Technology for Remote Access

Technology for Remote Access

Diane M. Fulkerson (University of South Florida Polytechnic Library, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0234-2.ch006
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Technology to access materials remotely has gone from document delivery via snail mail to documents received electronically. No longer do users have to come into the library to find articles in scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. Books are not always available electronically, but users can search the library’s online catalog to find print and e-books without going to the library. The primary technologies used to access materials off-campus are virtual private networks (VPN) and EZproxy. These technologies authenticate users through a password. Once they are authenticated they can access the library collections for their research.
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Students cannot always come to the library to study in spite of the fact many academic libraries are open 24 hours a day or have extended hours during the week until one or two in the morning. The other factor is students are not required to go to the library to do research, unless they need to use a book or journal in print. Personal experience from working at the reference desk indicates they would rather use an electronic resource than an item in print that requires them to come to the library. Remote access technology allows users to search the library's catalog and licensed electronic resources. They have all the functionality as if they were physically in the library. Remote access technology makes accessing electronic resources off-campus possible. The two primary technologies in use are proxy servers and virtual private networks (VPN). Both types of technologies allow users, through the use of authentication, gain access to licensed electronic library resources. A third remote access technology is a link resolver. Not every database has the full text of an article and a link resolver helps the user find the article either in another database subscribed to by the library, in print at the library or through interlibrary loan.

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