UC Berkeley Library

Frequently Asked Questions

Content section: 

FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

After logging into the proxy server via CalNet, why do I sometimes see a window with a "Connect to Resource" button?

Usually after you have logged in, your browser is redirected straight to the resource you initially requested. However, under two different circumstances, the proxy server instead displays a window containing a "Connect to Resource" button:

  • A few resources, such as the Biblioline databases, spawn a new browser window when they are invoked. This can cause problems, which we avoid by instead displaying the window with the "Connect to Resource" button.
  • When authentication takes place while you're in the midst of a search operation, you may be returned to a "Connect to Resource" form if the resource sends its search parameters using the "POST" method of data transmission.

In either case, clicking on the "Connect to Resource" button will usually get you where you're going.

Why do I have trouble using my browser's "Back" button beyond the CalNet login screen for the proxy server?

Logging in with a CalNet ID and passphrase triggers a series of exchanges among two campus servers and your browser. Unfortunately, if you try to use your browser's "Back" button to go back to a page you visited before logging in, this may cause you to see a message such as this:

  • Missing Data
    This document resulted from a POST operation and has expired from the cache. If you wish you can repost the form data to recreate the document by pressing the reload button.

Clicking on the "Back" button repeatedly may or may not get you beyond this roadblock, depending on your browser and what pages it has visited. Whatever you do, do not click on the "Reload" button.

If you want to move back to a page you viewed before logging in, a better solution is to use the tool provided in your browser for displaying a pop-up menu of pages you have visited. This can usually be done by clicking on the "Back" button and holding the mouse button down, or clicking on a small down-arrow or "Go" pulldown next to the "Back" button. The browser's "History" function may also be useful.

What is the proxy server?

The proxy server allows us to provide off-campus access to article databases and other licensed electronic resources to authorized UC Berkeley users, while ensuring we don't provide them to unauthorized users, as required by the terms of our license agreements.

To do this, the proxy server acts as an intermediary between your computer and the Library's licensed electronic resources by virtually providing your machine with a UC Berkeley IP address, as if you were on campus. It is active only when you are accessing these resources.

How do I access library resources from off campus?

Anyone may access the library catalogs and most of the Library's web pages from any Internet-connected computer.

Some licensed electronic resources, such as e-books, journal article databases, and online reference tools, are commercial products with access restrictions.  UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff members, and some other individuals affiliated with the University, can connect to these resources from off campus using the Library proxy service or VPN.

For more information and setup instructions, see connect from Off Campus.

Why would a licensed resource lose all of its page formatting?

Browsers configured to use the proxy server must have third party cookies enabled to ensure that images and stylesheets called by the licensed resource are available via the proxy server. Loss of page formatting is an excellent clue that you do not have third party cookies enabled in your browser.

How can I change my email address in my OskiCat account?

UCB faculty, staff and students:
Update your entry in the CalNet Directory, in two places:

  • Edit Person Information
  • Edit Address Information

IMPORTANT: Do not update your information through My OskiCat; this information will be overwritten by updates to the CalNet Directory.

Library cardholders: update your email address via My OskiCat.

I'm having problems with library research for a class. Where can I get help?

The guides and tutorials page is a great place to start.

Looking for individual guidance? Our information experts provide research help via email, 24/7 chat, telephone, and in person.

Want to go into more depth? Cal undergrads can sign up online for a free 30-minute Research Advisory Service appointment.

How do I cite an eBook in my paper?

Electronic books come in a variety of forms. Some are accessed through our catalogs and databases and read over the Internet on a computer screen. Others can be downloaded to a computer and in some cases to mobile devices.

As the technologies of eBooks are evolving, so are the formats for citing them in footnotes and bibliographies. Here are guides to citing eBooks in the three most common styles:

For more information, see:

Thanks to Purdue University for permission to use their citation guides.

Can I get New York Times articles through the library?

In April 2011, the New York Times implemented a "paywall" on its website, nytimes.com. Under this policy [full details here], users can view a maximum of 20 articles per month without charge, but need to purchase a "digital subscription" to go beyond that limit.

Discounted individual subscription rates are available to students, faculty, and staff with email addresses ending in ".edu".

Beyond that, UC Berkeley is not able to provide special campuswide access to the nytimes.com website. However, we do subscribe to several databases that include full text articles from the New York Times along with many other newspapers. For links to these, see our News Databases.

These are available to anyone using our public computers. UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff members can also connect from off campus.

For those wishing to read the Times on paper, the Morrison Library and the Newspapers & Microforms Library both have current issues.

How do I use the call numbers to find a book in the stacks?

Books and journals are arranged on our shelves according to the Library of Congress (LC) classification system. Please see the guide How to Read Call Numbers.

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