Troubleshooting Database Access From Off-Campus
Sometimes users are unable to access the AUM Library's databases remotely. There are many reasons why this might happen; below are some of these possible reasons and things users can try to gain access to the databases.
- How does the system work?
- How do I login from off campus?
- I'm an alumnus and I cannot login.
- What happens if I'm unable to authenticate?
- Who has access to the databases from off campus?
- I can login but the database tells me to try again later.
- I get a "404 Not Found" message after I login.
- I'm an AOL user and a database won't work for me.
- I have a pop-up blocker running and cannot use a database.
- How do I enable cookies in my browser?
- How do I delete old cookies from my browser?
- I'm trying to access the database from work and I cannot login.
- I have firewall software on my computer and cannot login or use a database.
Once a user selects a database, an authentication screen validating them as a current student, faculty, or staff member of Auburn University at Montgomery or a current member of the AUM Alumni Association appears. Please note: this applies only to those using these resources from off campus. From a computer on the AUM campus, such as in the dorms, the departmental labs, or in the Library, users should not be presented with a login; if this happens, please contact Tim Bailey, Systems Librarian.
To authenticate, the user name is your AUM E-mail Address (excluding the "@aum.edu portion), followed by your AUM E-mail password.
Due to licensing restrictions, the AUM Library can no longer allow members of the Alumni Association, active or not, access to our online databases. Current members of the Alumni Association do have access to our online catalog and can check out materials from the Library with a current alumni association card.
If a user's information is not located within the authentication system, the login page will come up again, with the message that the information was not found. Users should try to log on again, following the directions above; users unable to get beyond the login page should contact the Systems Librarian, giving your full name, status (student, faculty, staff, or member of the Alumni Association), and the library barcode number/student ID number being used.
Only currently enrolled students, faculty, staff, and active members of the Alumni Association are allowed access to the online databases from off campus. Others are welcome to use the databases from within the library tower. User information is updated throughout the semester.
Users are advised to try refreshing the browser. The browser may need to be closed completely to resolve the problem, although disconnecting from the online service entirely should not be required.
Some databases only permit a limited number of simultaneous users. Normally a message will appear when this limit has been reached, after the user has logged into the library's authentication system. Should such a message appear, it is best to try again at a later time.
Similarly, some database providers choose to do maintenance during normal business hours (i.e., between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. CST). A message should appear alerting the user to this after they have been authenticated by the AUM Library. Again, if such a message appears, users are advised to try again later. In both cases, the user has left the AUM Library's site following authentication and are now interacting with the database server, rather than the library's web site.
A very common web page error message is 404 Not Found. In most cases, this means that the database server is down at the provider's end. This is another situation where the user is encountering problems outside the AUM Library website. Users are advised to try again later.
Some database vendors do not support all browsers. The most common browser that has such a problem is the AOL browser. AOL users must minimize AOL and launch either Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. DO NOT sign off AOL. Internet Explorer 4.0 or later is recommended for the AUM Library's databases. Click here to get the most recent version of Internet Explorer.
Some of the AUM Library's databases require that pop-up windows be enabled. Users whose Internet Service Provider (ISP) or browser allow them to block pop-up windows should contact their ISP or use the help files available with their browser to allow pop-up windows to display. These windows will not carry advertisements and are a normal function of the database. The following databases are affected by this:
- Mental Measurements Yearbook
Users must have cookies enabled in their browser. Here is how to enable cookies in Internet Explorer:
For Internet Explorer v. 6.0, click on Tools, Internet Options, and then Privacy. Set the browser to enable cookies at the level desired; in most cases, setting the Privacy settings for cookies to "Low" should work. Users may have to use the setting "Accept All Cookies" if the "Low" setting does not work. For different versions of Internet Explorer and other browsers, please consult the help files for the browser being used.
Sometimes previous cookies are invalidated or become too old and must be deleted manually. Here is how to delete cookies from the Internet Explorer v. 6.0 browser:
Click on Tools, then Internet Options. The box which opens will contain a button labeled "Delete Cookies..." Clicking on this button will bring up a box asking if the user would like to delete all the files in the Temporary Internet Files folder. Clicking "OK" will delete any cookies the browser is using. This does not turn cookies off.
For other versions of Internet Explorer or other browsers, please see the Help files for the browser.
For Internet Explorer v. 6.0, go to Tools, Internet Options, then select Advanced. In the list of features which appears should be a section labeled "Java (Sun)" containing a box labeled "Use Java." Select this box to enable Java.
The browser will need to be restarted for this change to take effect.
For browsers other than Internet Explorer 6.0, please consult the browser's Help files.
When trying to access the AUM Library's databases from work, users should check with whomever is responsible for network security. Many employers, particularly federal and state agencies and military installations and contractors, configure their networks in such a way that access to our databases is prevented. This usually is due to firewalls and other security features; these are there for legitimate security concerns and should not be tampered with without permission. The error messages most commonly returned in this case are Alert: 2048 Connection Refused and Page cannot be displayed.
Many users now have their own personal firewall software, such as Norton Internet Security, Norton Personal Firewall, and/or Symantec Desktop Firewall. This software may block referrer information to the AUM Library's server. Users should consult their software manual and/or contact their technical support for help in setting such software to allow access to the AUM Library's databases.
Contact Systems Librarian
Users who have tried all these things should e-mail or call the Systems Librarian at 334-244-3420; if no one is available to take your call, please leave a message. Users should be as specific as possible when reporting problems and should include their full name and student ID number, as well as any error messages received when attempting to access the databases, where the attempt to access the database took place, and the browser being used. Problems encountered over the weekend are dealt with first thing Monday morning; for persistent problems over the weekend, users should feel free to come into the library and use the databases from here.