If you cannot access IU library resources

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If you have difficulty accessing Indiana University library resources through the library website or IUCAT, check the possible causes and solutions listed below. For more help, contact your campus library staff or Support Center.

All campuses

University and campus affiliation

You will not be able to access some resources if your IU accounts are no longer active or if you are not using the correct IU username and passphrase.

The license agreement for each electronic resource (for example, a particular database of journal articles) applies to the specific campus or campuses for which it has been negotiated. You may only access resources that have been licensed to your primary campus.

If you are teaching or taking classes at a campus other than your home campus, and you need access to specific resources for those classes, see Access electronic library resources on multiple campuses.

Browser and software issues

Try using a different browser; some database providers may only support certain browsers. For example, if you have difficulty accessing a particular resource in Firefox, try using Chrome or Safari.

If you see a blank page or a message saying that only secure content is displayed, the problem may be due to a mix of secure and insecure content; see Enabling mixed content in your browser.

In some cases, you need to have Adobe Acrobat DC or Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. Acrobat DC is available without fee through Adobe Creative Cloud to currently enrolled students, current and retired faculty (including faculty emeriti), current staff, and some affiliates. Acrobat Reader is available free to all users.

Limits on simultaneous users

Some databases restrict the number of simultaneous users. If you're unable to access a particular resource that you should have access to, try again in about 15 minutes.

At IU Bloomington, you can view limits for databases as follows:

  1. Find the database you're trying to use in the list at Databases A-Z.
  2. Select More info >.
  3. On the resulting page, look on the right next to "Simultaneous User Limit:" for the number of simultaneous users allowed when there is a limit.

All campuses except Fort Wayne

Accessing resources from off campus

To ensure full text access from off campus, always access library resources from your campus library's website, even if you are connected to the IU VPN.

Access to a specific article

Search for the journal title (not the title of the article) on your campus library's website. When you find the journal, make sure the description of the coverage of the journal (displayed on the web page with the journal title) includes the month and year of the article you need. To connect, select the title.

Alternatively, search IUCAT by journal title to see if you can access the material in the IU libraries. If you are connecting from off campus, you may be prompted to log in with your IU username and passphrase to access the material online.

If you are sure that you cannot access the material in any other way, you can also try to obtain a copy via Interlibrary Loan.

If you have questions about locating or accessing a particular text, contact your campus librarian.


General problems

If you have trouble accessing the IU Bloomington Libraries' electronic resources, consider the possible reasons below. If you don't find a solution, complete the Report an Access Problem form. If you have additional questions, contact a librarian.

See also Troubleshooting Online Resource Access.

Database access levels

The licensing agreement for a particular database may restrict access to on-campus users or workstations. Access is controlled by your computer's IP address. When accessing databases through the Libraries website, to the left of each database's name, you will see the following icons which indicate access levels:

Globe icon
Globe icon: Resource available without restriction
Lock icon
Lock icon: Resource available to authorized IU Bloomington users (on or off campus)
IU Bloomington icon
IU Bloomington icon: Resource available to users on IU Bloomington campus only
Workstation icon
Workstation icon: Resource available at public workstations in libraries only


At IU Indianapolis, go to Tech Issues for a list of known current library resource issues. The page also lists contact information for technical support available during library hours, and includes a link to report technical issues at any time.

For help accessing resources at the Medical School, Dental School, and Law School, contact the respective libraries.

Fort Wayne

IU students, faculty, and staff at Fort Wayne must log in to access all IU Indianapolis electronic resources; you will be prompted to do so when you attempt to access a resource. When logging in, use your university username and password. If you have problems accessing resources, see Tech Issues.

This is document aefs in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2024-07-12 13:29:16.