In order to use our subscription research databases from off campus (or on campus when you are not connected to a UCSB network), you will need to use either the proxy server or the Virtual Private Network (VPN). The tools described below will allow you to authentication as a UCSB user in order to obtain a temporary UCSB IP address. Note that there are open-access databases and resources you can access for free without authentication. Please check our page on Free Publicly-Accessible Databases to find what is available.
The proxy server, VPN, and off-campus access through UC Library Search are available only to UCSB faculty, staff, and students. You must have a UCSBnetID and password to sign in.
NOTE: A computer that is on campus, but not connected to a UCSB network, will not have a UCSB IP address. To access library subscription electronic resources, you will either need to connect to the UCSB network (wireless or ethernet) OR use one of the off-campus access methods described below.
Why Use the Proxy Server or the VPN?
Our databases are licensed by the library from vendors who supply access to electronic resources licensed by the UCSB Library. We have contracts with these companies that limit off-campus access to UCSB faculty, staff, and students.
If you want to access our databases when you are off campus, you must first sign in to either the proxy server or the VPN. There are a few databases that use alternative authentication, but most are accessible through the methods described on this page.
Which Should I Use?
It is up to you. If one method does not work for you, try the other. We have found that most people prefer the proxy server and find it easier to use.
- About the proxy server
- Requires only a web browser, UCSBnetID, and password
- Does not require Duo authentication or special software
- Ideal for situations when you cannot download software
- Works with the Off-campus access bookmark tool
- Will not work with proprietary search software such as EndNote desktop with connection files
- This service is managed by the UCSB Library
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
- About the VPN
- Requires that you download and run the Pulse VPN client software, and have a UCSBnetID and password
- As of August 2, will require Duo Authentication. See the links to instructions from UCSB campus IT below:
- Works in some instances where the proxy will not work
- Only method that can be used with proprietary search software such as EndNote desktop with connection files
- This service is managed by UCSB campus IT
UC Library Search
- Many of our online resources can be accessed through UC Library Search. See our guide on accessing full text through UC Library Search for more information. If you are not on the campus network or connected via EZproxy or VPN, links to subscription e-resources from UC Library Search will automatically prompt you to log in to the proxy server with your UCSBnet ID and password.