Answered By: Dan Gall
Last Updated: Dec 16, 2019     Views: 239

No, you do not need to pay for journal articles through the library. If you are being asked to pay for an article or give an account number, there is probably an issue with the link to that article. Details to help with troubleshooting are listed below, but

Like all academic libraries, the University of Iowa Libraries buys access to online journals, research databases and other collections of online articles (and other content). Often, the subscriptions we pay are based on the number of students who will have access, so we need to restrict access only to the current UI community. The providers of online articles know that any computer coming from our range of internet (IP) addresses is on the UIowa campus and should have access. Off-campus, though, isn’t so easy.

All our links to something we pay for go through a proxy server – sort of a gate-keeper that asks your HawkID and password and then lets anyone who should have access through to the resource. That only works if you start somewhere on the University of Iowa Libraries websites ( If you google the journal article and find it on a publisher website, for example, or follow a link to an article from someone else’s website, you might bypass our subscription and be asked to pay.

Here are some strategies to help.

You can also, of course, ask a UI librarian for help, too.

Good Luck.

Dan the Librarian

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