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Electronic Resources Troubleshooting

Basic Troubleshooting Questions & Steps

Photo from EBSCO

  1. Are you a current student, faculty or staff member?
    • Access to our electronic resources is limited to active members of the University, such as currently enrolled students, faculty and staff. If you are not one of these active members, our Libraries offer computers within our facilities where anyone can access our catalogs. Community members, retired faculty, and alumni will need to go to building security for a visitor pass.
    • Go here for an overview of visitor access and borrowing print materials. To obtain a visitor pass, fill out this form.
  2. Are you starting from the right spot? 
    • We encourage all patrons to begin their search from the library website. Try not to access the website from a bookmark that is saved on your browser as there are several problems that could occur when saving an old URL or link to your bookmarks for later use. 
    • If you are given a link, sending one, or saving one for later use, make sure it is a permalink. Here is a guide on linking.
  3. Are you on or off campus?
    • On-Campus:
      • All public and office desktop workstations are set up to seamlessly connect to our electronic resources.
      • When using our WiFi, make sure that you are using the FSUSecure network, which will require your FSU ID and password.
    • Off-Campus:
      • If you are an active member of FSU, make sure that you are logged into your FSU account when trying to access or download materials electronically. This is important because our system must verify that you are an authorized user.
      • Most of our materials are limited to current employees and currently enrolled students of FSU and cannot be accessed by others off-campus.
  4. Are you receiving time-out errors when trying to access materials, or the page simply won't load?
    • ​​Try clearing the cache and browsing history from your browser. Doing this removes previous or outdated authentication and session information.
    • This keyboard shortcut is an easy way to clear web browser history and cache with Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera:
      [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Delete]
    • Here is a guide for other advice and steps.
  5. Having trouble logging into your EBSCOhost account?
    • Make sure your login ID and password are correct and up-to-date. Clear your computer's history and cache, and retry logging in.
    • If you are experiencing an issue using your EBSCO account, consult the EBSCO support site.
  6. Are you still unable to access the material(s) you need?
    • A next step could be opening a different browser; for example, if you are using FireFox try using a Google Chrome browser. Internet Explorer is a browser that experiences the most issues, so it is recommended to instead use FireFox or Chrome as your main browser.

Other common questions

  1. Are you unable to access an article that our records show we have, or the resource is behind a paywall?
    • Report this problem using the steps in the 'Report a Problem!' tab in this guide.
  2. Are you being asked to Place a Hold for an eBook, or a "This eBook is in use" message appears?
    • Some electronic books have user limits, where only one user may electronically 'check out' the resource at a time. In the details of a resource, there will be a Concurrent User Level section that details how many users may access the material at a time. Check this information.
    • If you are being asked to place a hold for an eBook, you will need to make an EBSCOhost account to do so. You can find the link to create an account in the "This eBook is in use" pop-up message, or by visiting the EBSCOhost website here. After you have placed a hold on the material, you will then be notified when the current user is finished using the material.
  3. Do we have the journal or newspaper you need, but not a specific date?
    • Journal subscriptions often have a set coverage date of accessible content. It is possible that we only have subscribed access to a date range that does not contain the resource or date that is needed. Always check the catalog to see if we have the material in print before sending a ticket to us.
    • If the material is within the coverage date range but it is not accessible, please contact us using the contact options on the 'Report a Problem' or 'Home' tab.
    • If the material is NOT within the coverage date range and we do not have a print version, you may fill out an Interlibrary Loan request.
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