Ebook Collections: Dawsonera

This guide highlights a range of ebook collections, giving details on the content of the collections, and how to use them

Using Dawsonera Ebooks

Dawsonera is an Ebook platform, providing access to Ebooks from a range of publishers, and covering a wide range of subjects.

Finding Ebooks on Dawsonera

All the Ebooks available to you through Dawsonera can be found by searching the Library collections. When you find a Dawsonera Ebook, click the "Connect to e-book" link.


You need to login to Dawsonera to access the content.  On or Off-campus enter your University username and password at the SSO page.

Can I read all the Ebooks on Dawsonera?

The University buys access to individual titles on Dawsonera.  To see what content you can access choose the Advanced Search option on Dawsonera, and untick the box "Include books not owned by your library".  Enter your search term to find Ebooks for your subject, or leave the search boxes empty and click Search to view all the titles we have access to.  Currently the University has access to almost 3000 titles on Dawsonera, and more are likely to be added. If you are browsing Dawsonera the Open Padlock  indicates you have access to full-text, and the Closed Padlock indicates you don't have access to a title, however you can have a 5-minute preview to any titles we don't have full-text access to.

Read online or Download?

The Read Online option gives you access to the ebook on the Dawsonera Reader, this includes the options to add you own notes, and is the only way to print pages or copy extracts.  We recommend you use read online to view ebooks when you have access to an internet connection.

You can choose to Download a book which gives you access for 24 hours.  Downloads are only recommended if you are using your own device as you are required to install software to allow you to download the ebook.  Downloads cannot be annotated and you cannot print from a downloaded Dawsonera book.  In the vast majority of occasions the Read Online option is recommended.

Dawsonera Ebooks can be read onscreen using the ReadOnline option   

When you ReadOnline, you have the option to print pages, or copy pages.  Please note you cannot print or copy pages from a Downloaded Ebook, use the Read Online option is you want to print or copy pages.


To print pages, select the Print icon from within the ebook (use the Read Online option to open the ebook)

The Print options box allows you to either print the individual page, or a range of pages:

Limits are set for the number of pages you can print from each title. The allowance varies from title to title, and is set by the publisher.  You can reprint pages without this affecting the remaining print allowance.

Once you have select the page(s) to print click Preview and then once satisfied you have select the pages you want, from the preview click Print.

Dawsonera Ebooks can be read onscreen using the ReadOnline option   

When you ReadOnline, you have the option to print pages, or copy pages.  Please note you cannot print or copy pages from a Downloaded Ebook, use the Read Online option if you want to print or copy pages.


As well as printing you can choose to copy an entire page, or sections of a page. To copy select the Copy option on the navigation bar


The Copy option box allows you to copy an entire page or a section of a page, please note that if you select to copy a section that will count as 1 page in your allowance

Once copied the content of the page is available in the clipboard on your computer - use the copy function if you want to paste content from a page or a whole page into a document. 

If you need to copy the same page or selected area again, this will not affect your remaining allowance.  Copying allowances vary from title to title, and are determined by the publisher.

Within the Read Online function, you can add your own notes to Dawsonera books. 

Adding a note:

Notes can only be added through the Read Online option.  To add a note, select Read Online for the title you want to use, to open up the ereader, and find the page where you want to add a note, then select the Notes  tab at the top left of the viewer, or the Add notes  bar at the bottom

If you use the Notes tab at the top of the page you need to select Add from the notes screen:

Enter your notes in the notes field which appears at the bottom of the page.  Once finished click "Save and Close".  You can edit notes once created.

Sharing notes

You can choose to share your notes with others in the University.  From the Notes tab choose Share

This generates a code which you can share to allow others to view your notes 

Importing Shared Notes

If someone else has sent you a code to share their notes, you can view them by entering the code using the Import option in the Notes tab.

If you need more information about Dawsonera Ebooks, feel free to contact the Library or try one of the Dawsonera support documents:

If you're using Dawsonera Ebooks with internet access, or on a University Computer, please choose the Read Online option.

Dawsonera ebooks can be downloaded to your own Computer or device for offline reading for a loan period of 24 hours.  Please note that you won't be able to copy or print from a book which you download, copy and print functions are only available using the "Read Online" function.  In the vast majority of cases it's easiest and best to use the Read Online option.

Before downloading a Dawsonera Ebook you need to have software installed on your device to allow you to open it 

  • Adode Digital Editions (this is not the same as Adobe Reader)
  • Bluefire

We recommend you install either Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire for PC or Mac, and Bluefire for mobile devices.  Both programmes require you to create an Adobe ID.  Links to both can be found in the Download option for the Dawsonera Ebook.

To download an ebook:

  • Choose the Download ebook option  from the search results page or the detailed book page.
  • Ensure you have the required software installed, for PC or Mac we recommend you use Abode Digital Editions or BlueFire, for Mobile we recommend Bluefire.  Install the software.

  • With the software installed the book will download, for PC/Mac you'll be asked where you want to save it, and then you can open it, it should automatically open within the software you installed.  For Mobile devices the ebook will automatically save within the app you have installed.
  • Ebooks will only be accessible for 24 hours, but you can download again if you need to.
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Examples of Dawsonera Ebooks

Ask a Librarian

Need help? Chat to Library Staff, Monday - Friday, 9.00-17.00 using the box below.  When "Ask a Librarian" is unavailable email library@st-andrews.ac.uk with your question.