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Technology Help: Tech Help

Troubleshooting tips for accessing and using library technologies


Office of Information Technology (OIT)

Reference Help

Reference and Instructional Services are available for distance education students.

Do you have a question about research? Are you having trouble accessing our services? Reference assistance is available in a variety of ways:

Database Access Troubleshooting

If you are having difficulty accessing a library database, here are some steps you can try before calling the ISU Reference Desk (812-237-2580). The library will go through these steps when you call to find out what the problem is and how they need to fix it.
A)  Is the problem with your Sycamore Password?
B)  Is the problem with a specific library database?
C)  Is the problem with a specific Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox)?
D)  Delete cookies and try again.
     Delete Internet Files and try again.
     Clear your History and try again.
E)  Is the problem your institution's firewall?
A) Your Sycamore Password cannot contain blanks or special characters. Change your password, if appropriate. Please go to the ISU portal (login page - and select Forgot/Change password.
  • Password minimum length is 8 characters (maximum of 29 characters)
  • Password must contain at least one numeric character
  • Password must contain at least one upper case character
  • Password must contain at least one lower case character 
  • Important note - Do not use the following special characters when creating your password: Space # ~ ^ * ? , : ; | " < > @ $ & ( ) ' = 
B) Have you tried other databases?  For example, have you tried both EBSCO and ProQuest?  Sometimes an individual database does not work, and we must contact the company that owns the database.  Which database are you trying to reach?
C)  Have you tried another internet browser?  For example, if you are using Edge, have you tried Firefox? Chrome?  Sometimes, files that are placed on your computer, called "cookies," become corrupt.  Since the cookies are attached to the specific browser, using a different browser might help.
D)  If all you have is Edge, have you tried deleting the cookies?  In Edge, click the ... in the upper right and choose Settings. Click Cookies and Site Permissions.  Click Manage and Delete Cookies and Site Data.  Click See All Cookies and Site Data. Select Remove All. Now, click the ... in the upper right of the window and choose History.  Then click the ... in the upper right of the new window  and click Clear Browsing Data (and confirm).  Reload the page, and try to login.
E)  Are you trying to connect to the database using a company's Internet Connection?  Some companies place tight restrictions on their firewall, which can make connecting to remote databases somewhat challenging.  Are you able to connect from another location?  If you are able to connect to the database from one location, but not another, we can take a good guess as to the cause of the problem. We cannot change the firewall settings of another institution.

Chat with a Librarian

Sharing a link from an ISU subscription

Faculty and students often need to share a link to a record from a library database or other protected ISU service. But simply copying the URL from the address bar of their browser often will not work. ISU has security in place to protect subscriptions from unauthorized access.  Users clicking on that URL will get an error message. 

To allow legitimate access to ISU subscriptions, many databases provide a link to a Permalink for a record or a search. The Permalink will direct visitors to the ISU Login webpage. ISU visitors can login with their ISU username and password to access the ISU resources.

But if you get an error message, the link may direct you to the ISU Loin webpage if you append the following string to the front of the URL (no space between).