Frequently Asked Questions - e-Resources

I'd like to connect to McMaster's full-text e-resources from the references in my EndNote Library (desktop version). How do I do this?

To set up the Find Full Text feature in EndNote desktop: 

  • Open EndNote desktop
  • Go to the Edit menu and choose Preferences 
  • Click Find Full Tex
  • Tick all options at the top of the EndNote Preferences menu (i.e., Web of Science, DOI, PubMed and OpenURL) 
  • In the OpenURL Path: box, enter:
  • In the Authenticate with URL: box, enter:
  • Click OK

To search for the full text of a reference in your library: 

  • Select (highlight) the references for which you want to find full-text
  • Go to the References menu (or right click the highlighted references) and select Find Full Text > Find Full Text ...
  • Log in with your MAC ID username and password when prompted.
  • If a full-text file (e.g., PDF) is available for your selected reference(s), it will be added to the reference as an attachment (look for the paperclip icon)

See also:

McMaster's proxy url is:

The proxy url facilitates off-campus access to databases, ejournals, and other e-resources subscribed to by the Library. You will be prompted to login with your MAC ID username and password before gaining access to the e-resource. To learn more about creating stable URLs or permalinks to the Library's online resources, visit Linking to e-Resources

McMaster's OpenURL Path (or SFX link resolver) is:
OpenURLs are often used in citation management software programs like EndNote and Zotero to connect users to their library's subscribed resources.  

Learn more about openURLs at Wikipedia.  

Your alumni login was successful, but the e-resource failed to load. Why did this happen and what can I do?
This occurs when a Web address has not been added to the list of e-resources available from off campus. This event has been logged and will be addressed.
If you'd like to report this problem to speed up its resolution, please send a message to our IT staff.

Here are 3 possible fixes:

1. If you are using Adobe Reader as your PDF reader, this may be due to a feature in Adobe called "allow fast web view". If so, you may get an error such as "insufficient data for an image". Try the following fix:

  • open the Adobe Reader application
  • Control-K, or go to Edit > Preferences
  • on the left, click 'Internet' and then uncheck 'Allow fast web view'

2. Before opening the PDF, right-click the PDF link and choose "save target as", “save link as” or “download linked file as” (depending on your browser). This will force the PDF to save before opening. Then open the PDF from the saved location. This bypasses the browser and the browser’s PDF plug-in, and avoids problems associated with plug-ins.

3. If neither of the above solutions works, try using a different PDF reader, e.g.

  • Windows: Foxit Reader
  • Mac OS: Preview (go to Finder > Applications >

If none of these solutions work, please report the problem to us, and we will work with you to fix it.


When I try to log in to off-campus access, I get an error message, or nothing happens, or I get redirected back to your home page. What should I do?

This occurs when a Web address has not been added to the list of e-resources available from off campus. This event has been logged and will be addressed.
If you'd like to report this problem to speed up its resolution, please send a message to our IT staff.
If you would like assistance locating an alternative source, please contact our service desks (University Library or Health Sciences Library).


How can I find articles in the Hamilton Spectator or in Canadian newspapers using LexisNexis?

Go to LexisNexis

  • start at the Library home page 
  • click on the Articles/Databases tab
  • type "lexisnexis academic" into the search box beside "Database Name" 
  • on the resulting page, click the "LexisNexis Academic" link

To find articles in the Hamilton Spectator:

  • click the "Find" option next to Source Directory (top right) 
  • in the "Keyword" search box, type "hamilton spectator" and click "Find Sources"
  • on the results page, under "Select sources below to search", tick the box beside "The Hamilton Spectator" and click "OK - Continue"
  • Note: coverage for the Hamilton Spectator in LexisNexis is from October 07, 1991 through current

To find articles in Canadian newspapers:

  • click the "Browse" option next to Source Directory (top of page)  
    • for #1, pick "Publication Type"
    • for #2, "Filter by: Country"; from the dropdown choose "Canada
    • for #3, click "News" and choose "Newspapers"
  • put a tick mark beside any or all newspapers that you want to search and click "OK - Continue"

