Off Campus Access FAQ

What is Off-campus Access (OCA)?

Contracts with journal and database publishers require the Library to restrict access to faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students of the University of California, Santa Cruz. By using Off-campus Access, users  become authenticated as part of the UCSC network.

Off-campus refers to locations that are not physically on the UCSC campus or in UCSC buildings. Dorms, apartments on Resnet, classrooms and offices (including those at UBP and ITS Delaware) are all considered on-campus.

Problems logging in?

After entering my library barcode, I get a message that says:


Make sure you are entering all 14 digits of your library card number. If you are still having problems, contact the McHenry Library or the Science & Engineering Library Circulation Desk at (831) 459-5185 or (831) 459-5300 to verify that your barcode number is in the system. Or use our online contact form.

  • NOTE: Your IP address will be blocked after 10 failed login attempts within 24 hours. This is intended to prevent unauthorized users from repeatedly attempting to guess a valid barcode number.  If you believe your IP address has been blocked, contact the OCA administrators at to remove the block.

Contracts with database and journal vendors require us to restrict access to faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students of the University of California, Santa Cruz. If you think there is an error and you should have access, please contact the Circulation Desk at either:

McHenry Library (831) 459-5185 or
Science & Engineering (831) 459-5300
Or use our online contact form.

Problems accessing a journal or database?

While trying to access a database or journal, I get a message:

Login/password prompt

The problem is probably one of three things:

  • You've found an online journal (or issue of a journal) to which the UCSC Library does NOT subscribe. It is often difficult to discern which journal issues are in the UCSC Library's holdings once you're on the publisher's site.
  • The Library may need to adjust our configuration of Off-Campus Access for the particular database or journal site.
  • You've gone straight to the journal's Web site from off-campus without going through the UCSC Library's Web site. If you think this is the case, try using the OCA Bookmarklet. This will reload the journal page through the OCA server.

I'm out of the country and getting an error message about blocked access.

Because of a large amount of attempted unlicensed use in China, Russia, and Iran, we've blocked them from using the OCA server. We DO want to enable valid UCSC users to use the OCA server from inside those countries. Just email with your name and ucsc email address and we'll enable your individual library barcode on the OCA server.

Can I use OCA to access SciFinder Scholar from off-campus?

You must log into both OCA and into SciFinder via an account which requires a current UCSC campus email address. Additional plugin software is also required. Links to a one-time campus registration page and software download can be found on this UC SciFinder Scholar Welcome page.

My computer is behind a corporate firewall. Can I still use OCA?

If you are behind a firewall and require access to UCSC Library resources, your network administrator will need to create a firewall rule that specifies the UCSC Library's proxy server as a Trusted site. The address to use is: Network administrators requiring further information can contact the OCA administrators at

For more help, contact the ITS Help Desk at (831) 459-HELP or