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WISER: Remote access to databases and datasets - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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WISER: Remote access to databases and datasets This session will help you to set up access to Oxford online resources from your home computer. The key methods are Athens/Single-Sign-On passwords and the Virtual Private Network. Judy Reading & Peter Higginbotham. Outline of session

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Remote access to databases and datasets

This session will help you to set up access to Oxford online resources from your home computer.

The key methods are Athens/Single-Sign-On passwords and the Virtual Private Network.

Judy Reading & Peter Higginbotham


Outline of session

  • This session will cover:
  • A brief overview of the range of resources which you may wish to access from home.
  • An outline of how to find out which method is most appropriate for which resource
  • Instructions for how to set up access through each of the methods described.


OxLIP (Oxford Libraries Information Platform) is a gateway to hundreds of electronic resources

  • Includes: – catalogues – abstracting & indexing services– reference works – full-text resources– statistical resource – official publications– electronic journals – quality web resources– current awareness services
  • Free and subscription databases
  • Oxford resources eg OXAM (Examination papers)

Examples of Databases

  • Abstract and Indexing Services:
  • CSA (ASSIA, ERIC, LISA, Social Services Abs, Sociological Abs, Worldwide Political Science Abs)
  • IBSS (International Bibliography of the Social Sciences)
  • WebSPIRS (EconLit, PAIS, PsycInfo)
  • Citation index:
  • Web of Knowledge/Social Science Citation Index
  • Other:
  • TDNet (Electronic journals)
  • Catalogues
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Other OXLIP resources
  • Web resources

Remote access to electronic resources

  • If you are a member of Oxford University and are using a PC, Mac or Unix workstation within the domain you will be able to access most electronic resources without requiring a username and/or password.
  • If you want to access electronic resources from outside Oxford University you will need to register either for a personal username and password or for the University's VPN Service, and in some cases both.


  • The Athens authentication service allows the use of a single username and password to access all electronic resources listed here from any network connected computer.
  • Until recently to use the service you had to register for an Athens personal account and set a password (still possible via
  • Now Oxford is in the process of migrating to the use of the Single Sign-on (SSO) username and password

instead of the Athens password

  • You will be able to access the same range of



VPN: Virtual Private Network

  • The great majority of resources are limited to the Oxford Internet domain by IP address. This means that when within the domain no login is required.
  • When working off campus, you can be allocated an Oxford IP address through the University's Virtual Private Network (VPN) Service. This makes your computer part of our virtual campus.
  • To use this service you must register for a remote access account and install and run VPN software on your computer.
  • Many of these resources can also be accessedthrough your Athens/SSO username and password.

The Oxford Single Sign-On Account

This account is the key to remote access of digital resources

  • You already use your SSO account for Webmail, Weblearn, OUCS Course booking etc.
  • You can also now use it instead of the Athens username and password.
using the athens sso account
Using the Athens/SSO Account

Look for the Alternative Login on Athens login screens:

  • Search for ‘Oxford’ and click Go
  • Click on University of Oxford entry in list
  • Click on Go underneath the Go to the University of Oxford login page (the ‘Remember’ option is ticked by default and will shorten the process next time)
  • Login with your Oxford Single Sign-On

details Demo of Digimap


Demonstration: Setting up VPN

  • More details on VPN can be found at
  • You need to both register for a remote access account and download and install the VPN client software
    • Available for Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP and Vista, Mac OSX 10.2-4 (and all Intel Macs), Linux and Solaris 
  • You can do both of the above through the Self-Registration Interface
  • Start the VPN software whenever you need access to Oxford electronic resources

Demonstration: Using VPN

  • On Windows, click the Start button and look in the All Programs list for Cisco Systems VPN Client
  • On Mac OSX the Applications folder will contain VPN Client
  • Click Connect then enter your Remote Access username and password
  • Software can be set to remember the password, but don’t do this unless you are the only user of the machine

The Most Common VPN Problems

  • Error Message: The remote peer is no longer responding
    • Indicates a firewall blocking VPN traffic. Required settings are: UDP Port 500, 4500 and 10000 open for send/receiveIP protocol 50 (ESP) allowed
  • Error Message: User authentication failed
    • username/password provided are not what the server expects. Password can be reset via the OUCS self-registration page
    • password has changed since VPN client remembered it. VPN will forget the password via Connection Entries  Modify  Erase User Password
  • For other problems try the online trouble-shooter:
  • You can ask your local Library or IT staff for help
  • Ask at the OUCS Help Centre or see
  • Problems with accessing e-resources can be sent to