Common problems, technical support, browser errors

Tech Support Questions and Answers


I see a "missing plug-in" error when I try to view an Ebsco .pdf article in Safari.

Answer: Try one of these solutions:

  1. Install the SchubertIt PDF Browser plugin. Safari will then be able to display Ebsco .pdf files properly. This is a good choice if you're using your own computer and like to use Safari for all your library research.

  2. If you have Firefox or Chrome, as well as Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer, choose Firefox or Chrome instead of Safari. If you don't mind Firefox/Chrome and don't want to install anything new this may be a good choice.

  3. When you find a .pdf article, choose "download" or "email" instead of opening the .pdf directly in the browser session. While not as convenient, if you are on a public computer or one that doesn't belong to you, this may be the best solution.

What do I do if I see "Proxy Error" or "502 Proxy Error"?

Answer: If you see a screen similar to this, please call Library Technology Services at (617) 373-7088 (open M-F, 8am - 5pm) or email librarysystemsoffice@neu.edu.

The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server

In the meantime, switching to a different browser usually solves the problem.


Why can I 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:

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

This problem has been observed in:

  • Science Direct, using MacIntosh OSX and Safari


What do I do if a library database gives me a security certificate error in my browser?

Answer: Some users have experienced certificate errors when connecting to secure databases such as UlrichsWeb, Web of Knowledge, and SciFinder. The error appears like:

(Internet Explorer error)

(Safari error)

(Firefox error)

(Chrome error)

Solutions to this problem

Alternative #1
Ignore the warning, and tell the browser to "Add Exception".

See a brief video of how to do this:
For Firefox users
For IE users

Alternative #2
Adjust your security settings (example using IE):

  • In Internet Explorer, open "Tools" on the menu.
  • Select "Internet Options"
  • Select the "Advanced" tab
  • Scroll down to the heading "security" and uncheck "warn about certificate address mismatch"
  • Restart the browser
  • Go back and re-connect to the web site
  • Log in using myNEU credentials when prompted

Please call the Library Systems Office (open M-F, 8am - 5pm), if you need technical assistance.
Tel: (617) 373-7088
Email: librarysystemsoffice@neu.edu

NU Libraries, 360 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA 02115 | (617) 373-2350