RESOLVED: Shibboleth and eZproxy authentication issues

THE ISSUES AFFECTING authenticated access to some front-facing library services and platform (reported earlier today) have now been resolved.

Access to all publisher sites and resources reliant on eZproxy authentication for off-campus access has been reinstated. Authenticated access to the Worktribe research management application is also available once again.

Shibboleth and eZproxy authentication issues

Code block

THE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES team has this morning deployed some planned updates to the university’s authentication environment which have caused temporary interruptions in access to some services.

Resources which rely on eZproxy authentication for off-campus access are currently unavailable (with requests resulting in an error message). Access to the Worktribe research management system is similarly affected.

The impacted platforms and services are those that have a unique, customised integration with the university’s authentication environment – so library resources that rely on standard Shibboleth-based Single Sign-on are continuing to work normally.

The DT and library teams are working with third-party suppliers to reinstate access to the affected platforms and applications as soon as possible.

A further update will follow once these issues have been resolved.

Temporary suspensions of access to e-resources

Screenshot of e-resource access block message

To protect against excessive usage that risks breaching our e-resource licensing agreements and also the illegal harvesting of content from compromised accounts, the library imposes a 200MB limit on downloads in a single day.

Setting the daily download allowance at 200MB is an attempt to strike a reasonable balance between the different material file-sizes that staff and students may want to access across different subject areas. It’s a capacity that would allow the download of large numbers of journal article PDFs, but a far smaller number of high-resolution images or multimedia files.

If someone hits this limit, they will be blocked from accessing any more e-resources for 18 hours. If no further action is taken this block expires automatically.

To contact the library to expedite the lifting of a block, email libinfodirect@ntu.ac.uk with the subject line ‘eZproxy services suspended’.

The library will endeavour to unblock accounts in a timely manner before the standard 18 hour expiry but can’t guarantee it during particularly busy periods, or when the block stretches across the weekend or Bank Holidays.

OUP journals – access issues

An example OUP journal

THE TECHNICAL TEAM behind the Oxford University Press (OUP) journals platform are working to fix a problem affecting login requests.

At present, attempts to log in to the platform either using Shibboleth or eZproxy resolve to a ‘400 bad request’ error page.

A further update will follow once the issue is confirmed as resolved.

RLMS and eZproxy services working normally once more

THE TECHNICAL ISSUES that were affecting authenticated access to the Resource List Management System and to electronic resources using the secure eZproxy service have now been resolved.

Both services are now working normally once again.

Any student or staff member who has encountered either error is advised to close and re-open their browser in order to launch a fresh login request to either or both systems.

Image if a code fragment

Secure eZproxy services offline

THE LIBRARY IS working with providers OCLC to recover the normal operation of the hosted eZproxy service which is currently unavailable.

At present, all log in requests routed through the eZproxy service resolve to an ‘access suspended’ error page, which should only be triggered when an individual user account exceeds a preset maximum data download limit during a 24hr period.

A further update will follow once the service is confirmed as running normally once more.

UPDATE, 12:55: The issue has now been resolved.

eZproxy - access suspended message

Secure proxy access problems

THE LIBRARY IS working with colleagues in Digital Technologies to resolve a problem that is preventing access requests to electronic resources that use the ‘secure proxy service’ from resolving correctly.

The issue is affecting database, eBook and ejournal access requests which rely on this method of authentication.

For those resources impacted by the issue, requests resolve to a generic login screen displaying the OCLC logo (see below).

A further update will follow once normal access has been restored.

OCLC log in screen

ProQuest platform – temporary off-campus access changes in Find Databases service

Proquest One Literature

DUE TO ONGOING technical problems affecting the Shibboleth environment on the main ProQuest platform, the off-campus authentication method for more than twenty separate resources in the Find Databases service has temporarily been changed to the library’s secure eZproxy server.

Off-site access to databases, such as ASSIA (Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts), IBSS (International Bibliography of the Social Sciences) and ProQuest One Literature, continues to be via university username and password.

The ProQuest technical team are working to resolve the problems with their Shibboleth service provider, which have led to failed logins to the main ProQuest platform from off-site.

UPDATE, 21 April: The ProQuest technical team have confirmed that the issue affecting their Shibboleth environment has now been resolved.

EBSCOhost – issues with article-level off-campus access from Library OneSearch and SFX

EBSCOhost logo

THE LIBRARY IS working with the technical team at EBSCOhost to resolve an issue with article-level access to EBSCOhost content from off-campus locations.

At present, content requests are, in some cases, resolving to an error page displaying an ‘Authentication Error 103’ (see below) following an the attempt to login through the NTU Single Sign-on service.

EBSCOhost 103 error

Database level access to all EBSCOhost content is unaffected. For the time being, the recommended workaround when access article-level EBSCOhost content from off-campus is to access the the required database from the Find Databases service and then locate the required content.

A further update will follow once the issue is confirmed as resolved.

UPDATE: This issue was confirmed as resolved on 27 February 2020.

Construction Information Service – off-campus access restored

THE PREVIOUSLY REPORTED issue preventing off-campus access to the Construction Information Service – off-campus access has now been resolved.

Off-campus access to the service is once again available via university username and password.

Off-campus access links in the Find Databases service to the LACORS and OHSIS databases have also been updated to ensure continuity of access.

The Construction Information Services platform