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Library Technology Support: Common access/account problems

To keep clients up-to-date concerning developments related to library e-resources, systems, databases and applications.

Certificate error

At times when accessing e-resources, you may get a server error message such as:  your connection is not secure; your connection is not private; problems associated with the website's security certificate; or untrusted connection. See screen captures below. ​     

This is due to the fact that the affected publishers have upgraded their website to conform to secure protocol standards (https). These websites require the acquisition and installation of an online certificate by the Library and ICT in order to prevent these errors.

Since you are accessing via the Unisa Library’s subscribed databases, presume that these are trusted sources and proceed as follows, depending on the browser you are using:


  • For Internet Explorer: 

            Click on "Continue to this website (not recommended)”.




  • For Google Chrome: 

Click on “Advanced”,

then click on “Proceed to ___”.

For example,

“Proceed to (unsafe)” for e-reserves & recommended books;


"Proceed to (unsafe)” for other e-resources. 







  • For Firefox: 

Click on "Advanced",

then click on "Add Exception...",

and then click on "Confirm Security Exception".










Although the messages do not recommend this action, there is no danger in continuing to the website since these are trusted sources.                                                      


If you receive any of these error messages, please email us with the details at: This will assist with us with the compilation of the list of new websites (urls) that need to be included in the certificate. 

Authentication error

When login in to MyLibrary account, or via the Single Sign On in order to access electronic resources  ​




You may get the following error after providing your student number and myUnisa password





This may indicate either that your Library record has expired or that you are not yet registered as a student. If you have registered again, it usually takes up to 24 hours for the Library system to get your updated record from the Unisa Student System. You must therefore test your access again a day or two after your registration.  

If the above error persists, email us at:

'403 Authentication error' - No permission to access an online resource

Sometimes, when you log in to view a specific journal title or database via the A-Z subject database list or via Encore Duet, you might get an error message indicating that you do not have permission to access.


Usually, this is due to the following reasons:

  • Your library account has been blocked/suspended due to outstanding fines 
  • You are not currently a registered student or your registration period has expired
  • There were automatic system changes made to your account which may need to be rectified in order for you to regain access.

After registration and payment please note that it takes about 24 hours for accounts to be updated by our library system, and for you to regain access to our electronic resources.

If you get this error, email us at:

Java error

Sometimes, when you use some of our databases, you may encounter this message: ‘Error has occurred in script on this page’. The problem most likely lies in the fact that you either do not have Java enabled on your machine or you are using an older browser.

Please follow these steps to check if Java is enabled.

If the above error persists, email us at:



‘404 Page Not found’ error

At times when doing course code searches and accessing course reserves or when accessing an electronic resource you might get a missing page error:




This means that the page you are trying to reach on a website could not be found on their server either because it has been deleted, relocated, or the web address used is incorrect.If it happens that you can open the page or resource from some of your devices but not from others, clearing the cache and cookies in your browser might help.

CAS unavailable error

The Central Authentication Server is the server that verifies that you are an eligible Unisa Library client and provides you with access to your required resources or services. At times the server might become unavailable or experience problems triggered by the Unisa network.



If you get this problem, email us at:

'The requested URL could not be retrieved' error

When accessing Library resources you may get the following error message: ‘The requested URL could not be retrieved’.  



This means that your connection was in some way terminated when trying to access, or download a document from, the website. Please close your browser and try to access the site after few minutes.

If the problem still persists, email us at: