Answered By: Helen Smith
Last Updated: Jun 23, 2017     Views: 13910

Sample Error text:

Authentication Failure: The database that you selected is for use by the students, faculty and staff of the Pennsylvania State University only.

or  your PSU Access ID and password is not accepted by a specific database.

If you are having trouble logging in to access library databases, links to Course Reserves, or full-text articles, please review the information below.  

Possible Causes:  

  • You are off campus and trying to access a database directly. 
  • Your browser cache is conflicting with the sign on process
  • You're logged in with an incorrect credential (Friends of Penn State instead of student Access ID)  
  • You are not a current PSU faculty, staff or student

What to do:  

  1. Make sure you are connecting to the resource via a Library page such as the Databases by Title (A-Z) list, LionSearch, or a subject guide.
  2. Try clearing your browser cache/cookies. This is usually found in the browser settings, but instructions are different for each browser. you can Google "clear cache (your browser name/version)" to find instructions on the web OR see
  3. Try closing and reopening your browser OR try a different browser
  4. Try logging into another authenticated resource--like ANGEL, Canvas, LionPATH or My Library Account, and try the database link again
  5. If off campus, try downloading and installing the LIAS VPN
  6. Try forcing the authentication protocol.  Put 
    immediately in front of the url in your browser's address bar.
    where you replace with the url to your resource

If you're still seeing the authentication error, then you may be logged in with your Friends of Penn State (FPS) account instead of your Access ID. This is more likely if your Access ID is numbered in the 5000 range (ABC5001, DEF5002, etc.), and if you created identical passwords for both types of account.

You can usually fix the problem by going to and changing your Access password. Then, close and reopen your browser, log in with your new password and try the resource again.

If you're still having trouble after changing your Access account password, then you'll need to visit an ITS helpdesk with a signature station or call 814-865-HELP (4357). 865-HELP is available 24/7, except on holidays