Access to electronic resources

The University Library pays subscription fees for licensed electronic resources.

  • University staff and students access these resources via the Library website without paying licence fees.
  • Associate Members of the University Library access these resources on campus and also a limited selection from off campus. More about Associate Members' off-campus access.
  • Sequential or bulk downloading of articles is prohibited. See Terms and conditions of use

Access works through a URL-rewriting proxy server called EZproxy.

  • You connect to EZproxy using links on the library website and EZproxy connects to our database vendors around the world. 
  • More about EZproxy

Frequently Asked Questions 

What should I do if the University's login screen says the username or password I entered is incorrect?

Check that you don't have Caps Lock switched on by mistake, as the username and password are case sensitive. If you still receive the message, you can reset your password.

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Why do I receive the message, "Your University Active Directory account does not currently permit access"?

1. Your enrolment for the current semester, quarter or summer school may be incomplete. Ensure your enrolment is completed.

2. Your student fees may not be paid for the current semester, quarter or summer school. Ensure fees have been paid.

3. If you are a postgraduate student and your period of study has been extended, your faculty may not have entered a new expiry date in Student Services Online. Contact the faculty or the Graduate Centre to get the expiry date renewed.

4. If you are an employee or honorary appointee, your HR record may not be current. This is most often a problem for fixed-term appointees whose term is extended but their HR record is not updated. Contact Staff Service Centre on +64 9 923 6000 or log an online ticket through the Staff Service Centre portal.

5. You may be in a special membership category, e.g., visiting academic or student from another university, and membership has not been activated. See Eligibility for Library membership.

6. If your enrolment, fees payment, expiry date or HR record has been changed just today, your account may not have been updated yet. Try again later today or tomorrow. Your account should be updated overnight at the latest.

7. Your account may have expired. See When does my student access to online services start? and check the table information for start and end dates.

8. Students in the Centre for Continuing Education do not have access to licensed electronic resources.

9. Check your record in Student Services Online in case some other problem is visible there.

10. You are not a current student, staff member or Associate Member of the University Library. You may be eligible for Associate Membership. Alumni of the University do not automatically retain access to electronic resources after leaving the University, but receive a 30% discount off the normal Associate Membership price.

11. If none of the above apply, Contact us, giving the message in red. 

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Why can I not access the full content of a database?

If a database tells you either

  • That your IP address is not recognised
  • That access is restricted to subscribers
  • To pay money
  • To log in with a username and password specific to their site

then your access is probably not passing through the Library's EZproxy server. There are a number of reasons why this might happen. First, be sure that you are accessing the database through the Library website, rather than going direct to it. Then, see the EZproxy FAQs. Note that your University username and password will only work on the University's log-in screen, not on the database websites.

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How can I access a resource that tries unsuccessfully to open a pop-up window?

It is easiest if you set your browser to allow pop-ups for:


This will allow pop-ups for all sites you access through the Library's EZproxy server.

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How can I avoid a blank window on a Mac computer with ESET Antivirus running?

If you get a blank viewport (the part of the browser where web pages display) when trying to access resources on a Mac computer with ESET Antivirus running, do the following.

  1. Open ESET Antivirus.
  2. Go to Setup, then the Web and email tab.
  3. Untick Enable web access Antivirus and antispyware protection.

This should only need doing on privately owned Macs. On University-owned Macs, the setting should already be unticked.

The blank viewport can occur because of a conflict between the ESET setting and EZproxy.

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What proxy URL should I put in Papers (a Mac program from Mekentosj)?

To access resources through Papers while off campus, go to Papers Preferences. In the “Library Proxy” box, put:

To also use Paper's Scopus plugin: The University's Scopus Account ID is 11498.

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What OpenURL address should I set up in reference management software?

The OpenURL resolver address to set up in software such as EndNote and Zotero is:

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Why do I get an Adobe Reader message saying, "There was an error opening this document. This file cannot be found"?

Sometimes this problem is solved if you set Adobe Reader to "display PDF in browser".

