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What is EPUB for EBSCO eBooks?

EPUB has become the industry standard format for delivering eBooks, because it enables publishers to create books that behave more like web content.

EPUB titles are often embedded with links to help the user navigate between sections, from the index to the relevant pages, and out to the open web.

eBooks in EPUB format also provide the user with what is called reflowable text. Reflowable text automatically adjusts to the size of the viewing screen and the size of the text, much like a mobile website. For this reason, EPUB provides a superior reading experience when downloaded to mobile devices and eBook reading devices. In addition, because larger sections of the book are delivered at once, the experience is more seamless than the traditional method of having to load each page individually as a book is read.

The EPUB viewer is the foundational functionality for EBSCO to provide eBooks in EPUB format. While the initial number of titles released was small, we are now processing all available EPUB titles from publishers. Academic titles in EPUB format will have a corresponding PDF version for instances where the exact PDF page needs to be cited for research. EPUB titles from trade publishers, such as Random House, will not have a corresponding PDF, because those publishers do not produce PDFs (and those titles are generally not cited in research). About two thirds of our top academic publishers are currently providing eBooks in EPUB format, which translates to over a thousand titles added in this format per month.

When two formats of a title are available, users will be able to select the desired format from the search result list and upon selecting download.

EPUB Format eBooks and Page Numbers

EBSCO displays page numbers in EPUB format eBooks when the publisher provides them in accordance with the EPUB specification for providing page numbers in an EPUB eBook. If publishers use different approaches than outlined in the specification for supplying page numbers, the page numbers may or may not appear in the eBook viewer. EBSCO works with publishers to educate them about how to adhere to the EPUB standard, to increase the number of EPUB titles offered with page numbers.

Page numbers are provided within an element of the EPUB file, and due to their relationship to other elements in the file, the page numbers may inherit the styling of different parts of the book. So it's possible that within one book, page numbers may vary in font size and weight, or may be bolded or italicized, as they've inherited those styles from proximal content in the EPUB file.

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