Accessing resources off campus: update

FAQ: Why can’t I access resources off campus?

With very few exceptions (listed here), you should be able to use your university login details to access the library’s resources, irrespective of whether you are located on or off campus.

If you find that you are not being given the opportunity to log in with your university details then there are several possible explanations.

1) Access route avoids authentication

The commonest reason for a failure to gain access to a resource off campus is because you have not been taken through the correct authentication system.  To avoid this happening, you should always access the Library’s resources via the Library’s web pages (including NELSON, Find My Reference or the A-Z list).

If you have  jumped straight to a database from a search engine such as Google you are unlikely to be prompted for the appropriate password and the end result will be failure to gain access or, even worse, finding yourself being invited to pay for the resource.

Don’t part with any money yet!

First you should look around the screen for a login button or link. Ideally this will offer you a ‘Login through your institution’ option, but it may say something like ‘Alternative login’, ‘University login’ or even ‘Shibboleth login’.  What you are looking for is the chance to select the University of Northampton from a drop-down list.

Once you have selected the University of Northampton (or ‘University of Northampton IDP’) then you will be able to enter your usual university login details.  If we subscribe to that resource then you will be given access.  (Don’t forget, you can always check whether we subscribe to a particular journal by using Find My Reference.)

Of course it is possible that the library does not subscribe to your chosen resource.  In this case an inter library loan may be the answer.

2) Subscription resources either not available off campus or cannot be accessed using normal university login

For licensing reasons there are a very few of the library’s resources that either cannot be accessed off campus at all, or require different passwords.

Example resource unavailable message

Example of resource news on NELSON home page

For further information about these please see this post.

3) Temporary loss of access

Sometimes the Library suffers a temporary loss of access to a specific resource.  This could be due to planned maintenance or a technical problem and will often affect all universities subscribing to the resource.  When we are aware of such problems we will post a message on the A-Z list and the NELSON home page.

4) Cookies need clearing 

Occasionally, a previous visit to a website may set a cookie that redirects you subsequently to that page.

To fix this problem you will need to clear your cookies.  The precise instructions for doing this depend on the browser that you are using.  See this page for how to do this on Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

Having cleared your cookies, as long as you access the library’s resources via NELSONFind My Reference or the A-Z list you should be taken to the appropriate login screen for you to put in your University Single Sign-in details.

5) Ask for help

If none of the  suggestions above seem to work then please contact the library for assistance.  Please give as much information as possible about the route you have taken to access the resource (i.e. which browser you have used, which resource you are trying to access and which steps you have followed).

Posted on August 9, 2016, in Library, Support and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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