Library Authentication Problems

Error text:

Authentication Failure: The database that you selected is for use by the students, faculty and staff of the Pennsylvania State University only.

Where you see it:

Library databases, links to Course Reserve full-text articles

What it could mean:

  • You're not a current Penn State student, faculty or staff member, or
  • You're logged in with an incorrect credential (Friends of Penn State instead of student Access Account user ID)

What to do:

  1. First, try logging into another WebAccess authenticated resource, like Canvas or My Library Account, then try the database link again
  2. If you're still seeing the authentication error, then you may be logged in with your Friends of Penn State (FPS) account instead of your Access Account user ID. This is more likely if your user ID is numbered in the 5000 range (ABC5001, DEF5002, etc.), and if you created identical passwords for both types of account.
  3. You can usually fix the problem by going to work.psu.edu and changing your Access Account password. Then, close and reopen your browser, log in with your new password and try the resource again.
  4. If you're still having trouble after changing your Access account password, then you'll need to contact the IT Services Desk for assistance by sending an email to ITservicedesk@psu.edu or by calling 814-865-4357.
  5. If off campus, try downloading and installing the LIAS VPN (see below)


Error:

You are prompted to login or create an account in a specific database or resource (not WebAccess) or your Penn State Access Account user ID and password is not accepted by a specific database.

Where you see it:

Hoover's, Web of Science, Engineering Village 2 (Compendex), possibly other databases.

What it could mean:

The database URL doesn't contain Penn State authentication information.

What to do:

  1. Be sure that you're trying to access through the Libraries website by using LionSearch or the Databases by Title (A-Z) list.
  2. Try logging into another WebAccess authenticated resource, like Canvas, LionPath or My Library Account, and try the database link again.
  3. Close and reopen your browser or try a different browser.
  4. Try clearing your browser cache. This is usually found in the browser settings, but instructions are differnt for each browser. Try Googling "clear cache (your browser name/version)" to find instructions on the web.
  5. If off campus, try downloading and installing the LIAS VPN (see below).


Error text:

Authentication Failure: The Access/Friends of Penn State ID you entered was not found in the library's database.

Where you see it:

My Library Account, Renew Books, I Want It, Course Reserve lists

What it could mean:

  • The user mis-keyed the Access Account or Friends of Penn State (FPS) user ID.
  • The ALT ID field in the user's record in Workflows is blank or the ID is incorrect.
  • The user does not have a user record in Workflows (user not registered with the library).

What to do:

  1. Refer user to a library circulation/lending desk.
  2. At the circulation desk, lookup the user record in Workflows
  3. If a user record exists, verify that the ALT ID matches the Access or FPS ID that the user is trying to log in with. If it doesn't, add or change the ALT ID.  Non-Penn State users may need to create a new FPS account.
  4. If there's no user record in Workflows, register the user. Non-Penn State users may need to visit a library and present proof of residency.


Note about LIAS VPN

The VPN (Virtual Private Network) is REQUIRED for off-campus access to the following resources:

  • BNA videos
  • Forrester Research
  • Siku Quanshu
  • East View LandScan Global
  • Streaming Audio Reserves

Most library resources do not require the VPN for off-campus access, however, you can try logging in through the VPN if the options above are not successful or if help isn't available.

You may download and install the VPN by logging into https://downloads.its.psu.edu and opening Connecting to Penn State. Choose the VPN for your operating system and follow instructions. When logging in using the VPN, select LIAS VPN from the list of options.