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Connection Problems?

Almost all library online resources are available to everyone via on-campus computers. From off-campus, because of licensing agreements, most online resources are only available to students, faculty, and staff of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Login for off-campus use of resources using your NetID/OIT Account username and password.

Following are common problems with accessing library resources.  For issues not addressed here,  please email the Libraries' dbhelp service, staffed during normal business hours.


From Anywhere:

I get a certificate warning message.

Users of non-updated Internet Explorer as well as several other browsers including Firefox will receive a security warning message upon first connection to library resources from off-campus. We apologize for this change by one of our vendors, which is beyond our control. Please accept the exception to the certificate. Send questions to

I don't get a login box. The page doesn’t load or I get a "page not found" from Internet Explorer.

This is an indication of too tight security or other issues on your workstation or network. Turn off any VPN client you have running. Disable accelerators. You must also set the browser you use for library resources to accept cookies. If networked, check with your network administrator.

I get a login box. But after I log in, I get a Login Error message.

For security reasons, staff in the Libraries don't have access to NetID/OIT account information. Information on accounts and passwords and help contacts can be found at:NetID Info
The Helpdesk phone is (413) 545-9400.
Note: if your UMail and OIT/NetID passwords are different, use your UMail password.

I get a login box. But after I sign in there is a message that says something about the EZProxy administrator.

This means the library's configuration file which provides off-campus access is missing a line.
If you receive an error screen which looks something like the message below, please send the error message to dbhelp and let us know what database or journal you were trying to access.

To allow /login?url= to work, your EZProxy Administrator must first authorize this within the ezproxy.cfg file.
Within this database's section of the file, the following line must be added:


The EZProxy server must then be restarted to make this change take effect.

I get email alerts from journals, but can't use the links.

Some vendors add the prefix which enables off-campus linking to alerts, some don't. If the links you are provided with don't start with:  they won't work off-campus. You can try adding the prefix. For help email

When I go to a journal or database I've bookmarked, the publisher asks me for a username and password. I don't get an OIT login screen.

When you bookmark deep links inside resources, you are sometimes bypassing the authentication step from off-campus and won't be recognized as coming from UMass. You can try adding the prefix to the front of your bookmark URL. Or you may have to bookmark at a higher level in the resource.

I'm uncomfortable lowering the security in my browser.

One solution is to have a second browser you use only for library resources. Set this browser up with lower security (no firewall, no popup blocker, cookies enabled) and don't use it to surf the Web.

I can get to most things fine, but I have a problem with one resource.

Vendor's servers go down, there are errors in subscription renewals, we might miss a required URL change. Please report these problems to so we can get them resolved.

I click on some links, and nothing happens.

Please temporarily turn off your popup blocker. Make sure javascript is enabled. If you already opened a UMLinks menu window and it is minimized, check the bottom of your screen. The UMLinks menu refreshes but stays minimized.

For problems not covered here, email dbhelp.