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Loyola University Chicago Libraries

Library Services: How do I access materials online?


Loyola students, faculty, and staff have access to online resources through Loyola Libraries, such as ebooks, journal articles, and streaming media. This guide is intended to walk you through the process of searching for and accessing these resources, and to give you some basic troubleshooting advice when problems arise.

There are two different systems you will encounter when accessing materials. Most of the time, you will be directed to a proxy login system called OpenAthens. However, you may occasionally be directed to login through a system, called Flagship proxy server or EZProxy. Both systems work using your Loyola username and password — the same as you would when logging into your Outlook email or Sakai.

Here are a couple of basics to keep in mind when logging in to library resources from off campus: 

  • Before searching the catalog, log in to your library account. This will ensure you are searching more available library resources, and will automatically log you in to OpenAthens for most resources. 
  • You can browse our databases and electronic journals from links on the Libraries homepage. Once you click on a database or electronic journal, if you are already logged in to a Loyola service such as Outlook you should automatically be forwarded to the resource. Otherwise, you will be prompted to log in to one of the two above mentioned proxy servers with your Loyola username and password, and then you will be able to access the selected resource.

Need more help? The videos below will walk you through the various processes of accessing particular library resources. 

Please noteDue to the nature of our contractual agreements with publishers, Loyola alumni, guests and others not affiliated with Loyola University Chicago do not have access to electronic resources from off campus. Library users from the Health Sciences Division must log in at the Health Sciences Library website for off-campus access. 

Accessing Materials from Off Campus

The following are the most common online resource types and the login methods associated with each when logging in from off-campus.

As mentioned above, it is recommended that you login to My Library Account before you begin searching.

This next set of videos assumes you have not already logged into My Library Account.

This video demonstrates how to log into a database such as JSTOR, but the process should be the same for most EBSCO and ProQuest databases.  If you encounter any issues, please see the Troubleshooting section to the right.

This video demonstrates how to log in after searching for a journal in the library catalog.

This video demonstrates how to log in after searching for an article by title in the library catalog.

This video demonstrates how to access an ebook found in the library catalog.


Here are the most common errors you might encounter when attempting to access materials from off campus using OpenAthens.

We are sorry that we cannot complete your request

We are sorry that we cannot complete your request

What this means:

This resource was not configured correctly in OpenAthens, or the link was formatted incorrectly.

What to do:

Click on the link to report the issue to your OpenAthens administrator, or email



What this means: This resource is available in OpenAthens, but either Loyola doesn't subscribe to the resource or you will need to login using a different method, such as with a personal account connected to the resource.

What to do: Search for the database in the A-Z list, or other resource from the library catalog and try logging in from that link. If that doesn't work, look for other login options such as email and password (for example on RefWorks). If you don't see any other login options or have additional questions, click on the link to contact your organisation administrator, or email


Open Athens Unauthorized

What this means: The account you are trying to use isn't authorized to use OpenAthens.

What to do: Check to make sure you are logged in with your own account rather than a generic account that might be saved on your computer. If you are logged in with your account and able to access other Loyola services, please contact the ITS Service Desk. Your account may not be currently authorized for off campus access, which most commonly occurs when you switch roles at the university, e.g. moving from an undergraduate to a graduate program.

If you experience a different error or have a problem with logging in on Flagship, consult the Off-Campus Access page, or email

EBSCO Troubleshooting

In certain cases when you access an EBSCO ebook or database link from the library catalog, the link won't work to automatically log in via OpenAthens. This is  a known issue for links between the catalog and EBSCO. Should you experience the problem, here's how to fix it.

  • If you see a screen like the one below, locate the dropdown box that reads "Select your region or group".

  • Scroll down to “OpenAthens Federation”
  • Choose Loyola University Chicago, and log in as normal.
  • If you are still experiencing issues, email


Creating Your Own Off-Campus Links

If you need to create a link that will work for others (such as students or departmental colleagues) off campus you can use the link generator tool, or use the ideas for resource types listed below.

  • If you need to link to a database, use the link from the A-Z list. This is a friendly URL that will keep working for you even if something changes on our end.
  • If you need to link to an article, you have a few choices. One easy option is to use the permalink (under Save and Cite) in the library catalog. That will keep working even if something changes on our end.
  • Another option is to find the stable URL, permalink, or other link that the article page states will be stable. Use that link with the link generator tool. Email your department's subject specialist or Ask a Librarian if that service doesn't work.


In addition to the policy linked above, OpenAthens collects minimal information about your session, which is used for troubleshooting purposes.