Skip Menu

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Troubleshoot problems

Off Campus Sign In FAQ. | Accessing databases | Accessing articles

Many frequently encountered problems are addressed in our Frequently Asked Questions 

Or browse a topic:

See also the library's All site A-Z index or Search the library website.

Accessing databases 

Most problems with accessing database fall into three types:

  • Not using Off Campus Sign In
  • Not using a Virginia Tech specific URL
  • Attempting to access a database to which we do not subscribe

Not using Off Campus Sign In

When you are not using the campus network (wired or wireless), databases will not recognize you as affiliated with Virginia Tech. In this case, databases will ask you to pay to search or to view content. You should use Off Campus Sign In so that your internet traffic will be routed through a computer in the library, making it appear as if you were on campus. You accomplish this by using links to databases, ebooks, ejournals, and other restricted resources on our website (i.e. not from a Google search).

You can avoid backtracking when you have accessed a database without using Off Campus Sign In if you have installed the LibX browser plugin. Simply right-click on the database page and choose to reload it through Off Campus Sign In. Once you have logged in, you will be return to the page you started on.

Not using a Virginia Tech specific URL

The Virginia Tech Libraries subscribe to many database from many vendors and sources. In some cases, a database may be provided by more than one vendor (and we may subscribe to more than one vendor). If you are having problems accessing a database, you may be trying to use a vendor with which we do not have a subscription. Or you may have found a link through a search engine to a generic search screen, when we have a different URL that displays our subscribed options. Or you may be trying to access a part of the database to which we have no subscription.

In all of these cases, you should verify access and links by searching for the database in our database listing.

Attempting to access a database to which we do not subscribe 

Our database subscriptions do change over time; we add and drop subscriptions based on usage and costs. And there are many databases to which we have never had access. Search our database listing (above) for links.

Accessing articles 

Most problems with accessing article occur when links are found in generic search engines like Google. While these sources may provide links for full text articles at the publisher's web site, we may have access to the article from a different source. Or the publisher may provide online access for a date range that is not part of our subscription, which results in your being asked to pay for the article.

In these cases, it is easier to determine what access the library provides by routing your article's citation information into the Get VText system. In Google Scholar, you can set a preference for your home library to Virginia Tech; you can also install the LibX browser plugin which will insert Get VText buttons into the Scholar search results page. Or you can manually enter your article's citation information in to the Find an article by citation page. In each case, the Get VText system will determine of we have online or print access to the article, or it will provide a link to request the article via interlibrary loan.