UC Berkeley Library

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Frequently Asked Questions

Content section: 

FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

Does the VPN work on mobile devices?

Yes, please go to the Library's VPN page where you'll find links to bSecure VPN instructions for iOS and Android.

Can I use VPN on a Mac?

Yes, please go to the download instructions for Mac OSX..

How is VPN different from the library proxy?

The library proxy provides access to most licensed resources. However, some programs do not work with the proxy. These require VPN for off-campus use: Luna Insight, the java client in UC Image Service, Loeb Classical Library Online, and the Connect function in EndNote.

Another difference is that the VPN is a "client" software program that you download and install on your computer. You must run the VPN client each time you want to use licensed resources.

When should I use the proxy server or VPN?

Most electronic resources are licensed by the Library from companies in business for profit. The terms of our contracts with these companies stipulate that the Library allow only UC Berkeley faculty, students and staff to use these materials.

Consequently, when you are off campus you will not be able to access many of the online journals and databases that you could access while on campus, unless you use proxied links found in Library websites (OskiCat, A-Z Databases, LibGuides, Library website) or use the campus Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Note: For technical and contractual reasons there may be some resources that are not accessible from off campus at all.

Who can use VPN?

To download and run the VPN software, you must be a current UC Berkeley student, faculty, or staff member with a CalNet ID.

Persons not affiliated with UC Berkeley cannot use the VPN system, but can use licensed electronic resources via public computers in the libraries.

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 do I find a dissertation from UC Berkeley?

The ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database indexes graduate dissertations from over a thousand graduate school and universities, and includes full-text access to dissertations published since 1997. The database also includes full-text dissertations from the University of California from:

  • September 1962 - December 1970 and
  • December 1975 - present

If you can't find a specific UC Berkeley dissertation on ProQuest, go to OskiCat and choose to limit your search to "Dissertations/Theses" using the dropdown on the far right of the search page:

If you're not on campus, and you are not a UC Berkeley student, faculty or staff member, you may be able to access UC Berkeley dissertations for a fee from ProQuest's Dissertation Express or, for items in our collection, using our photoduplication services.

See also: all electronic dissertation and thesis resources at UC Berkeley.

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.

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 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: contact the Privileges Desk to update your contact information.

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