StaffGuide: Remote Access Troubleshooting

Tips on resolving issues for off-campus users

About Troubleshooting

OpenAthens Logo

Big changes coming to remote access in 2020! 

Read more about OpenAthens authentication

There are two main ways for remote patrons to authenticate to use library resources:

  • via OpenAthens
    The majority of our remote traffic is through OpenAthens
    This method involves URLS that are rewritten to send a patron through a login/validation screen
    OpenAthens IS NOT dependent on a patron being in the Sierra patron database. 
    OpenAthens relies on the user's UARK email and password for access. 

  • via the special campus VPN connection
    This method is used by a small number of dedicated researchers who are willing to set up the software. 

The troubleshooting steps below are designed to help you assist users of OpenAthens

For help with VPN connections, refer questions to the Web Services Librarian,, 479-575-4665.

Quick Fixes

Weird errors or page loading problems?

Try clearing the browser cache: instructions at

Problems logging into UARK account? 

Try changing the password at or check with ITS Help Desk.

Campus Wireless not Connecting to Library Resources?

Be sure to use UARK Wi-Fi, not Guest Wi-Fi.

Trouble connecting to Wi-Fi?

"Forget" the network on your device and then try again.

Step 1: Clearing the Cache

Step 1: Clear the browser cache

Often, a patron's web browser may cache a bad error page.  90% of the time, clearing the browser's memory of that page will solve the issue. 

Patrons do not need to clear saved passwords or form data, just cached history, images, and cookies.  They should then close their browser completely, reopen it, and try again.  Or try another browser. 

Instructions for clearing the browser cache

No luck?  Proceed to Step 2. 

Step 2: Check the Link

Step 2: What Link is the Patron Trying to Access?

"Athenized" library links will usually begin with

Create an Athenized URL

Plug your URL into for an Athenized version.

Patron can access the Athenized link? 

Problem solved!  You're a hero!
Remind the patron to start at the library website, research guides, library catalog, or other sites where the links should work for off-campus access. 

You can access the link but the patron can't? 

Proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: One Database or All?

Step 3: Is the patron able to connect to other resources or is the issue with just one resource?

  • No, the patron cannot connect to any subscription resources.

Proceed to Step 4.

  • Yes, the patron can connect to other resources, just not this one.

    • Can you connect to the resource from the library catalog or home page?

No: The problem is with our link or the vendor. 

  • Take the patron's contact information and send it to or complete the form.  

  • Try Google.  You might find the right link! 

  • Ask the patron if there is a specific article / book chapter or other resource ILL can obtain for him or her.

  • You are done. Thanks for reporting this issue.

Yes, you can connect with no problems.

The issue may be an OpenAthens problem or a UARK account problem.

Proceed to Step 4.

Step 4: Have the Patron Test their UARK Account

Step 4: Check Patron UARK Account

If the patron cannot login to ANY of our resources remotely, the issue may be with their UARK account.

Can the patron login into their UARK email? 

Yes: it's an OpenAthens issue. 

Take the patron's contact information and send it to or complete the form.  

No: It's a UARK account issue.  

Refer the patron to the ITS Help Desk. 

  • Phone: 479-575-2905
  • Chat:

Other Issues

We are still learning about OpenAthens so please report any issues not addressed by this simple checklist:

Send email to or complete the form.