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Accessing Electronic Resources: Troubleshooting

Database status update

14.2.18: Access to RefWorks within Discover@Bolton currently unavailable; access RefWorks independently. 

For further information about resource issues see the Electronic resources blog and the Library Twitter Feed.


Electronic resources should be simple to access. However, there may be times when things don't work as they should. There can be any number of reasons why you can't access things you expect to be able to access. The good news is that in most cases, problems are easily fixable. This guide will provide some help and resolutions to common problems, but don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you are struggling. 

Accessing electronic resources

One very common problem is not knowing where to start. Our quick start guide to accessing electronic resources is available below:

Resource down?

Occasionally, a resource becomes unavailable due to technical problems. Resource updates are posted to the eresources blog:

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Common problems

I can't login!

Try the following:

  • Make sure you are using your Bolton network ID and password. Your network ID typically takes the form abc2xxx for students, or xx[number] for staff. It isn't the number printed on your ID card.
  • If your browser 'remembers' passwords automatically, try typing it in instead.
  • Type carefully! Passwords are case-sensitive, and much like a bank ATM, if you input the wrong password several times, you may be locked out of your account.
  • If you still are unable to login, get in touch.


I'm getting an error message

Try the following:

  • Note down the point at which you are seeing an error message and if you are able, take a screenshot of what you are seeing. 
  • Clear your cookies/temporary internet files and try again. Sometimes this works.
  • Try a different browser.
  • If you are still getting an error message, get in touch with as much detail as possible.


I'm being asked to pay to download this article

Consider the following:

  • Make sure that you are going via our web pages which include Discover@Bolton and your Subject Guide. We use special links to access resources.
  • It may be the case that we don't have access to the particular article in question: sometimes we may subscribe to only some of the issues. A good way of checking is to search for the title on the Ejournals portal.

If you find that we don't have access to the article and you consider that it will be useful, you may request an Inter-Library Loan. The Subject Guide for your course includes information on how to go about requesting an article this way. 


I can't login to resources at work

Consider the following:

  • Problems accessing resources in this type of situation are often due to network settings at your place of work
  • The best thing to do is speak to the IT department at your place of work, although the library can of course provide any guidance we can along with additional information. 

Contact the Library

General library queries:

Call 01204 903094 or send a message to the Help Desk

General IT queries:

Call 01204 903444 or send a message to IT Support

Contact a Librarian:

Call 01204 903232 or send a message to the Librarians

Comments, suggestions and complaints

If you have any comments, suggestions or complaints, visit this page.

Electronic Resources Librarian

Sarah Taylor's picture
Sarah Taylor
01204 903099
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