Cannot access library resources at IU


IUCAT Classic was retired December 17, 2017.

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

On this page:

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You will not be able to access some resources if your IU accounts are no longer active or if you are not using the correct username and password. For more, see Student computing accounts when you leave IU, transfer campuses, study abroad, or have active military service.

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 support only certain browsers. For example, if you have difficulty accessing a particular resource in Firefox, try using Internet Explorer or Safari.

On January 12, 2016, Microsoft ended support for Internet Explorer versions prior to version 11. UITS strongly recommends that you upgrade to a new operating system if your current system does not support Internet Explorer 11. If you experience difficulty with Internet Explorer, make sure compatibility mode is turned off.

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 About mixed content and how to view it.

In some cases, you need to have Adobe Acrobat DC or Adobe Reader installed on your computer. Via Adobe Creative Cloud, Acrobat DC is available at no cost to currently enrolled students, current and retired faculty (including faculty emeriti), current staff, and some affiliates. Reader is available for free to all users from Adobe's Reader website.

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 IUB, you can view limits for databases as follows:

  1. Find the database you're trying to use in the list at Resources A-Z.
  2. Click 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 access library resources from off campus, try either of the following:

  • Log in using your ADS domain account

    When you are prompted for your username, enter ads\username (where username is your username). For your passphrase, enter your usual IU passphrase.

  • Create a VPN connection

    See About the IU VPN.

Access to a specific article

If you cannot access the full text of an article through a particular database, you have several options:

  • Search for the journal title (not the title of the article) on your campus's library 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, click the title.
  • 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 asked to log in to access the material online.
  • If you are sure you cannot access the material in any other way, you can also try to obtain a copy via Interlibrary Loan.

Consult your campus library's reference department if you have questions about locating or accessing a particular text, contact your campus librarian.


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

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

IU Bloomington

General problems

If you have trouble accessing the IUB Libraries electronic resources, consider the possible reasons below. If you don't find a solution, complete the Report a Problem form. If you have additional questions, Ask a Librarian.

See also Getting Connected! Tips for Connecting to Electronic Resources.

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 denoting access levels:

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

Fort Wayne

IU students, faculty, and staff at Fort Wayne must log in to access all IUPUI 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 2019-02-15 12:57:48.

Contact us

For help or to comment, email the UITS Support Center.