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Research Guides@Tufts

Troubleshooting Electronic Resources

Some general tips and things to try when confronting access problems for electronic resources.

Browser Problems

The browser and its version can impact results

  • Have you recently upgraded your browser? You may need to contact desk top support to check for fire wall issues. Fire walls can be particularly troublesome for users connecting from the Tufts Medical Center.
  • Does the resource you are connecting to support your browser? Sometimes another browser will work better.
  • Does the resource require cookies to be turned on? Change settings to allow cookies.

computer monitor

Why is a Proxy Server Necessary?

A proxy server identifies users connecting to subscribed e-resources from off-campus as members of the Tufts workforce. The Tufts libraries sign licenses with vendors agreeing to make electronic resources accessible only to school affiliated personnel. A valid UTLN username and password or library access number is required in order to use e-resources if you are not on the Tufts domain.

Proxy Server Errors

Common Proxy Error Messages

MaxVirtual Hosts error
Notify Heather Klish if you encounter a MaxVirtual Hosts error


  • “404 “Page not Found”
  • "Failure, unrecognized title" 
  • "To allow /login?url= to work, your EZproxy administrator must first authorize this within the ezproxy.cfg file.
    Within this database's section of the file, the following line must be added:
    The EZproxy server must then be restarted to make this change take effect."

Please report these messages so that they can be corrected. Proxy server changes need 24 hours to update.

To report an error message for a health sciences resource:

Supply name, phone number, and email.
What resource is being accessed and how are you accessing it
What happens?

Other Things to Check...

Begin in the right place
Make sure you are accessing the resource using the library web site . If you are off campus and try to connect via browser favorites or bookmarks you will not be routed to the proxy server and access will be denied.  You should see this screen when off-site so you can log in.

Publisher problems
Sometimes the publisher may be having hardware/software problems. Usually publishers will notify the libraries if there are extended problems;an advisory warning can then be posted to the affected resource which displays in the catalog.

Dates ranges
Are you trying to get to the full text of something outside the correct range of years? For ex., are you trying to open a .pdf to a 1994 issue on a journal when the library's access begins in 1995? Check the catalog for the dates. If the date is incorrect in the catalog, please report it.

Pdf won't open? Make sure you have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on the machine you are using. Also, take note of the size of the file. Some documents can be too large. Save the file to your hard drive and then try opening it.

License exceeded message
Some materials only allow a specific number of people to access them at a time. It is particularly important that you log off when done with these resources rather than close out the browser window which ties up a license until it times out.

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