« Using SciFinder with Chrome | Main | more on the new Taylor & Francis platform »

Off-campus Ovid problems... the ongoing saga

Hello all,

Over the last few months you may have heard about Ovid not working correctly from off campus, or people asking about the "awful new Ovid redesign." Because everyone off-campus isn't affected and the problem has been difficult to replicate, it's taken us a while to realize that there actually is a problem. I contacted Ovid and they thought it was a proxy problem on our end, so I submitted a help desk ticket last week, and Michael Johnson in IT is working on it.

The problem is how the interface is displaying - here is a typical screenshot (click to enlarge):

The search engine will function (most of the time, though there are a lot of time-outs and slow loading) but the interface is all scrambled up.

We haven't figured out a pattern yet - here's what we know so far.

-It only happens off campus, but not to everyone off campus (and to a minority of people, it seems).
-It doesn't seem to be related to the browser or computer, because several people with laptops have had the problem off campus even if they try multiple browsers, but it works correctly on the same computer on the campus wireless.
-It seems to have been happening since about late May - at least one person said she was affected by the Moodle/email crash that happened in May, and after that Ovid didn't work anymore for her. That fact might be a coincidence, or it might be relevant - that's unknown at this point.
-One faculty member noticed that the URL she gets directed to to connect to Ovid from off campus looks crazy: (http://ovidsp.tx.ovid.com.ezp1.lib.umn.edusp-.4.1bovidweb.cgi?QS2=434f4e1a73d37e8c9afc6da792189fcfcc7cf6143713508af53574b818ad50f61c647db4a1a53234ec9262299bf7f5b8c5913090767d3f3b1f86ad647c729902f8b8e40a5f58d2e47f26bade7b6d8b58c9957b11eeb33629df78787e0820cdf61ab3e29517d332f55dfbfebbbc35476ae8b60bb4a1568dade44ccf2995dda7e1501a5e8abba758e3802b2d02511804f3f683eaf76469e026ebbfa87133a0019ed69e722c6f25424bc707883b36e3b9da1ed138a855e5d5845a96650c13553c923aa08c4415d72d714fd7b2f466e95cad854a01495cf45fe37a9338a4383a1257f9c7920da1c5fe9e) - (see, CRAZY!) that might have something to do with it. Also unknown at this point.

So, that's what we know and don't know now. Unfortunately, we don't know of a solution to give people, so at this point just get a synposis of the problem and contact info and send it to me so I can pass along any new relevant info and keep a list of affected people.

Hopefully IT can crack the mystery soon, since this is a pretty serious (and maddening!) problem. I'll keep y'all posted!


Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)