Electronic resources - FAQ about proxy services to access to electronic resources outside the university network
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University proxy FAQs
This page reports the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding access to subscribed electronic resources using the University proxy service.
1.1 Is it possible to access subscribed electronic resources or limited-access resources from outside the Politecnico di Milano network?
Access to subscribed resources is normally controlled through the network address. In this case, the authorised addresses are those of the University network. The University proxy service is available to also allow access from other addresses (e.g. from home).
1.2 What does the Politecnico di Milano proxy service do?
A proxy server acts as an intermediary between a client (a Web browser) and a server (a Website) by intercepting the Web page requests from the browser and directing them to the Web site. The proxy forwards the request on behalf of the client with its own IP address and subsequently returns the page obtained in response to the client.
1.3 What electronic resources can be accessed through the proxy?
In general, it is possible to access online electronic resources made available through the University Libraries System (cf. http://www.biblio.polimi.it/internet/index.html): all electronic periodicals, the majority of databases, e-books, certain digital collections, the new POLIsearch SFX Portal service. To see if access by proxy is available for individual resources check information in the column to the right on pages listing resources by type, e.g. databases, electronic journals, ebooks, etc.
- When connecting from outside the University network, i.e. with a non-authorised IP address, the proxy service allows access to subscribed or to limited-access resources by "presenting you" as an address within the campus. This mode of using electronic resources is envisaged in the subscription contracts provided that users are identified as being authorised; this is the reason why access to the service is regulated by identification and authorisation procedures involving login and password verification.
- When connecting from within the University network, the proxy service can accelerate connection times and reduce University internet bandwidth usage, with benefits for all users.
For information on how to make other resources accessible see cf. 4.5
For further information on subscribed electronic resources, you can contact the online reference service Ask@your library.
2.1 Who can use the Politecnico di Milano proxy service?
Access is open to all University network addresses, independently of users’ identity. On the other hand, for addresses outside the University network, access is only available to institutional users, who must then authenticate to be able to use the service
To verify which services are offered by the libraries and methods of accreditation (help AUNICA) consult the Service charter
3.1 How do I use the proxy service?
The first requirement is configuring the proxy on your browser (cf. http://www.asict.polimi.it/rete/proxy.html ).
There are two different ways, depending on the address from which you are working:
3.2 How can I configure the proxy?
The Computer Systems Area website has the instructions necessary for the various browsers ( http://www.asict.polimi.it/rete/proxy/configurazione.html ).
- if you are within the University network, the proxy will be used by default to access all URLs, without any additional control;
- if you are outside the University network, depending on the URLs you wish to connect to, it will be possible to:
- connect directly without passing through the proxy for sites not requiring access from the campus
- connect through the proxy, and at this point, you will be asked for your username and password only once for each session.
NB: to use the proxy service outside Politecnico di Milano it is necessary to use configuration by means of an automatic configuration script (wpad) not manual configuration, since otherwise it would only be possible to navigate to the registered sites (cf. 1.3)
3.3 Which password should I use?
For this specific service, for security reasons, it is not possible to use the same password used for University authentication (Aunicalogin). It is thus necessary to generate a specific password using the password change service for proxy access.
To be able to generate it, it is essential to have a valid password for the University authentication service (Aunicalogin).
If the user has forgotten her/his password for the proxy she/he can display it or search for it using the same service each time she/he need it; the previous password will be automatically disabled.
3.4 Which userID should I use?
The userID used by the proxy service is similar but not identical to the one required by the University authentication service (Aunicalogin). Users should use their own numerical or alphanumeric registration code. The registration code should contain 6 characters (in the case of fewer characters, it should be preceded by a suitable number of zeros). For proxy authentication, the registration code should then be preceded by a prefix (letter) identifying the users category:
NB: The letter qualifying the user category should be written in capitals. To view your UserID you can go to the users page. To do this, log in via AUNICA and use the password change service for proxy access; your userID will also be displayed on the summary page.
- S (students)
- D (teaching staff)
- U (technical or administrative staff).
- other prefixes for other authorised users categories
3.5 How can I check the proxy is configured correctly?
It is possible to verify that the proxy is configured on this page http://www.biblio.polimi.it/internet/. If correctly configured and active, a message will be displayed confirming connection via the proxy.
4.1 I don't remember the password. What should I do?
If you have forgotten the password for the proxy service but remember the University authentication service (Aunicalogin) password, you can use the procedure to display the password or generate a new password, which will be valid immediately (the previous proxy password will be automatically invalidated).
If, on the other hand, you have forgotten the Aunicalogin password, it is necessary to contact the facility (or service point) responsible for managing your account. For example, students may contact the student office, graduate students may contact the graduate school office etc.
Alternatively, in the short term,. it is possible to deactivate configuration of the proxy in order to verify whether the resource may be partially accessible, even from outside the University network.
4.2 I have configured the browser to use the proxy-server, but when I try to access an electronic resource, the proxy login and password request window does not open. What should I do?
The most common reason is an error in the proxy settings. Therefore, it is recommended that you:
In addition, it is necessary to check that another proxy has not been set and that the network is not protected by a firewall.
- verify on the this page that the proxy is configured correctly (cf. question 3.5);
- verify the setup instructions have been followed precisely;
- verify the self-configuration URL has been entered correctly, without any initial spaces;
- verify that the browser in use is compatible with the proxy automatic configuration function;
4.3 I followed the instructions for configuring the browser and can access certain resources after authentication, but not others. Why?
Cf. question 1.3
4.4 The proxy-server opens the window for inserting my login and password, but when I enter the information I receive a message saying I am not authorised. What should I do?
Verify that the login ID and password used are correct (cf. question 3.3 3.4)
4.5 My facility has activated a subscription to an electronic resource: can I make it accessible through the proxy?
You may contact email@example.com to request that the URL be included, providing indications on the resource and any subscription information.
4.6 Is there a HelpDesk service to contact for support in case of problems?
Yes. In the case of problems, it is possible to contact the online reference service Ask@your library
4.7 Checklist for using the proxy
This checklist may be used to identify any critical steps and provide information useful to the support service (cf. 4.7) for resolving any problems:
- Do you know your University user ID and password (the ones required to access WebPoliself services)?
- Can you display the notice for connecting to this page via the proxy? http://www.biblio.polimi.it/internet/
- Were you able to create a new password for the proxy service at http://www.asict.polimi.it/rete/proxy/utenti.html ?
- Were you able to configure the browser by activating the proxy and indicating the automatic configuration script http://wpad.polimi.it/wpad.dat as configuration source? [Which browser are you using]?
- When navigating and attempting to access a subscribed source for the first time, are you asked for a username and password in a separate browser window? [Username and password should be asked only once per browser session, except in the case of timeout problems]
- What type of resource are you attempting to access?
- Have you used one of the following capital letters as a username: 'S' (if a student) 'D' (if teaching staff) 'U' (if technical or administrative staff) + your numerical or alphanumeric registration code, along with the password selected for the proxy service?
- What error messages have you received, if any? At what stage?