Access electronic resources from off-campus[ Please note: you can also get information on accessing electronic resources from on-campus ]
All electronic resources can be accessed from off-campus, although resources are protected to ensure that only Heriot-Watt staff or students can gain access - this is known as "authentication" and it can take several forms. Whichever method is used for a particular resource is clearly shown on the Databases A-Z list. At present, the following methods of authentication are used when accessing resources from off-campus – the most common methods are listed first.
Most resources are authenticated using one of two systems - EZproxy or (less frequently) Shibboleth. Both of these systems require you to enter your Heriot-Watt username and password - EZproxy (or Shibboleth) then connects to the central University servers to verify that your details exist and are entered correctly.
To test that you are using a valid Heriot-Watt username and password, try logging into the University's WebMail service. If you cannot login to WebMail successfully, contact the IT Help Desk (ex. 4045, ITHelp@hw.ac.uk).
If the authentication system is Shibboleth, when looking for the login link in a resource, the wording will often vary from resource to resource - E.g. "UK Federation login", "UK Access Management Federation login", "Institutional login", "Shibboleth login" or just plain "Login".
- If the authentication system is Shibboleth, before you can enter your username and password, you will have to select Heriot-Watt University from a list of institutions.
Some resources are free for public use and therefore don't use any form of authentication, whether they are accessed from off- or on-campus.