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Using eBooks at UNC

How to locate, access, and navigate ebooks through the UNC Libraries collection


eBook Content

The National Academies Press is a digital ebook service providing access to ebooks, chapters, journals, and reports that can be read on the site or downloaded to a phone, tablet, or computer as PDFs. The National Academies Press has a large collection of scientific manuals and scholarly monographs along with government reports and other document types.

Ebook, digital journal, and report subjects include mostly the sciences, medicine, and engineering.



The National Academies Press is available to UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty, and staff with their ONYEN and password.

Users can access the platform by using The National Academies Press web interface directly at to search and browse the collection

Be aware, if you are off-campus, you may be asked to sign in using your ONYEN. However, if you are using campus WIFI this step may not be necessary. Regardless, to read and download The National Academies Press’ ebooks and other content you will need to register for an individual user account. This account is free and takes minutes to set-up. After creating an account not only will you be able to read and download content, but also utilize special features on the webpage.


Finding eBooks - Searching & Browsing

The National Academies Press provides many ways to browse or search ebooks. The search bar in the top far right corner of the homepage allows keyword searches by title, topic, ISBN, or DOI. Directly below the search bar you can also conduct a faceted search by topic through the "Browse" tab

The homepage also has several gallery style displays which showcase Featured Titles; New Releases; Most Downloaded; and From The Archives selections for the user.

The National Academies Press Homepage (with use case diagram)


Borrowing and Reading eBooks

In order to read ebooks available on The National Academies Press, all you need to do is select the book from the search results and download it. There is no need to borrow, or check out, the material. You can simply download the title as a PDF. Most ebooks on The National Academies Press can either be downloaded one chapter at a time or in their entirety. Most ebooks do not have a EPUB version for download, although you can also read ebooks online with the “Read Free Online” button next to the “Download Free PDF” button.

Returning eBooks

There is no need to return ebooks to The National Academies Press, once they are downloaded you can retain the PDF copy indefinitely. However, if you are reading the ebook through a web browser you may need to re-log in occasionally. Please note, your web browser may not “save” your place in the book if you are logged out of the session.

Check out this quick video on how to download a PDF from this platform!

Training & Tutorials

The National Academies Press Help Page

Navigate to The National Academies Press Help Page to review instructions for getting started with searching, downloading, and reading! There are also tips for troubleshooting common problems. This page also does a deep dive on: tips for searching; downloading and reading PDFs; reading online along with other tips to search like a Pro!