Electronic Documents on Reserve: A User's Guide

Rutgers University Libraries provide an electronic reserve service with online access to sample exams, journal articles, overheads, syllabi, problem sets, lecture notes, Web pages, and electronic files submitted or requested by instructors for class use.

Access to electronic reserve documents is restricted to users with a valid Rutgers NetID.

Finding Electronic Reserve Documents

Search under your instructor’s name, course name, or course number in QuickSearch. Use Advanced Search for more precise results.

Viewing Electronic Reserve Documents

Documents are delivered as Adobe Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format) files. Adobe Acrobat is installed on all public access workstations in the libraries and in campus computer labs. Off-campus users will need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader on their personal computers in order to view electronic reserve documents. Free Adobe Acrobat Reader software and assistance is available at Adobe’s Acrobat Reader Download Page: http://get.adobe.com/reader/.

In Adobe Acrobat Reader, use the right and left arrow icons to move forward and backward in the document. You can preview individual pages of your document using the Thumbnail Viewer, the fourth icon from the left on the Acrobat Reader toolbar.

If the print is very small and you’re having difficulty reading the document on the screen, try clicking on the Acrobat zoom pointer magnifying glass icon with the plus sign that appears near the top of the Acrobat Reader screen. Move your pointer (now a magnifying glass) back onto the document and click. The text should be much bigger. Move the scrollboxes on the scrollbars to see other parts of the page.

Viewing Advisory: If your document does not appear after clicking on the "Electronic Access" link, a number of things may be happening:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader is not installed on your machine. Free Adobe Acrobat Reader software and assistance is available at Adobe’s Acrobat Reader Download Page: http://get.adobe.com/reader/.
  • Adobe Acrobat is open but your document may be hidden from view behind your browser window. Try clicking on the minimize button Window Minimize in the upper right hand corner, or use the cascade button Cascade Windows button to display your browser and Acrobat Reader screens overlapping each other.
  • You are connecting from off-campus and have not logged in with your NetID. See "how do I connect from off-campus?" for instructions. Access to electronic reserve documents is restricted to current Rutgers students, faculty, and staff.
  • There is an error in the link and you get the message that the file cannot be found. We test every link, but occasionally a link does not work. Please notify us when this problem occurs, and we will investigate it right away. Inform the reserve staff at your local Rutgers library, or write to Ask A Librarian and report the problem.


Click on the Acrobat printer icon. Adjust the Print Range if desired (default is all pages) by typing the desired page numbers in boxes. Use the "Shrink to Fit" option to make a scanned original larger than 8.5 by 11 fit on a standard size page. Select "OK" to print.

Printer Advisory: You can use any printer with Adobe Acrobat, but the use of a laser printer with at least two megabytes of RAM is recommended. The additional RAM contained in most laser printers enables them to handle the workload more efficiently than dot matrix or ink jet printers. Printing can be lengthy depending on the size of the PDF file.

Saving to Disk

Save the PDF file to your hard drive or disk as needed. Select your browser’s "File, Save As" function from the top left corner of the screen and name the file. Be sure to use the .PDF extension with the file name. At the present time, most files can only be saved in the PDF format. Text format is available for a limited number of files. Select Drive "A" if you are using a library computer. You’ll need Adobe’s Acrobat software loaded on your personal PC in order to view the file.

Saving to Disk Advisory: In general, large files will have been divided into parts. Some files may be too large to fit on a disk. It may be necessary to divide your file and save it to more than one disk.

Sending to E-mail

You can send your document to your e-mail account, but you’ll need the Acrobat software on your PC in order to read it. The file is sent as an Adobe PDF file. Use your browser's "File, Send" command located on the top left corner of your screen and fill in your complete e-mail address when prompted.

E-mail Advisory: Please be aware of the disk quota limits on your e-mail account before sending any files. A large PDF file may exceed the limits of your account.


Reserve material may be protected by Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S. Code). Further distribution of electronic documents on reserve is prohibited.