Constructing a search

  • on the search screen, type the words or phrases you want to find:
    • each search box (whether it be on the main page, or on any of the search forms in the Search By Subject or Topic menu) defaults to a Natural Language search; type a question, a sentence, or a few descriptive terms in the search form to initiate this type of search; for example: water pollution 

    • if Boolean connectors (e.g., AND, OR, AND NOT, etc.) are used to combine words and phrases in a search box, then a Boolean Search will be performed; also, if a search is refined using any of the Advanced Options options (e.g., by date, a segment/field, etc.), then the search will be run as Boolean; for example: pollution AND (water OR ocean OR lake)

  • use the wildcard symbols ! and * to catch word variations: 
    •  the exclamation point ! replaces more than one letter at the end of a search term; for example: bank! will find banks, banking, bankrupt, bankruptcy, etc.
    • the asterisk * replaces one letter and can be used more than once in a word; it can be used anywhere EXCEPT as the first letter of a word; for example: organi*ation will find organization, organisation
  • use quotation marks for an exact phrase, for example: "master chef"

Limiting a search

  • use the Advanced Options
  • specify a date or date range if desired
  • select a segment (e.g. headline, geographic region, etc.) to search within a section, if desired
  • on the results screen:
    • sorting by "Relevance" should bring the most relevant articles to the top
    • "Search within results" (top right) can be used to narrow your results to include more words
    • "Result Groups" (on the left) can narrow your results by subject, geography, language, etc.

How do I do a cited reference search in Web of Science?

Some helpful links:

How do I get access to ARTstor from home?

  • go to the library home page and click on the Articles/Databases tab
  • in the search box type: artstor
  • on the resulting page, click on the ARTstor header
  • if you are off-campus, or using a public computer in the library, a login dialogue box will pop up; log in using your MAC ID
  • any time you go to ARTstor you must use the ARTstor link within the library web site, so that the login process will happen, and you will be recognized as an authorized McMaster user
  • once at the ARTstor site, beside "Enter the ARTstor Digital Library" click the Go button to get in to ARTstor

How do I create private folders and view class folders in ARTstor?

As a McMaster student, staff or faculty member, you have access to ARTstor from on or off campus. Although you can view artworks in ARTstor without registering, if you register you can access advanced functionality, such as:

  • the ability to save images to your personal account in ARTstor using image groups
  • the abilty to access password-protected folders created by professors for your classes

How-to links for ARTstor:

I'm having trouble opening a PDF in JSTOR.

Problem #1:

  • affects users whose browsers or add-on toolbars have pop-up blockers enabled
  • when you click on the PDF link, a dialog box appears with details about Terms and Conditions of Use
  • you click "OK" but  the PDF doesn't open

Solution #1:

  • either disable your pop-up blocker(s), or use the following workaround
  • Workaround:
    • Windows users: hold down CTRL while clicking the PDF link
    • Mac users:
      • hold down CTRL while clicking the PDF link and choose "Open Link in New Window" or "Open Link in New Tab"
      • a new "JSTOR's Terms and Conditions" window or tab will open
      • on that page, click the link "Proceed to PDF"

Problem #2:

  • the PDF link works and the file begins downloading, but the download times out before the file can open

Solution #2:

  • Windows users: hold down CTRL while clicking the PDF link
  • Mac users:
    • hold down CTRL while clicking the PDF link and choose "Open Link in New Window" or "Open Link in New Tab"
    • a new "JSTOR's Terms and Conditions" window or tab will open
    • right-click the "Proceed to PDF" link, choose "Save Link As...", and save the file
    • in "My Computer" or "Finder", browse to the place where you saved the file and open the saved file

Problem #3:

  • Mac users using Preview to open the PDF, rather than Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader, may have trouble downloading the full document.  For some pages you may see page numbers, but no content.

Solution #3:

  • if necessary, download and install the free Adobe Reader
  • follow the instructions in Solution #2 above, and use Adobe Reader or Acrobat to open the saved PDF file

Please report any other problems using our Need Help? Just Ask! service.

How do I use to find out if an article or journal is academic / scholarly or peer-reviewed / refereed?

