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Frequently Asked Questions


You may find the answer to your query below. If you still have a problem, use this form to report it.

How do I register for a UCL userid?
There is information for staff and students on the UCL Information Services Division (ISD) website at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/common/registration. Staff with honorary appointments should contact the administrator in the Department in which their appointment is held.

I have a UCL userid but I can't use UCL e-resources
UCL offers userids to various categories of user who are not members of UCL. Our licences permit full access to UCL e-resources only to currently-registered UCL students and to UCL staff, including staff holding honorary appointments.

I'm a member of the Library but I can't register for a UCL userid
Library Services offers membership to various categories of user who are not members of UCL. Our licences permit full access to UCL e-resources only to currently-registered UCL students and to UCL staff, including staff holding honorary appointments.

I have an honorary appointment and a UCL userid, but I can't access UCL e-resources
Please check with your Departmental Administrator that your honorary appointment has in fact been recognised by UCL Human Resources. If UCL HR does not hold an open record for you on their database your userid will not pass through the UCL e-resource gateway.

Is my browser compatible with the UCL e-resource gateway?
The gateway works with most modern browsers including Internet Explorer 4 and above.
  • if you are a Mac user we recommend Safari, Firefox or Opera
  • the AOL browser is not recommended. If you use AOL as your internet service provider (ISP) we suggest using AOL to connect to the internet then minimising the AOL window and using another browser for your electronic resource access

I'm working from home and I can't connect to UCL e-resources. Can you help?
UCL will try to advise but cannot guarantee to solve problems related to home computing installations. The multiplicity of ISPs, computer configurations, personal and network firewalls, modems, routers etc means that sometimes a solution is outwith our control.

How do I log in on a resource's homepage?
If you come across an electronic resource to which UCL subscribes, but you have not followed a link from MetaLib, you can also login from the website of the resource. You should look for a link labelled something like:

  • Institutional Login
  • UK Federation Login
  • Shibboleth Login

Different resources use different labels, but in each case you will then be asked which institution you belong to, and you can select UCL from a list. This will then take you to the UCL login screen.

What do these labels mean?
Institutional Login means that you can use your userid/password from your home institution (UCL) to access the resource (the login you use to access email and other central UCL services).
UK Federation is the group of institutions, including UCL, which uses this login mechanism.
Shibboleth is the technology behind the new login mechanism (see http://www.ukfederation.org.uk/content/Documents/HowItWorks)

Why are there so many different labels?
Each resource provider has decided how to label its login links, and unfortunately a standard terminology has not been enforced.

Which resources are not available this way?
A few resources do not use the new institutional login. For these, you should use the links in the lists of databases and ejournals in MetaLib.

Does UCL provide Athens access?
Athens was the name of the login route used by UCL until summer 2009. It is still in use by some other universities, so you may be familiar with the name from elsewhere, or from seeing the name on a resource you are using. However, UCL does not use Athens, so you should follow the instructions above for logging in to e-resources.

What is UCL's 'proxy server' URL?
For information about proxy servers and connecting UCL's library resources to tools such as EndNote, Papers and Zotero, go to the Library Toolbox

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Last modified 14 December 2010

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