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Expanded Database Access

December 30th, 2005 by jimm wetherbee in Databases

In the past, if you had gone to the list of Other Databases you would have seen two lists, a list of password-protected databases and a list of databases accessible only from on-campus. Restricting access to commercial databases by either passwords or within networks is simply the way database providers ensure that only the people who pay for their services use them.

Of course, from a user’s perspective this can be frustrating. If having to deal with two different lists (and having to remember yet another set of passwords), the dorms and apartments are on a different network and so are considered off-campus as far as our database vendors are concerned. So, if you need to log onto Nexis/Lexis, you had no choice but to go to the Library or on off the computer labs on campus.

The two lists still exist and some databases still require passwords, but now it is possible to access the on-campus databases from the dorms,  apartments, and almost anywhere else.

When you come to the list of databases available via the campus network, you will see two links per database, one for on-campus access and another for off-campus access (which include residence halls). Two questions should immediately leap to mind at this juncture: “Why two lists?” and “How does the library ensure that only Wingate students and faculty are the ones using the databases?” The answer to both of those questions is that access is controlled by an on-campus proxy server that includes its own password protection.

“What, another password!” you say. Fortunately, you don’t need to use a new password. When you click onto an off-campus database link you are taken to the proxy server which asks you for your campus network userid and password–the same userid and password you would use to log onto one of the computers in one of the computer labs. The one trick (and this is stated on the log-in page) is you must log-in without prefixing the campus domain to the userid. So, let’s say your userid is stu. Instead of logging in as ACAD\stu (as you would for closed reserves, say) you would log in as stu.

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