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Using Ebooks

How to find and use ebooks on some of our most popular ebook platforms.

ProQuest Ebook Central

Ways to read ProQuest Ebooks

You may read ProQuest ebooks online in the web browser of your desktop or laptop computer, or tablet device. There is no need to download special software if you use this option, but you do need an active Internet connection. There is no time limit on your use of an ebook online.

Your other options are downloading a limited number of pages using the PDF chapter download option, which allows you to print and permanently save the chapters, or downloading an entire ebook, which necessitates the use of special software and comes with a time limit of up to 7 days. Continue reading to receive instruction on these points. 

Saving a section as a PDF for printing or viewing

There are a couple options for saving a section of a ProQuest ebook as a PDF for printing or viewing.

A: From the table of contents, you may use the Chapter Download button to download an entire chapter in PDF format. This button is located on the menu on the left hand side, as well as next to each chapter in the table of contents.

B: Once you are viewing the ebook, you may use the PDF button or printer icon button in the menu at the top of the page. The PDF button will give you the option to generate a PDF of a single page, a range of pages, or an entire chapter.

The PDFs are searchable and selectable, include a citation and do not expire. The typical print allowance for most titles is 40% of the book. When printing a chapter or range of pages, the system deducts from this allowance. If the chapter is longer than the number of pages you can print, it will not print-to-PDF the chapter. You’ll need to instead print-to-PDF a page range within your limit. Once you’ve created the PDF file, you can read or print that file anytime – it doesn’t expire.

Downloading a ProQuest Ebook

Desktop or Laptop

The benefits of downloading an ebook are the ability to read offline, and to share between devices linked with the same software and account. Most ProQuest ebooks, except for 1-user titles, are downloadable.

In order to download an ProQuest ebook on a desktop or laptop computer, you must have Adobe Digital Editions 1.7.1 or higher installed. You can download Adobe Digital Editions for free for Mac or Windows.

To download the book, look for the Full Download button, which appears in a couple places. There is no need to create a ProQuest eBook Central account, as one is automatically created for you. 

Once you are logged in, the system will guide you through three easy steps to download the ebook.

If you plan to read an ebook on another device, such as a mobile ereader app, you need to authorize both Adobe Digital Editions and your ereader app using an Adobe ID. If you do not have an Adobe ID, go to to set up your free Adobe ID and password. 

You can have up to six different devices linked to your account, but be aware that ebooks borrowed from a library will not appear on all devices. They will only be on the device where it was initially downloaded.

Visit the ProQuest Ebook Central: Full Download page for more details.

iOS or Android Device (tablet or smartphone)

To view an ebook on your smartphone or tablet, follow the download instructions above, but use one of the following apps instead of Adobe Digital Editions to view the book on your device. You will need to enter an Adobe ID in the app. If you do not have an Adobe ID, go to to set up your free Adobe ID and password. The Bluefire Reader app is the most widely recommended of these, but there are others you may prefer:

Adobe Digital Editions: Apple iOSAndroid 

BlueFire ReaderApple iOS 

As of July 2019, the BlueFire reader is not available to Android users. Users who have the BlueFire reader installed and have not upgraded in July should see no change in functionality. For those users who encounter an error downloading to BlueFire, use Adobe Digital Editions and follow these instructions. If you continue to experience issues, please try downloading individual chapters or read the ebook online

Visit the ProQuest Ebook Central: Full Download page for more details.

Do not use the USF mobile app to download and read ebooks online; use a mobile browser, such as Safari or Chrome. 

Frequently Asked Questions

For how long can I download a ProQuest Ebook?

Most downloaded ProQuest Ebook Central ebooks in Adobe Digital Editions or on your portable device are available for up to 7 days, and you will have the option of specifying 1, 3, or 7 days when you download the book. 

Ebooks with a single user license cannot be downloaded and must be read online. When ebooks are read online, they are "checked out" for a period of time that typically expires after 30 minutes of inactivity.  

Note: downloading an image PDF of a chapter or page range gives permanent access.

Can I “close” a limited use ProQuest Ebook that I’ve been viewing online, so it becomes available to another user?

Yes, when you do one of the following actions, the book will become available:

  • Sign out of your Ebook Central account
  • Return to searching or open a different book (in the same tab)
  • Close the tab or the browser you were reading in
  • Reach the end of your download period for full document downloads 
  • Inactivity for 30 minutes (that is, no page turns, copies, prints, etc. for 30 minutes)


How do I return a downloaded ProQuest Ebook?

