Return to Library Resources for Robert Kennedy College

When accessing library resources provided for you by the University of Cumbria you might have an additional step to sign in to prove you are student or staff at the University before you can open a specific eresource, ebook or the PDF of the full article. There are two main methods of authentication and both require your University of Cumbria email address and password.


Links to many eresources are configured to require you to login before accessing the material. You are taken directly to the university's login page.

This login requires you to enter your university email address and password.


If you find an eresource via a web search engine such as Google Scholar, then you will not be automatically routed via our authentication system and will need to look for the 'institutional' login link. This login is also sometimes called the 'home organisation login' or 'shibboleth login' or 'UK Access Management Federation login'.

The steps involved vary for different eresources but in general:

  1. Select SHIBBOLETH or INSTITUTIONAL login link
  2. Select the UK Access Management Federation
  3. Select the University of Cumbria
  4. Login using your university email address and password


Navigating online resources available from the Library can sometimes be tricky and occasionally you may encounter a problem. Below are the most common issues and what you can do to fix them. If you still can't resolve your problem, please contact the IT Service Desk.

  • My username and password doesn't work

    You may need to reset your password using the Reset Password Service or by contacting the IT Service Desk.

  • Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

    When signing into University web-based systems on or off campus you will be prompted to signup / register for something called Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). MFA pairs your University password with an additional form of security, such as a code sent to you via an app or text message, much in the same way you may be asked to do so for your bank etc. This is designed to increase your security when accessing university services by using additional methods to verify who you are when signing in and help prevent threats to your cyber security.

    Signup should only take a few minutes and will require you to have access to your mobile phone. Full instructions are provided on our Multi Factor Authentication page. We do intend to make MFA mandatory at the end of October 2020.

    If you have any questions about MFA or feedback, please contact

  • I can't get onto an ebook

    • Are you using a Mac?  If so use the Safari fix.
    • There is no button for download or read online.  This means we have used up our allocated usage and we need to buy more.  Please contact and let us know.
    • Is it an Ebsco book and someone else is already using the ebook? If so you will need to try again later.
    • Are you using IE9?  There are problems with this browser, use Edge, Chrome or Firefox instead. 
  • I can't get past the EBSCOhost screen

    EBSCO is one of the providers of our eresources. If you get stuck at the EBSCOhost Login screen follow these Workarounds to access EBSCO content.

  • Is there a problem with my PC or laptop?

    Try another browser e.g. if you are using Internet Explorer (IE) or Microsoft Edge, try Firefox or Chrome, they completely free to download and use.

    Clear your browser cookies or cache

    Check you are not blocking pop-up windows - many electronic resources use pop-up windows where the resource generates a new browser window. Some browsers automatically block pop-up windows and this can prevent an electronic resource or ebook from opening correctly. Some online resources may also require additional plug-ins or software to function correctly - if you block pop-ups you may miss the prompt to install particular software. Check your browser to see if you are blocking pop-ups, it should be easy to temporarily allow pop-ups when necessary or add the resource to your pop-up blocker.

    Check in your browser settings that JavaScript is not blocked/disabled

    If you use an Ad Blocker disable it for the site you are trying to access

    Check in the browser settings that cookies are not blocked

  • I can't get full text of a recent article

    Some of that journals available via the Library's various databases and online journal collections have restrictions on the most recent issues. These are called embargoes and can range from 3 months to 18 months.

  • The Library doesn't have access to an article I want

    If you can't access an article via the collections provided to you by the University of Cumbria, try these options:

    Google Scholar 

    Google Scholar can assist in locating academic literature. It provides details of journal articles, scientific papers, conference proceedings and so on from a variety of sources. In some instances, you will find freely available access to the full text but this is not comprehensive.

    Open Access

    Some publishers make a selection of their material 'open access', in other words freely available online and not behind a paywall. This page will help you discover open access platforms and resources relevant for Robert Kenendy College programmes.

  • Reporting Access Issues with Eresources

    If you are aware of a problem accessing eresources please report the problem here: