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Hilton C. Buley Library

 

OffCampus Access: Technical Tips for Database Access

How to log into the library's databases and online subscriptions from off campus

Frequent Problems

I use the AOL browser or another minimalist/lightweight browser.

  • The AOL browser does not have the full capabilities of most modern browsers and may cause problems in some databases. Once you are on the Internet, minimize the AOL browser and open another browser. Internet Explorer (Windows), Firefox (Mac, Windows, Linux), Safari (Mac & Windows), and Opera (Mac, Windows, Linux) are available for free downloads.
  • If you are using one of the browsers listed above, be sure to update your browser to the latest version for security and functionality.

I am trying to access the library on my phone or mobile device.

  • Most modern mobile browsers are capable of using the databases, though some databases may default to a 'mobile' version without all the features of the full interface. If your mobile browser does not allow you to login, to view PDFs or other full text files, or has other issues, try using another web browsing app. We have found that the Chrome web browser works on most platforms.

How do I get to the databases?

  • The Library Home page has two primary places for database access. You search many databases via SouthernSearch or select an individual database from the Popular or subject lists of databases. You can also click on Find and choose Databases A-Z (this link includes all our databases, including ebooks, videos, etc., not just articles.)
  • Note: You do not have to log into anything else, such as SouthernSearch or MySCSU, before selecting a database--the login will come up automatically when you select a database to search.

What login do I use?

  • Use your Network login (MySCSU/Blackboard username and password with campus)

I can't login using my Network/MySCSU login.

  • Check that you can log into MySCSU. Contact the IT Helpdesk for help with network logins.

I get an error message when using my Network/MySCSU login

  • Student accounts expire at the end of the fall and summer semesters, unless you register for the following semester. New student accounts are added only after all Banner processing is finished. If you have not registered for classes but are working on your thesis or dissertation, or registered late, we probably don't have you on record as attending for this semester. Contact the Circulation Desk (203-392-5756) for more information about how to update your account.

I can log into SouthernSearch, but not the databases.

  • Cookies must be enabled to use the databases. Cookie settings are usually found in your web browser under Tools, then Options, then Security. Different browsers may have the settings under different menus, so you may need to consult your help files. You will have to set the cookie options for every browser that you use. Default settings in most browsers will allow for database use.
  • If you want or need to keep high security settings in your browser for general use, download another web browser to use for the library (and MySCSU and Blackboard). Leave the security settings on the default settings, and only use this browser for the library.

I can get into the databases but it won't let me search, show me any of my results, and/or access the full text articles. I am getting error messages about "sessions".

  • You may have cookies enabled, but have the database domain blocked.
  • Firewalls can also sometimes prevent access to database websites. You may have to add the database site to your firewall "allowed" list to access the databases. It is almost always better to learn how to set your security settings to allow access to particular sites than to turn off your security programs. Check your help files, visit the websites of your security program vendor, or contact the SCSU Helpdesk or another computer assistance program for more information.
  • At work: Some organizations may have external cookies or sites blocked. This is common at corporate and government sites. Ask your local IT department if library access can be permitted, or only access the library databases from off site.

I can get in, search, and see results, but I can't view any PDF full text (databases and e-reserves).

  • You may not have a recent enough version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download a new version from the Adobe website.
  • Mac users may find the native PDF Firefox plugin does not work will all database PDFs. Try downloading PDFs or install the Schubert-it plugin detailed in the right column of this page. Using the Chrome web browser for Mac may also work better than Safari or Firefox.
  • Slow network connections can also prevent PDF files, which can be very large, from downloading.

I've clicked on something and nothing happened, or I'm getting an error message about popups.

  • Some databases and sites require the use of popups. If you have popup blockers (included in some browsers and in many browser toolbars, like Google and Yahoo!), then you will need to allow popups for databases. You should also allow popups for southernct.edu for access to MySCSU.
  • It is possible to turn off the view of a toolbar, but still have it actively blocking popups. Check the View menu in your browser for a list of installed toolbars. Activate each one to access the popup blocker settings.
  • Some browsers have popup blockers built in. You will usually see some sort of alert that a popup has been blocked, with the opportunity to allow popups for that site. You can usually access popup blocker settings in Tools, Options (Tools, Edit, or File menu), or Preferences (Edit or File menu).

My computer runs very slowly and/or I get a lot of popup ads on the Southern/Buley sites.

  • There are no ads on the University websites. If you are getting popup ads, your computer has probably been infected by malicious adware (programs that deliver advertising and/or track your online actions to gain demographic or personal information.) You should regularly check your system with an adware/spyware remover program, such as the ones listed in this PC World article. Many have free versions available for download over the Internet.
  • If your computer runs very slowly, you may need hardware or software updates, or your computer may be infected by a virus or adware/spyware. Symantec (makers of the Norton Security products) has an online system scan, and their security site has a variety of news, warnings, and removal tools. Many ISP's offer free anti-virus software.

If you need help implementing any of these tips, contact the Southern Helpdesk (for account help and support for university equipment), the technical support for your ISP, or a local computer shop.

If none of these tips help, please use the Ask Us service and we'll see what we can do.

PDF's not opening?

So far, this problem is mostly on Firefox in the Mac, and on iPads.

Firefox on Mac: If PDF's are not opening in EBSCO or other databases, in the menu bar, try installing the Schubert-it PDF plugin, which is free for educational use. This is the plugin that EBSCO is currently recommending for the Mac.

iPad: Try the Puffin browser or another alternative browser. The default browser (Safari) may only show the first page of a PDF.

Additional PDF plugin issues are caused when the Adobe plugin (which doesn't work properly in some browsers) updates and resets to the default PDF reader. In Firefox, go to Tools and Add ons. Choose Plugins and disable the Adobe PDF plugin.

On Windows computers, older versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader may not display properly. Keep the Reader updated for performance and security reasons!