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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): E-Access

This guide answers questions frequently asked at the HKUST Library.

How to solve an access problem at a remote computer?

Many factors lead to a failure in accessing an electronic resource.  Go through some of these troubleshooting tips:

Access Path

If you go directly to a database's homepage rather than using a link from a Library Web Site, the database may not be able to recognize you as an HKUST user. If you prefer to bookmark a URL to access certain resources, ask a librarian to help you find the appropriate library scripted links.


Many databases send "cookies" when you connect to them to verify that you are an authorized user. Check the setting of your browser, change it to accept cookies, or selectively accept cookies from the database vendors.


Many electronic resources depend upon JavaScript for some or all of their functionality. If access or searching is not working correctly, check to make sure your browser is set to accept JavaScript.

Some anti-virus programs can prevent JavaScripts from executing. Temporarily disabling your anti-virus program could fix the problem, but is inherently dangerous for your computer.

Pop-Up Windows

Some databases may depend on pop-up windows for certain functions. Check if you are using pop-up blocking features in your browser.


Some firewall programs can block your access to the proxy server. Disable it, or add the proxy server address "" as a "trusted site" to your firewall software's list.

If you are accessing from work or a commercial location, contact the server administrator at your location to see if access is available to you through their firewall, or if the site can be added as a trusted site.

Trouble Viewing or Printing

Most documents are in pdf format, which requires Adobe Reader to open and display. Make sure you have the latest version of the Reader installed on your computer.

Some pdfs have problems with a slow connection. A common symptom is that, after you click a link to open the file, the Adobe Reader window comes up, but the document remains blank. In such cases, download the file onto your hard drive first before viewing and printing.

If you are unable to print, try using the print button in the Reader window, instead of the browser.

Adobe Reader can be configured to open within the browser itself, or as a separate window. With some resources and certain versions of browsers, you get a blank screen when opening a pdf within the browser. You may need to change your configuration to open pdf files in the Adobe Reader as a separate application.


If you get a message indicating that you do not have access to a particular resource, one possible reason is the limitation on your group privileges. Email to Library Reference ( with the following information:

  • which resource you are trying to access
  • your login name
  • the error message you got
  • your current affiliation with the University (e.g. UG, Alumni, etc.)

Other Things to Try

  • clear your browser's cache, then quit and relaunch the browser
  • use a different Web browser

Get Help

If you cannot access the resources after looking at these issues, ask a librarian ( for help.

How can I get wifi in the Library?

Wifi access in the Library is provided by ITSC (like the rest of campus).

Go here to learn about how to connect to wifi at HKUST.

Can I use e-resources when I'm not in the Library?

EZ Proxy!

All Web resources are accessible from off-campus via the Library Web site.

  • Use the Library "access via..." link and you will be asked to authenticate via EZProxy.
  • Use your ITSC username and password at the prompt to show you are a valid HKUST member.

What if a database asks me to enter username and password?

Normally, you are only prompted to enter your ITSC username and password for authentication as an HKUST member. Some databases may require another level of login; in such case, you should see instructions posted by the Library before the login page comes up.

If a particular database or journal asks for subscription information or password, there may be a problem with the subscription. Ask a librarian ( for help.

Can I use e-resources of other university libraries?

To access electronic resources of another university library, you need to enter that library in person using a JULAC card.

HKUST members cannot access other libraries' subscriptions from a remote site.

Why do I get a browser warning?

When connecting to the EZProxy server, you may receive various security warnings at different stages of accessing licensed resources.

When using some licensed resources, depending on the browser you use, you may receive a warning like this: "The name on the security certificate is invalid or does not match the name of the site". If you see this warning, you may ignore it and proceed.

Before you log in to a resource, you may get a warning indicating that "you are about to view pages over a secure connection." Simply click "OK" to continue. EZproxy is set up to use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt your login, providing additional protection during the login process.

After you log in, you may get a security warning indicating that you are about to be redirected to a connection that is not secure. Just click "Yes" to continue. While the EZProxy login is encrypted, many databases do not use encryption for their search connections. So the browser is just letting you know that the site you are being sent to next is not using this encryption technology.

Can I find a file that was saved at the IC workstation earlier?

Files at the "C drive" are erased after log out or restart; files at "D drive" are still retrievable on the same day, but would be erased overnight. You should avoid saving files at the IC hard drives.

Can I have my personal thesis bound?

No, we are no longer provided this service.

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