iPads: Accessing Library Resources from Home

Those of you with iPads (and those of you still mulling the purchase over) may be curious about how to access library resources on your iPad. If you are on the Duke wireless network, you should have few problems accessing our tools. Some of our resources may not look perfect on the mobile Safari browser, but as long as you are on the Diamonds wireless network, you should not be prompted for additional user names and passwords.

If you are at home, however, you may run into some problems. The OIT Help Desk reports that the Duke and DHTS VPNs will not work on the iPad. Until they work out a solution, you will not be able to access some of the Medical Center Library's resources, which do require the VPN, on the device.

The good news is that many of our resources will work.

Databases: Databases with an "EZ" icon next to the name should work: you'll just be prompted to enter your Net ID and password.

Articles: If you want to read journal articles, many will be accessible through PubMed.

  • Simply use the Single Citation Matcher to pull up a specific article or do a topic search through the Duke version of PubMed.
  • Once you're looking at a citation, click on the Get it at Duke link (not the usual DUMCLOnline button - see image below). This will attempt to pass you through the EZProxy server, which will ask for your Net ID and password. There may be some journals we do not subscribe to, that have restrictions that prohibit access through the EZ Proxy, or that simply do not work on the mobile Safari browser.... but this simple step should work for many of our journals.


Once you've opened an article, reading PDFs is easy on the iPad. Be aware that functionality is limited on the Safari browser, for example, PDFs cannot be easily downloaded from journal sites.

We are testing a couple of iPads at the Library to see how they can be used for medical reference and other clinical, educational, and productivity purposes. If you have any favorite apps to share, or have tips or ideas for the iPad, please leave us a comment or send an email to mclref[at]mc.duke.edu.

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