Question

Is it possible, ethical and legal to do this.

I vaguely remember being taught the basics of writing an essay seventy years ago. How to set out an essay plan and how to take notes that one should be able to use at a later date when one was revising for exams.
The world has moved on since then and now when I’m interested in a subject such as the history of Mohammedanism I first go to Wikipedia and collect information which I cut and paste to my crib sheet probably using a table so I can introduce dates and other factors I can refer to later.
As my interest grew I have bought books and in this case one has to look for what is the most reliable which is a problem as in this subject positions appear to be quite rigid as to who is right and who is wrong. In order to help me determine the neutrality of such writing I need notes but I don’t want to have to write them out in hand and then transfer them to a computer and I don’t want to sit reading at a computer while I take notes from it.
In some cases I can lay a book onto my scanner and take an electronic note but that’s not always possible. I have tried to use a hand held scanner but have yet to find one that’s effective unless that is someone here can advise me. In all cases I always place an acknowledgement against the note.
Now to the point, I know nothing about E Books other than having seen people using them on a train so I have no idea what one can do with them. As a result I wish to ask the following questions.

Can one buy an E Book and use it on a computer?
Is it possible to cut a sentence from an E Book and paste it onto my computer?
Is it ethical to do this?
Is it legal to do this?
Is there a sufficient coverage of E Books for the sort of subject I referred to?
I

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Answer
yes, yes, yes, yes and who knows

basically, all your questions is yes except for the last one. I have absolutely no idea.

There is something called a fair use policy and as long and you don't go beyond a paragraph or two when quoting or copying, it would be legit as long as you give the source. One thing though, you need to read the terms of use on the ebook service you are using to see what they consider fair use and whether or not you are allowed to read the ebook on another device or computer.

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Is it possible, ethical and legal to do this.

Many thanks for that but like most questions an answer always leads to another one.
I have a lap top and desk computer but I have never even seen an E Book so before I find one to buy what format does one come in and how does it get into the computer. Am I right in assuming it comes in CD format?

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there are a lot of formats for ebooks
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Calibre!

Ebooks today come as very small downloadable files - typically less than 10 MB. They come in many formats, but a versatile ebook management programme, like the freeware Calibre (which I personally recommend) can open many of them, and convert them into html, pdf and plain text files for easy use on a computer! You don't even need to purchase an ebook reader to use ebook files - services like Amazon allow you to purchase ebooks and download them using their free e-reader app, from which you can transfer the contents to Calibre for conversion and editing. Google Books has lots of academic ebooks, and there are a lot of older, public domain books available at Project Gutenberg, many of which are scholarly in nature.

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Ebooks

Kindle for PC is free through amazon, you can even use it on your phone. Also adobe digital editions is free, and most librarys have that as a free download.

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Answer
You're In Luck

Yes, you can buy an ebook and use it on a computer. As someone else mentioned, Calibre is your friend. You pull your ebook up in Calibre, highlight the text you want to excerpt, copy it (control + c) then switch screens to your word processor and paste it (control + v) into your document. I just tested this out with an ebook in epub format and it works perfectly. You can excerpt a sentence, several paragraphs or whatever you need.

Before you buy, check your library's website and see if they have the books you're interested in available for download onto your computer, tablet or smartphone. You might be able to save yourself some money, especially if you think you might be using a lot of source books. Ebooks that you download from a library can be used exactly as you would a purchased ebook, except for the amount of time you can borrow the book (though there may be some restrictions, which you can find out before you borrow).

You don't have to convert the entire document into another format (such as html), which can leave you with far more text than you need, as well as a lot of formatting commands to wade through and weed out.

If you're working with an ebook on a tablet and there's no possibility of transferring the book to your computer (such as you downloaded from a library and a particular book doesn't allow transferring to a second device), you can try reading the text you need into word dictation software. I've done this and it works like a charm.

Excerpting text is definitely ethical and it's legal. As someone else mentioned, it's fine to use excerpts of a few paragraphs. In fact, you can't write a term paper or scholarly work without quoting other authors or sources. Just make sure when you're excerpting that you also cite your source. When I was doing term papers in college, I always made a separate file of my excerpts together with their source information for that all-important bibliography.

As to whether there is sufficient material out there on your chosen subject for you to work with, I think this is a question a librarian could really help you with. These days, librarians don't just know books, they are well-versed in all kinds of media formats, including ebooks and how to work with them.

Good luck with your research.

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Is it possible, ethical and legal to do this.

Many thanks for all that information. spiral0city is correct in writing, "As to whether there is sufficient material out there on your chosen subject" etc.

Much of the writing is partisan. I hope that sufficient reading will help me to reach a value free conclusion to the important question which is, "What is the relationship if any between terrorism and what I would refer to as the religion, "Islam"?

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Does PDF mean its not possible to copy sections?

I have been looking at Ebooks on the Internet and I note that many of them are in a PDF format. Surely this means that its not possible to copy sections one wishes to use as a reference?

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Re: pdf

If they aren't protected against it, you could use a pdf-editor to copy stuff out.

And if they aren't protected against it, you can print anything you like from them with a pdf-printer (like cutepdf) to your own pdf-file.

On a PC you can make screenprints and store those in a MS Word document. That's the equivalent of making a photocopy of a paper book. And, like copying a paper book, it's much easier to buy it if you need more than a few pages.

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A final question for the moment.

There are those who would like to keep as far away from Amazon as possible. Is there software one needs to deal with Ebooks that is nothing to do with Amazon?

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Re: Amazon

Amazon is not the only company selling e-books. So it's unlikely that e-books from other sources need Amazon software.

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Answer
Yes

Yes, you definitely can use e-book on your computer, it's ethical and legal.

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