If you have any sort of error or problem with one of our online databases, you can contact the Research Help Desk and we'd be glad to help. There are several ways to contact us:
Several databases and resources have ways to contact either us or the vendor built into the the database (chat widget, contact buttons, etc). It is recommended you contact the library, first, and let us contact the vendor if the problem persists.
Our resources require an active UAH ChargerID and password to access. If you do not have this and should have it, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to rectify the problem. If you are a campus or library guest, including a campus alumni, you will need to use our materials on campus and will not have remote access.
What follows is a list of common complaints and errors and a series of possible steps to rectify them. Look through the types of issues and solutions to see if they help you. In some cases, even if it matches a general type of complaint here, one of the other solutions might work best so if the suggestions do not work, glance through the others. If you would like assistance, contact us at email@example.com and we will be glad to help.
The three most common issues we see are:
If you cannot log into any campus resources:
If you can log into Canvas/Banner/etc but not into library resources:
If you are using bookmarks (by you, or posted by a classmate/professor/colleague) to access the resources:
If you are trying to get to a resource you found via Google/Bing or some other source:
If a resource/database was working just a few minutes/hours earlier but now is not:
If you cannot get to an article/source you managed to find some time ago despite doing similar searches:
If there is some other issue, these are common and less common causes of errors:
Browser Extension/Add-Ons Causing Errors (infinite redirects, URL changes, etc)
Somewhat rare, but some browser extensions (aka, add-ons) can cause glitches when loading data. Such glitches might be caused by extensions that change the formatting or security features of the page (such as those that hide certain types of elements, move certain elements around, or try to block certain types of elements from loading such as extensions that block certain scripts). Another glitch happens when an add-on tries to redirect the URL (such as one that forces a browser to use a secure HTTPS version of the link) and some built in redirect on the page itself conflicts with it and the page tries to load conflicting https links back and forth, each one triggering the other one to reload. If the page reloads over and over, only loads some elements, or loads some "raw" HTML but is missing styles and/or script functionality: take a look at your extensions/add-ons and see if they are conflicting with the page functionality.
Domain not Whitelisted/Allowed by Proxy Server
If the domain you are trying to reach is not in our proxy server's settings, you might receive an error along the lines of either a 404 or a screen that tells you, "This page is temporarily unavailable or there is a problem with the link. Please try again in a few minutes." Sometimes this happens when a site is open-access or uses a different way to verify that you are a UAH user and due to a link or redirect it tried to go through our proxy server to authenticate you. Try going directly to the site. If this site needs our proxy server and therefore you cannot go directly to the URL in question, but is still generating this error, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can take a look at it.
Since there several steps of redirect (our site, the proxy server, Single Sign On, the database in question) then sluggish or non-response Domain Name Servers can cause issues in the process. This can be especially true if traffic is high or there has been something to impact the DNS. You sometimes will see statuses such as "resolving host" last for some time, and possibly experience loops as it tries to reload a previous step. This can happen even if previous attempts went smoothly, or even if you are able to access other materials (especially if the domain IP address is still cached by your system). If this is the case, then you might need to reset your router or contact your Internet Service Provider. Most of the time, these slowdowns are temporary.
Excessive Attempts/Downloads Prevents You From Accessing Our Resources
If you use a third party app or script to access our resources and it attempts many searches or too many downloads at the same time, it can cause our systems (or the vendors' systems) to [usually temporarily] block your access. This can sometimes also be triggered by manually downloading a number of articles back-to-back (especially larger ones, or through a mass-export job) or, in rare cases, by the way some databases check the status of an article repeatedly if left open in your browser. If you get a message that tells you that you have exceeded your limit or you simply cannot access the server after using a third party app/script, the first step is to wait for a bit before trying again (the time-out is set to 15 minutes). If that does not fix the problem, contact us at email@example.com and we will look into it.
Going Directly to Resource URL instead of through the Library's Site
A lot of our resources can be directly accessed through the internet (found by Google, etc, or simply bookmarked). Sometimes our patrons to try and reach a database that way. Some can detect if you are on campus and automatically acknowledge you are in our system, but others cannot (or if you are trying to access them remotely). If this is the case, then go through our Databases A-Z tool and try accessing the database through our link, which will include appropriate proxy server information.
Library Does Not Subscribe to a Resource, or our subscription terms have changed with the resource
The library possibly does not subscribe to the resource. If there was a database or journal or etc that you used through us that is no longer working, it is possible we have either ceased to subscribe to the resource or the items we get through our subscription has changed. You might get redirected to a general search page or be asked to pay for an article to which the library seems like it should have access. If you feel that such an occurrence is in error, or you would like to double check, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can look into it for you or help you find other resources to help.