  • Close your browser.
  • Open Adobe Reader.
  • Select Edit, then Preferences.
  • Select Internet in the Categories column.
  • Tick the box beside Display PDF in browser.
  • Click OK.
  • Close Adobe Reader.
  • Reopen your browser.

You may get the error message even when Adobe Reader is set to display PDFs in the browser. This may happen when clicking links inside PDFs. In this case there may be no way around it when off campus, as the EZproxy server has difficulty with links inside PDFs. You may need to be on campus to access those links.

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None of the preceding answers solve my problem. What next?

Determine whether it is a problem with only one website or with all library databases. Note that multiple databases may be on one website. So check two different websites, not just two databases at the same website.

If it is a problem with many websites, please Contact us giving the details listed at the end of this answer.

If the problem is with only one website:

  1. Check the EZproxy FAQ.
  2. Check the Database page for the particular resource, if there is one. Check for an "Access" section of the page in particular, in case there are special requirements for access.
  3. Check the News section of the Library website. There may be a notice about the database or website being unavailable.
  4. The website may be temporarily unavailable, or there may be a longer term problem. You can either wait and try later, or Contact us now. If you wait, do contact us if the problem persists after 24 hours.

When you contact us, please include:

  • Which websites you encounter the problem with.
  • The exact error message or problem.
  • Any action you take which leads to the problem.
  • The date and time you first encountered the problem.
  • The last date and time you successfully accessed the resources – tell them if you have never accessed them successfully.
  • The fact that the problem occurs off campus.
  • The name and version number of your browser.

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EZproxy is the Library’s web proxy server. You use it from the Library website to connect to our database vendors around the world.

  • Once you are logged in, EZproxy gives you free access to fee-based e-journals, e-books and databases that the library subscribes to.
  • If you aren't logged in and access these subscription sites directly, they may ask you to pay money, take out a subscription, or log in with a username and password specific to their site.

Technical details

EZproxy is a URL-rewriting proxy server. A proxy server sits somewhere on the route between the computer you are using and the web server you access, i.e., it acts as a proxy for the web server. You connect to EZproxy and EZproxy connects to the website. Links from the Library website that go through EZproxy have the following address prefixed to the normal URL (web address):

EZproxy then rewrites the normal URL, adding to the hostname in the URL. For example:

  • Normal URL
  • Link from the Library website
  • Rewritten URL

EZproxy then similarly rewrites any other URLs in the page, providing the URLs are at a site that has been set up in the Library's EZproxy. 

Frequently asked questions

  • I found a fee-based website – can I access it through EZproxy?

    Typically this happens when using a search engine that indexes journal articles. Google, for example, indexes articles in JSTOR. You can enter the web page's full URL in the EZproxy link box. Or, you can manually add the EZproxy prefix, noted below, to the front of the full URL (starting with http or https). Providing the site is set up in EZproxy, this should give you access.
  • Why does a link from the Library website not go through EZproxy, even though other links to the same fee-based web host do go through EZproxy?

    On Library web pages, the EZproxy prefix is usually added by a javascript. It may be that the javascript has inadvertently been omitted from the page. There should be a contact email address at the bottom of the page. You can use that to notify the person responsible for the web page.

  • Why would access to a website start going through EZproxy but then drop out of EZproxy while still at the same site?

    The site may contain a redirection through a different web host that has not been set up in EZproxy because the Library doesn’t know about it. If you think this may be the case, email explaining the situation and asking for investigation. We might be able to fix it.

  • Why would a link from the Library website that used to go through EZproxy no longer do so?

    Sometimes website providers make changes to their sites and don’t inform the Library. Email explaining the situation and ask for investigation.

  • Why does a link from the Library website to a fee-based site not go through EZproxy? I am certain the Library subscribes to it.

    1. A few sites have a different access method, e.g., Gartner and Lexis Advance.
    2. Occasionally the Library misses setting up a site in EZproxy. Email asking for it to be checked.
  • What proxy URL should I put in Papers (a Mac program from Mekentosj)?

    See FAQ answer in Access to electronic resources tab.

Further information

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Last updated : 5 August 2021
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