  • go to our Ulrichsweb page, and click on the title to connect
  • at Ulrichsweb type the publication title into the text box and click Search
  • find your publication title in the resulting list, and click its title to see the details
  • if your title is academic/scholarly, the Basic Description section will include a line that says: "Content Type: Academic/Scholarly"
  • if your title is peer-reviewed/refereed, the description will include a line that says: "Refereed: Yes".
  • a referee shirt icon will also display in the Basic Description and in the search results list, if the title is peer-reviewed


How do I access journals located in the Hamilton Health Library Network?

If you are a McMaster student, staff or faculty member:

  • to get a copy of an article in a journal held by one of the Hamilton Health Library Network libraries, you may request the article through RACER (you can find more info on RACER and Interlibrary Loan on this page).

If you're not a McMaster student, staff or faculty member:

  • Usually the collections at the hospital libraries (e.g. Joseph Brant) are not available except to hospital personnel.
  • One option would be to travel to a library that owns the journal. You can find out which Ontario libraries own a journal by searching for the journal in RACER (you can login with guest access).
  • Before actually going to one of these libraries, however, it's advisable to double-check that they actually own the issue you require, and will allow outside users to access it. You can check individual library catalogues through links on this page.
  • If you don't want to travel to another library to obtain the article, you may inquire at your local public library to see if they will obtain the journal article for you through their Interlibrary Loan department.


How can I find electronic journals by title?

Please follow the instructions on this page.

How can I find electronic journals by subject?

  • start at the e-Journals tab on the library home page
  • click the link "Find e-Journals by subject"
  • you may be asked to log in using your MAC ID
  • on the resulting search page you can either type a journal title in the "Title" search box, or click on the "Subject" tab to browse by subject
  • on the resulting screen, under the name of any journal you want, click on the "Get It!" button
  • all the providers of the online subscription will be listed, with the years of coverage for each


How do I link to a catalogue record, online article, or e-resource?

The Linking to e-Resources page provides all the info you need.

How do I install the Citrix plug-in? How do I access a Citrix-enabled database?

See /plugin.htm. When installing the plug-in accept all defaults. When you are provided with a list of components to install, you can accept the default (which is all components) or you can specify only the web client. If you accepted all defaults, the installation will put a short-cut in your programs start-up folder. You can delete this short-cut if you want.

Note for MAC users: if you are asked for a password during installation of the plug-in it may be because an administrator password was not set up on your computer, in which case you can leave the password blank.

To use one of our Citrix-enabled e-resources:

  1. search for the product by name in either Library catalogue or e-Resources
  2. click on the appropriate link on the Citrix page; the Citrix plug-in should then load the product automatically.

How do I add bibliographic references to EndNotes from Engineering Village 2?

If you want to add bibliographic references from Engineering Village 2 to your EndNote citation manager, you should follow these steps:

  1. Search Engineering Village 2 (EV2) by topic, etc.
  2. After you get some results, select the results you want to add to Endnote by clicking on the box to the left of each record.
  3. Choose a format eg. citation or abstact or detailed record. This appears near the top of the screen.
  4. Beneath it, you'll see "Choose Output". Please click on Download.
  5. You will then see a screen that says "Download Selected Records". The message on this screen says that you should select the RIS format if you want to import the records into EndNote.


Why do I only get a table of contents when I open Human Paleopathology?

In the search dialogue box:

  • click on the Indexes button on the right
  • click Add
  • in the Object Name window, type k:\paleop.pdx
  • click Open
  • you should now see Human Paleopathology displaying in the Index Selection window, with a tick beside it; click OK
  • the full product should now be able to be searched.

How do I Email a JSTOR article?

Ensure that the word "stable" is part of the URL; if it isn't, click on the article title or the "Item Information" link. Copy the URL provided, then it paste into the body of your email.

Why can't I copy from a file opened in Acrobat Reader?

The document creator may have set the security to disable this function. To check, open the file in Acrobat, select File/Document Properties and select the Security tab. Look to see whether Content Copying or Extraction is set to Allowed.