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Troubleshoot access to digital materials : Guide

If you're experiencing any trouble accessing library materials online, here's where to get help.

Proxy server update: The library has recently made changes to the proxy server used to authenticate MSOE users to access subscription databases. If you have previously saved a URL to a library resource, that URL may no longer work. Read more about the change here, and contact the library if you have trouble accessing anything.

How to access digital materials

The MSOE library subscribes to many databases containing the digital materials that students, faculty, and staff need to access. These databases require authentication in order to ensure users have the appropriate licenses to access these materials. We make use of a proxy server to facilitate access to digital materials.

What does this mean? Most of this takes place behind the scenes. When you click a link to one of our databases or to a digital item through either our website or the Summon discovery service, you are routed through the proxy server to authenticate.

  • If you are on-campus, using an internet connection provided by MSOE: You should automatically be granted access to digital materials.
  • If you are off-campus, you may be required to sign into MSOE's single sign-on service before being routed to digital materials. You'll be shown a login screen. Put in your MSOE email address and password, verify your login via two-factor authentication, and you'll be granted access.

This is what the single sign-on screen looks like:

single sign on screen capture

In short: This should mostly take place behind the scenes and most likely won't require any special skills or knowledge. Simply click the link to a database or a digital item and you'll be directed there, with or without requiring a login as necessary. However, there are some situations where you might need to do some troubleshooting, which is what this guide is for.

What if this doesn't work?

There are a number of situations where you might not be able to access library materials. If this happens, try the following troubleshooting steps:

1. Clear your cache.

Web browsers save information from websites in their cache. This stored information can cause access issues and errors in website content display and formatting.  Clearing your browsing history, cache, and cookies can help fix these issues.

Here are instructions for completing this in some commonly used web browsers:

Please note clearing your browsing data may remove saved passwords, autofill data, and other information saved on websites.

2. Try another browser.

You may encounter an error when accessing databases and database content with Google Chrome. If you encounter an error, please try accessing the resource using another browser.

3. Disconnect from the VPN.

The library's proxy server may not work while using the GlobalProtect VPN. If you encounter an error, please try disconnecting from the GlobalProtect VPN.

4. Sign out of my.msoe.

You may encounter authentication issues if you are currently signed into Sign out of this experience and try again to access digital materials.

5. Try accessing materials from another location.

One common access problem can occur when users try accessing library resources while using a workplace computer. Many workplaces maintain firewalls. A workplace firewall might allow you to log in to the proxy server via single sign-on, but the firewall typically will not allow you to retrieve data. In these cases, a connection will seem to “hang,” but in reality, the connection is being blocked. If this situation occurs when you try to access library resource, simply try again outside of the workplace

Still need help?

If you continue to have trouble accessing library resources from off-campus please contact us.

Email us at Please include details about any errors.

Call us at (414) 277-7180.

If you have suggestions for how to make this page better, please contact Elizabeth Jerow, Assistant Library Director (