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Proxy Services: Frequently Asked Questions

Policy Number LIB-016
Effective Date September 11, 2010
Responsible Office/Person Library
Related Policies
Additional History
Additional References

Proxy Services: Frequently Asked Questions

Having a Problem Logging into the Proxy Service?
You might have to activate your UMass Dartmouth account. Recent changes require all to activate their accounts in the new authorization system. Go to https://email.umassd.edu/activate/ and just follow the instructions. It only takes a couple of minutes!

  1. Why are proxy services needed?
    Most of the UMass Dartmouth Library's E-Resources, that are accessible via the Internet, are restricted by licensing to UMass Dartmouth students, faculty and staff. This restriction is accomplished by limiting access to IP addresses that fall within the UMass Dartmouth IP Domain (134.88.*.* or umassd.edu). As a result, access is normally unavailable to anyone located "off-campus" (or outside the UMass Dartmouth Domain of IP addresses). The UMass Dartmouth Library Proxy Services allows you to access these resources from off-campus.

  2. What are the Proxy Services?
    The proxy services consist of a proxy server and software that serves as an intermediary between you and the campus network. When you access the Library's E-Resources from a remote location off-campus the proxy service identifies your computer's IP address as being out of the UMD Domain. The service provides a web page for you to enter your University e-mail username and password (otherwise known as your UMass Dartmouth IT Account). This account information is then checked against the University database and, if valid, it "authenticates" you and authorizes your access to the resources. The service, from that point forward, serves as a "proxy" between your computer and the E-Resources and forwards all your requests for resources.

  3. How do I get a UMD E-Mail Account (UMD Alpha account) to use for authentication purposes?
    If you do not know your UMD E-Mail (or UMass Dartmouth IT Account) username and password, please contact CITS (Operations and Access) at (508) 999-8528, 999-8532, or 999-8066. Please have your UMass Pass card or student ID number ready.

  4. How does this affect my use of the Library's E-Resources?
    Once you attempted to access a particular resource and have been authenticated you will continue to make use of it as you would have on campus. However, the URL for the e-resource will be the URL of the proxy server and not of the e-resource itself. Therefore, if you wish to use your browser software to bookmark or make a favorite, it is recommended that you use the E-Resources page itself.

    On campus, you will continue to use the E-Resources as always without having to go through the authentication process.
  5. Do I need to configure my browser software or computer in any way?
    Your browser must be set to accept "cookies" (this is usually a browser's default setting). The proxy service uses "cookies" to exchange and store authentication information.

    If cookies are turned off you will either receive an error message or you may be required to re-authenticate each time you send an e-resource a request. It is also possible that particular databases and E-Resources might also use cookies and thus be required for their use.

  6. Do I have to authenticate myself every time I want to access E-Resources?
    You have to authenticate yourself each time you first attempt to connect to any of the resources. Upon authentication your session will last for approximately two (2) hours and then you will be asked to re-authenticate. You would also be asked to re-authenticate if you exit your browser or shutdown your computer at anytime.

  7. How do I quit or log out of a session?
    You may just shut down or exit (or quit) your browser software. This should terminate your connection and close most sessions although it is possible for some sessions to persist for the full two hours.

    Note: Exiting or quitting your browser also serves as a way to prevent unauthorized access via your computer should you have to leave it at any time.
  8. What should I do if the Proxy Services do not work properly?
    If your authentication efforts fail, you should first check to make sure that your username and password is valid. Perhaps you changed your password and you forgot that you did or you are trying a username and/or password from another Internet resource that you use.

    If you haven't done so already, you might have to (re)activate your UMass Dartmouth account. Recent changes require all to activate their accounts in the new authorization system. Go to https://email.umassd.edu/activate/ and just follow the instructions.
If the problem, seems not to be related to any of the above then contact CITS (Operations and Access) at (508) 999-8528, 999-8532, or 999-8066 and check to see if you have your username and password right. Please have your UMass Pass card or student ID number ready.
If you have succeeded in being authenticated by the service, but still cannot access a particular resource or have other difficulties, then e-mail us at reference@umassd.edu, describe the problem thoroughly and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Make sure you give us your full name, username, e-mail address and telephone number so that we can actually contact you.

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