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Electronic resources can be valuable tools for research. However, sometimes something goes wrong. Here is a list of common problems and some possible solutions.

When I click on a link to a journal from the Find a Journal page, nothing happens:

  • The links to access the journals from this page display in pop-ups. Look for an info bar or other notification that indicates that a pop-up has been blocked. Click on the notification and allow the browser to show the pop-up.
  • If this doesn't work, try disabling any pop-up blockers you have running

I am having trouble accessing the database itself

There are several things that may be causing your problem.

  • Your browser’s security settings may be set too high. The databases need to be able to set cookies in order to function properly. To modify your security settings in:
    • Internet Explorer
      1. Click on the icon that looks like a cog (the tools icon) in the top right corner of your screen. This opens the tools menu.
      2. Click on "Internet Options." This opens a new box.
      3. Click on the "Privacy" tab
      4. Under "Settings" lower the privacy settings to Medium High
      5. Hit "OK" to apply the settings and close the box.
    • Chrome
      1. Click on the icon that looks like a wrench in the top right corner of your screen to open the tools menu
      2. Click on "Options" and a new tab will open in your browser window
      3. Click on "Under the Hood" from the menu on the left side of your screen
      4. Under the heading "Privacy" click on "Content Settings" and another menu will come up
      5. Under "Cookies" chose either the radio button that says "Allow local data to be set" or the one that says "Allow local data to be set for the current session", depending on what you are comfortable with. If you choose the second option local data will only be kept until you close your browser window.
      6. Make sure to uncheck the box that says “block third party-cookies from being set”
      7. The settings will save automatically. Just close the tab and refresh the page you were having trouble with.
    • Firefox
      1. Click on the "Firefox" menu in the top left hand corner of the window
      2. Hover over "Options"- this opens up another menu
      3. In this menu, click on "Options" as this brings up an options box
      4. Click on the privacy tab (it has a picture of a mask above the words)
      5. Under "History" open up the pull down menu that says "Firefox will:" and choose "Use custom settings for history." This gives you a new set of menu options.
      6. Check the boxes that say "Accept cookies from sites" and "allow third party cookies"
      7. Click the "OK" button at the bottom of the box to save the settings and close the box.
    • Safari
      1. Click on the "Safari" menu
      2. Choose "Preferences." This opens up a new box.
      3. Click on "Privacy"
      4. Under "Block cookies" uncheck "From these parties or advertisers" or "Always"
      5. Click "Done" to return to the preferences box.
  • Don’t use a proprietary browser like AOL or Compuscape as they will not work with the databases. If you are using one of these browsers:
    1. Open it up like you normally would to connect to the internet
    2. Minimize (but do not close) that browser and open another web browser like Internet Explorer
  • Make sure that you have Javascript enabled.
    • Chrome:
      1. Click on the icon that looks like a wrench in the top right corner of your screen to open the tools menu
      2. Click on "Options" and a new tab will open in your browser window
      3. Click on "Under the Hood" from the menu on the left side of your screen
      4. Under the heading "Privacy" click on "Content Settings" and another menu will come up
      5. Under "JavaScript" choose "Allow all sites to run JavaScript"
      6. The settings will save automatically. Just close the tab and refresh the page you were having trouble with.
    • Firefox:
      1. Click on the "Firefox" menu in the top left hand corner of the window
      2. Hover over "Options"- this opens up another menu
      3. In this menu, click on "Options" this brings up an options box
      4. Click on the "Content" tab (this has a picture of three windows above the words)
      5. Check the box next to "Enable JavaScript"
      6. Click the “OK” button at the bottom of the box to save the settings and close the box.
  • Try disabling your firewall. Some firewalls do not allow you to access the databases. Make sure to re-activate your firewall once you are done using the database.
  • Try using a different browser. If Internet Explorer isn't working, try switching to Firefox (which can be downloaded here).

I am having trouble accessing the databases from off campus

Please refer to our Common Problems with Off Campus Access page.

I seem to be able to access everything except one particular journal.

This is likely an issue with the journal itself. Please report it to us using this form. Please be sure to include your contact information if you would like for us to follow up with you regarding your problem.

I'm using Google Chrome as my browser and I can't access certain databases

Unfortunately, some databases do not work properly with Google Chrome. You can try using another browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. Internet Explorer can be downloaded here and Firefox can be downloaded here.

I am having trouble accessing content through Academic Search Complete or another full text database

If you have the citation for the article you need, try searching for the journal directly through the library’s Find a Journal Page. You may be able to access it directly from the publisher or from another full-text database.

The library has the journal I want, but I can't find the specific article that I'm looking for.

When you are looking at links to the journal on the Find a Journal page, please make sure to note the coverage dates for that journal. The database you were using may not cover the date of the article that you are looking for. Try accessing your content through another database. You may also be able to find your article in print form using the the library catalog.

Help! I am having trouble finding resources for my paper or project.

If you need reference or research help please refer to the Ask a Librarian page for resources for further assistance.

If you are still having problems please contact us by filling out this form. Make sure to include your contact information, if you would like for us to follow up with you about your problem.

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