Library Fines Preventing You from Accessing Resources
Once your account has achieved some level of fines where it has been barred, this will impact your ability to access our online resources. You will see a message telling you "No Privileges for the Resource." If you have a fine that needs to be paid, please contact User Services at email@example.com and pay that (you should be prompted, in the message, to contact User Services). If you have a fine that has been paid off and are still unable to access the system, then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us look into it, for you.
Library (and/or Its Resources) Are Blocked by Your Firewall
This is a rare case, but sometimes it has happened that personal routers (or office/company routers/systems) have blocked the Library, the proxy server, the UAH domain, or the domain of one of our resources. This can sometimes be discovered when your account works just fine with some resources by not others, or if you find out that you can get to the website/resources via a mobile network but not your home/office one. If this is the case, you can sometimes add an exception to whitelist us, or go through and clear us from the blocklist. This varies based on the equipment being used. If you are in an office that might have done this for some reason, try contacting your system administration and see if they can make an exception for you.
Link Is Bad, Non-Permanent, and/or Contains Session ID information
This especially happens when you have bookmarked or copy-and-pasted the link. Sometimes characters can be left off, added on, or otherwise point to the incorrect thing. In some cases, the link is not a permalink (see tab on left) and therefore not intended to be retrieved at a later time. Some databases embed session IDs right into the link and said links will not work once the session has expired. If you think the link is in error because of our mistake, or you would like help tracking down the correct link, contact us at email@example.com. Note that this sometimes caused by a bookmarked link pointing to a resource to which we no longer subscribe, or by a resource that updates the URL to not include our proxy server information.
Logging into Single Sign On with Mixed Case or Extra Characters
Some systems allow for some leeway in how you enter your ChargerID and password into the Single Sign On prompt: varied capitalization, inclusion of @uah.edu. Our resources usually need you to enter in your ChargerID and password more precisely. This is often of the form [all lowercase] of abc0123 for your username. This is NOT your A-Number, by the way. If you are having an error, confirm that you are using the ChargerID without the @uah.edu and in all lowercase. If you have passwords saved to a browser, make sure it is saved in the form mentioned here (since the noncanonical form might work elsewhere).
If you have not changed your campus password in some time, it is possible that your campus-wide password has expired. You can test this by trying to log into other campus accounts such as Canvas, Banner, or Gmail. If you are not able to do so, you can use the Password Reset Tool or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
Proxy Server Is Down or Sluggish to Respond
Sometimes due to power failures or server crashes, our proxy server may be slow to respond or not respond at all. If you try to access our databases but it hangs up at the stage where it is contacting the proxy-server and never gets through, contact us immediately at email@example.com so we can remedy it.
Resource Has Changed Its Domain/URL Structure
Sometimes our online resources will update their domain structure in such a way that older URLs will no longer work. They can change sub-domains, rearrange the way that things are accessed, or add/delete characters in URLs. This can cause links to them or to articles/sources inside of them to no longer work to point to other articles/sources not intended. If you find such an occurrence, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can try to find the materials you need and/or update the link as appropriate.
Resource Is Down or Having Errors
Sometimes the problem is entirely on the "other end". The database/resource in question might simply be down or having errors. If you have accessed it correctly and it gives you strange errors (including 404 errors, or scripting errors, or does not respond to your clicks/searches) then it might simply need a few minutes to sort itself out. If this has persisted for a time, or if you would like confirmation, or would like us to contact the vendor, email us at email@example.com.
Session Has Expired but not Cleared from Browser Cache
Sometimes browsers have an error where it will retain session information (i.e. cookies, site data) after it has expired. The expired data prevents it from receiving updated/fresh session data but also prevents you from using your system. One way you can quickly test this is to try another browser and if you access the system just fine, this might be the cause. Sometimes this will naturally clear up over time. Some steps you can take to speed this process up, or allow you to continue working, include:
If none of these steps help, there is possibly something else going on.
Third Party Cookies/Scripts Are Blocked
It used to be more common that more security minded folks might block third party cookies, and some still do to prevent advertisers [and other websites] from tracking their data. If you know you have triggered this or think you might have triggered this, check your browser settings to see if you have (usually in something like the Privacy controls). Since our proxy server needs third party cookies to continue without error, you will need to turn this off. Or, if you would rather keep it on, add *.uah.edu domains to your whitelisted/allowed cookies.