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Tech Support

How to get help:

Use our Report a Problem Form for:

  • research databases
  • ejournals
  • Scholar OneSearch
  • full text linking

Contact the ITS Help Desk at x4357 (617-373-HELP) or help [at] neu.edu for problems with Northeastern computers in labs and offices, myNEU accounts, and NUSSO.

Frequently Asked Tech Support Questions


Question: What should I do if I see this when connecting to a resource: 

Shibboleth error

An error occurred while processing your request. Please contact your helpdesk or user ID office for assistance.
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If you think you were sent here in error, please contact technical support Error Message: Error decoding authentication request message

This error sometimes occurs when a previous session did not completely close, or when you use the browser "back" button to the point where you logged in. 

To fix this error, try clearing your cache and cookies.  

If that doesn't work:

1. Go to https://neuidmsso.neu.edu/logout.html

2. Completely close and restart your browser.

3. Go to http://library.northeastern.edu and try to connect to your database or ejournal again. 

To avoid this error in future:

Make a habit of completely closing your browser after a library session.

Do not use the "back" button in the browser to the point where you logged in. 

Never bookmark the login page for a library resource.  Instead, bookmark the site AFTER you log in, or right-click and bookmark a link BEFORE you click on it.


What if I see "ContentServer" errors in my browser when trying to view an Ebscohost PDF?

If you are using the Firefox browser on a Mac OSX computer, first, be sure you have an up-to-date version.  

  • Click on Firefox--About Firefox--Check for updates

If this does not solve the problem, change the preferences for opening PDFs

  • Click on Firefox--Preferences--Applications--Portable Document format
  • Select "Preview in Firefox"


Question: What if my PDF links to a blank screen in Springer?

Some users experience a blank screen when linking to full text PDFs in Springer.

If you experience this, please clear your cache and cookies in your browser and then try again.  We have found this usually solves the problem.


Question: Why isn't my e-book available in Springer?

Northeastern does not license ALL Springer ebooks, only certain series.  The books we have are listed with a green box.


Question: How do I get access to the Chronicle of Higher Education links on my smartphone and from my email?

The library offers a “bookmarklet”, which you can drag or save to your browser’s bookmarks list.  It inserts “ezproxy.neu.edu” into the URL, prompts you to log in off-campus, and enables you to read subscription content.

Tapping it authenticates you without going through the library web site (not that there’s anything wrong with that of course!), and that applies to any journal or resource we subscribe to, not just the Chronicle

Follow these instructions or watch a little video to see how easy it is to install and use.


Question: What if I see an EZProxy error when I try to connect to a journal article or database?

Make sure you use our ejournal finder or A-Z list of online resources to access journals and databases. 

If you did that and you are still receiving this error, please Report a Problem and include the URL or a screenshot of the error page.  We can usually fix this error in one business day. 


Question: What if I can view, but not print or save my article PDF?

Answer: A broken "Save" button is caused by a failure in the mini-browser version of your PDF reader. When a user clicks on the "PDF" button in some databases, the Internet browser opens the PDF reader in a mini-window of the browser. The mini-window version of the PDF reader is not the full version of that program. Sometimes this can cause the PDF reader to err.

Try one or more of the following solutions:

  • Right click on the .pdf and “save target as” or “save link as”. Then open the saved file, read and print it.
  • Use Foxit Reader instead of Adobe Acrobat Reader or Preview
  • Use Firefox instead of Safari

This problem has been observed in:

  • Science Direct, using MacIntosh OSX and Safari


Question: How do I create a stable link for a journal article or ebook for my students in Blackboard? 

Links to articles need to have "ezproxy.neu.edu" in the first part of the link.  For example:




If you need to insert this into a link, use the widget on this page to "proxy" the link.  If you need further assistance, please see our guide to Finding and Creating Permalinks or Ask a Librarian