I can’t get into a book/journal/article in the electronic collections. What is the problem?


Faculty, staff and students of the Boston University Medical Campus can use BU Libraries online resources from any computer with internet access using a BU username and Kerberos Password.

If you are having trouble accessing materials, please try the following:

  • Make sure you are going to the resource through BU via the BU Libraries Search interface or an Alumni Medical Library link. You should see ezproxy.bu.edu in the URL. This verifies to the provider that you are affiliated with Boston University and have access to materials BU has paid for.
  • Clear your browser cache. (You can find instructions with an internet search for “clear cache [name of your browser, i.e. Chrome, Firefox, etc.]”.) BU websites use cloud computing, and on occasion a browser may get “stuck” linking to an incorrect version of a URL. Clearing the cache allows your browser to go the link “fresh” (a bit like restarting your computer). Trying another browser entirely may also help.
  • For journal articles, double-check that BU has online access to the year you are looking for. In some cases, we own online access to a range of years (for example, 1996-2010), but earlier and/or later issues may not be available. Note that some journals also have ’embargo’ periods for the most recent years, so these may not be available.
  • Certain collections limit the number of users who can access a title at one time (i.e. STAT!Ref or ACP Medicine). If you see a message like “seats filled” or “user limit reached,” this means the maximum number of people are already accessing that title. Please try again later.
  • If you are a BMC Resident and you are receiving a “user group error”, your BU username and Kerberos password may have expired. Please follow the instructions at the Computer Lab’s Accessing Library Resources page to renew your password.
  • These additional EZproxy tips from BU IT may also be helpful.

If you are still not able to access the material after trying the above troubleshooting tips, please contact refquest@bu.edu with the item(s) you are having trouble with and the specific error messages you are receiving, and our reference librarians will look into the problem.

If you find the issue is that BU does not have institutional access to an item you need, you may use the Interlibrary Loan form to request a copy for personal use.

  • Last Updated Sep 14, 2022
  • Views 162
  • Answered By Kristen Sheridan

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