn't been accessed in some time (but the University Library catalogue record remains). Contact us at to arrange access.

The catalogue listing takes me to the wrong title, or to an error message

Please report any access problems or error messages byu going to the eJournals and Databases page and selecting the 'Report A Problem' button on the right.

I can't open the ebook file

Access the ebook via the University Library catalogue to avoid hitting sign-in restrictions. 

Alternatively, you can save the UniMelb Library EZProxy bookmark  which will use your University credentials to access material you have found from google searches or other sources. 

Note: not all books on a publisher's platform are part of the University's subscription package. You can often restrict your search within the platform to only material that is available to you. 

I have downloaded an ebook but the file won't open

Check the system requirements for the type of file the publisher has supplied. Some ebooks for Digital Rights Management protections added and require special software to read the file. 

I can't view this ebook on my device

Check the system requirements on the publisher's page, including any software that may be required to view their files. 

Some ebooks are better suited to particular screen sizes, eg some will not resize appropriately for a phone screen. Check the publisher's page or Law Library ebook platform page in this guide. 

I saved a book and now it's gone

Ebooks are subject to access period restrictions, just like a physical library book. Files are available to read for a set period of time and will then be erased. You can re-download the text if you still need it. Any notes or highlights you have made in your personal account should still be there.

I can't find the title I am looking for

First, try searching within the University catalogue. This should direct you straight to the correct title within the publisher's platform. 

If searching within a platform:

  • check that you are looking on the correct publisher's page, it may be on a different ebook platform
  • check that an ebook version exists (not just print)
  • use advanced search features or tools available on that site. You should find more information on a help page.

How do I send the book to my phone or tablet?

Some publishers offer this service, check the help page. You may require a Kindle account to do this with some publisher's books.

Can I share an ebook I've downloaded with other people?

Ebooks are provided to the University for use by staff and students. You should only ever access ebooks for your own personal study requirements, and not copy or share these files.