UC Berkeley Library

Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

What do I do when asked to log into the proxy server within a resource that uses frames?

If authentication becomes necessary while you are working with a resource that uses frames, the login form will be displayed within one of the resource's frames. Generally this is no problem, but sometimes it is displayed in a short or narrow frame where it is hard to read.

You can usually adjust the dimensions of the frame by dragging its boundaries with the mouse. Alternately, you can use your "Tab" key to move from one field to another within that frame.

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.

Why do I have to configure my browser to accept cookies?

Sending cookies to your browser is how the proxy identifies you as an authenticated user who should have access to licensed resources.

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.

What is VPN?

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is software that runs on your off-campus computer. After you log in with your CalNet ID and passphrase, VPN establishes a secure "tunnel" to the UC Berkeley network. When you use a VPN connection, your computer will have a UC Berkeley IP address instead of the one normally supplied by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This allows you to use article databases, electronic journals, and other licensed resources found through the Library website and catalogs.

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.

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