To return an ebook:

1. Open Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire mobile app

2. Select "Return Borrowed Item"

You don't need to return downloaded books, but returning the download of a limited-user book will make it available to others. If you choose to not return the book, after the designated access time the file will remain on your computer or device, but it will become unreadable. Once it times out, you might want to delete the (unreadable) file to avoid confusion.

Note, returned ebooks may take up to an hour to become available.


Why am I unable to download a ProQuest Ebook?

If a book cannot be downloaded, it might be that: 

• the publisher doesn’t allow full downloads

• it’s a limited-user book and no more downloads are allowed for the book


How many people can use an ProQuest Ebook?

Most ProQuest ebooks can be viewed by any number of people at a time.

Single user titles cannot be checked out; they become available immediately after a user stops viewing them.

3 license titles allow for 2 simultaneous checkouts, leaving one copy for browser viewing if both are checked out.


I'm unable to access a specific ProQuest ebook that has the status of "Available to request." What does this mean? 

If an ebook status is "Available to request" (versus "Available"), that means it has a limited user license (3 or 1 user) and is not available for use. Please try to access the ebook later.


Can I place a hold on an ProQuest eBook? 

Unfortunately, you cannot place a hold on an ProQuest eBook that's in use by another use. 


Can I take notes, highlight, and add bookmarks in a ProQuest Ebook?

Yes, it is possible to do all these things when viewing a ProQuest ebook online in your web browser. Click "Sign In" in the upper right to sign into your ProQuest Ebook Central account to save your highlights, notes, and bookmarks. When you are viewing a page of an ebook, use the tools at the top of the screen to highlight, take notes, and add bookmarks.

See ProQuest Ebook Central: Book Annotations for more assistance.

You may take notes in the downloaded Adobe Digital Editions reader, but notes taken there are only maintained during the days you have the book downloaded. They are not permanent.


Can I copy text from a ProQuest Ebook?

Yes, it is possible to copy text when viewing a ProQuest Ebook online in your web browser. When you are viewing a page of an ebook, highlight the text you wish to copy, and a toolbar will appear. Use the copy tool (icon of two pages, located on the left side of the toolbar), which will generate the text to copy and includes a citation. The citation format defaults to MLA, but can be changed to your preferred citation format under your profile settings.

Please note you are still required to adhere to Fair Use and Copyright laws. Under Fair Use, you may copy a small part of the copyrighted book, not the entire work.

If the text you wish to copy is spread across more than one page, you will need to copy and paste each page separately.


Can I download a ProQuest Ebook to a Kindle?

ProQuest Ebook Central ebooks cannot be downloaded directly to a Kindle due to Amazon's proprietary software, however, you may download chapters in PDF format, which are compatible with all Kindles, or download ebooks to your Kindle Fire using the BlueFire app.

• Follow these instructions for downloading the BlueFire app to your Kindle Fire.

• Before you download an eBook to Bluefire, you must authorize the app with your Adobe Digital Editions ID. To Authorize the App: Open the Bluefire app from your Kindle Fire's applications menu. Enter your Adobe ID and password in the fields provided. If you don't have one, click on Create a free Adobe ID. Tap Authorize.

• On the Ebook Central site, find the you want to download. Click Full Download. The system should recognize your device, but if it doesn’t, select the option for Android and I’m using my own computer. Then click continue.

• You will be prompted to download the ebook. Your ebook should open in the BlueFire app.


Can I export citations to RefWorks?

Yes, it is possible to export ciations to RefWorks when viewing a ProQuest ebook online in your web browser. When you are viewing a page of an ebook, use the citation button (icon that is quotes inside a speech bubble) in the toolbar at the top of the screen to both generate a citation and export a citation to RefWorks.


Can I send a link to the ebook, or embed the ebook in Canvas?

Yes, use the link button (icon of a chain link) in the toolbar at the top of the screen to copy and paste a permanent url to send to colleagues, classmates, or embed in a Canvas course. For the latter, we recommend this option rather than sections of actual content because it avoids issues with unauthorized access.


How do I fix the error "Unable do download - Error getting license. License server communication problem. E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12," when I try to open a downloaded ebook file in Adobe Digital Editions? 

Try deauthorizing Adobe Digital Editions, and then authorize it again. 

  1. To deauthorize Adobe Digital Editions, click Help > Erase Authorization.
  2. In the pop-up window that opens, enter the password for the account you used to authorize Adobe Digital Editions. 
  3. Click Erase Authorization.

If this doesn't work, see deauthorize instructions for Windows and Mac computers.


I don't remember my Adobe password. How can I reset it?

See Reset forgotten password


How can I get more help?

Ask a Librarian or consult the ProQuest user guide to ebooks.

Ask A Librarian