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Electronic Resources at UAB Libraries: Home

troubleshooting help with journals, articles, electronic books, databases, and other electornic resources.


UAB Libraries Catalog Search Box on Library Homepage

Resource Acquisitions and Discovery is the department of the library responsible for licensing, maintaining and providing access to the library's materials. The department also offers millions of electronic resources, including databases, journals, videos, e-books and more! We are always updating our holdings so that University of Alabama at Birmingham community members have materials relevant to their interests, curriculum or research.

Initial Troubleshooting Steps

Experiencing an issue?

The following are some initial troubleshooting steps that may assist in resolving issues with e-resources. If the issue can't be resolved using the information below, visit the FAQ or report the problem.

Are you an active student, faculty, or staff member at University of Alabama at Birmingham?

  • Most e-resources are for active members of the UAB community, such as currently enrolled students as well as active faculty and staff members. Databases tagged "free resource" in the Databases A-Z list are accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
  • Guests are able to access services by visiting the front desk at either Sterne Library or Lister Hill Library. Please visit UAB Libraries Hours of Operation.

Are you starting from the right location?

  • Always start research directly from UAB Libraries website. Saved and bookmarked links can expire and cause issues.
  • If you're performing research in a database, always access it with a permanent/static link. These links can be found on the Databases A-Z list on the library website.
    • If you experience issues with permanent links, try clearing cache and cookies in the browser.

Are you using an UAB Libraries authentication method?

  • UAB Blazer ID credentials

  • EZproxy links

  • VPN

  • UAB Blazer ID credentials are used to authenticate currently enrolled students as well as active faculty and staff.
  • EZproxy links are an authentication method using specialized links that grants off-campus access to e-resources. These links are managed by the library.
  • UAB's VPN service is another way of accessing e-resources, especially off campus, but it is not necessary to do so. A VPN is good for connecting to a secured, private network rather than to public Wi-Fi.
    • For more information on using UAB's VPN, please visit UAB IT's guide Using Duo 2FA to Login to UAB's New VPN.
    • If you are off campus and can't access e-resources, try using UAB's VPN to resolve the issue.


Common Issues

Experiencing an issue?

The following are some common issues and how to fix them.

Issue Type & Description

Browser error: occurs when either outdated information or browser settings prevents online access.

  • How does it happen? The browser session may have timed out, there may be expired browser session data preventing access, or there is a block due to security settings.
  • What can I do? Clear cache and cookies. Check firewall settings in your browser and in your computer's operating system. In a computer using macOS, visit macOS User Guide. In a Windows computer, visit Microsoft Support guide.

Catalog error: occurs when there is incorrect information in the catalog, or the e-resource is appearing in searches due to an error.

  • How does it happen? There are many issues that occur in the catalog, such as incorrect coverage dates, an outdated link, or the catalog incorrectly indicates the library has access to an e-resource.
  • What can I do? If something in the catalog is incorrect and needs to be updated, report the problem.

Linking error: occurs when a link is broken, outdated, or doesn't include UAB library's proxy prefix.

  • How does it happen? A linking error can occur when links are saved as bookmarks. An e-resource can also have an incorrect or outdated link.
  • What can I do? Clear cache and cookies, and reattempt access in a fresh browser. Test in multiple browsers. If the issue persists, report the problem.

Paywall: occurs when a payment wall prevents access, i.e. payment is required to access an e-resource.

  • How does it happen? There are a few reasons. Paywalls occur when users have not been authenticated properly, if the library hasn't renewed access to a resource, or the resource is appearing in the catalog out of error.
  • What can I do? Report the problem.

Personal vendor account error: occurs while attempting to log into a personal vendor account or during an instance of using one.

  • How does it happen? This error may occur due to an internal security issue on the vendor's site or an error with patron's login credentials.
  • What can I do? Report the problem if basic troubleshooting steps like clearing cache and cookies doesn't work.

Server error: occurs when a user is not able to access a website due to a server connection issue.

  • How does it happen? A server error could be due to a security block when there's higher than normal traffic, or there is a server connection issue on the site owner's side.
  • What can I do? If clearing cache and cookies doesn't work, report the problem.

UAB Blazer ID authentication error: occurs after users attempt to authenticate themselves using UAB Blazer ID and password.

  • How does it happen? This error may result from a library hold on a patron account; a patron is not a currently enrolled student, active faculty or staff member; or there is an internal security issue.
  • What can I do? Clear your cache and cookies then reattempt access using a fresh browser. Test access in multiple browsers. Check if there are holds on your student and library account. If the issue persists, contact UAB One Card at

VPN error: occurs when connection through the VPN has been lost or cannot be connected to.

  • How does it happen? Can occur when a VPN server is overloaded with higher than normal traffic, when the VPN software is outdated, or the connection has been lost.
  • What can I do? UAB Campus VPN is NOT needed to access library resources, and in some cases, it prevents access. If you are experiencing access issues and using the VPN, disable it, clear your cache, and try the link again. Report the problem if the issue persists.


Electronic Access & Discovery Librarian

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Last updated: 09/27/2023


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