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Help: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get full access to Electronic Journals?

Information on which journals are available online (including details on our archive), plus advice on how to register for access to subscribed journals or subscribe to new journals.

How do I use Electronic Journals?

This section of help answers common usage queries and offers guidance on how to use the Electronic Journals service effectively.

Troubleshoot common access problems

Usernames and passwords

This section of help answers common queries about usernames and passwords.

Downloading and printing articles

Further information about copyright, and downloading and printing the various full text formats.

How do I get full access to Electronic Journals?

Q. Which journals are available online?
A. All of IOP Publishing's journals are available online (see our EJ home page for a list of the titles available). Institutions automatically qualify for online access to the journals to which they subscribe (the current volume, plus a 10 year back file where available). When we receive a completed Registration Form from your institution, we match it against a list of the print journals to which you subscribe and provide you with access.
Q. Which years are available in full text?
A. All of our journals' articles have been digitized back to 1874. Institutional journal subscribers get access to the current volume, plus a 10 year back file where available. Our Historic Archive (in 2005, all journals from 1874-1994) is available for a low annual fee. Subscription information.
Q. What do I need to access our Electronic Journals?
A. You will need: All our journals' abstracts and tables of content are freely available to all. To access the full-text of our journals, you must be located at an institution that subscribes. Your librarian must first register for online access. You can tell if your institution is registered and, if so, which IOP Publishing journals you can receive online by checking the journals subscriptions of your institution page.
Q. How do I get access to the World Wide Web?
A. You will need a World Wide Web browser such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. Although the service is tested using a variety of browser software, it is often best viewed with Netscape Navigator. This software is available at a number of institutions, but principally at Netscape's own Web server, (please refer to the note below).
Q. How do I register?
A. If your library already subscribes to one or more of Institute of Physics Publishing's journals, your librarian needs to complete a simple registration form and return it to us (if they haven't done so already). The Registration Form is available online; alternatively, your librarian can contact Customer Services at
If your library has no existing subscriptions your librarian can e-mail us at We'll be happy to send out product samples, catalogues, or any other information. Full details of IOP Publishing titles, prices and subscription information are available on this Web site.
Q. Do I need a Network License?
A. If you are currently networking or wish to network your electronic resources between different sites and libraries within your organization, then you may require a Network License. Information on Network Licenses is available.
Q. What is the Site Key?
A. The Site Key is a unique identifier for your institution. It is automatically generated by IOP Publishing and displayed at the top right of the EJs home page when you access the service from your registered institution.
Q. Can I use proxy servers to access Electronic Journals?
A. Using a proxy server can cause problems when you try to access the service. We recommend that you do not use proxies. To configure your browser so that it will not use proxies, open the Network Preferences from the Options menu and select "No Proxies". If you have any difficulties configuring your browser, please contact Customer Services at
Q. What if one of our computers cannot access Electronic Journals?
A. If one of your computers cannot access the site, it could mean that it is using a proxy, which you can check as described above. If it is not using a proxy, you may not have registered its Internet Protocol (IP) address. Check the computer's IP address by accessing both of our check-up pages ( and and contact Customer Services at with these details.
Q. How do I know if my institution is registered for access to IOP Publishing's Electronic Journals?
A. If your institution is registered, a Site Key and the name of the Site Contact for your institution will be displayed at the top right of the EJs home page. If you are unsure whether your institution has registered for access to Electronic Journals, please contact your librarian or
Q. What if the computer tells me I am not authorized to access a journal?
A. This is probably because your institution does not subscribe or does subscribe but is not registered to access the journal you want (or the computer you are using is not registered). Ask your librarian which IOP Publishing journals you are registered to receive online and/or check the journals subscriptions of your institution page.
Q. What do I do if I have slow access to the service?
A. In the first instance please contact your local Systems Administrator to establish where the fault lies. If required IOP Publishing can conduct tests to tell you where problems are occurring. To do this, we require your Internet Service Provider (ISP) details, network and IP address information.
Why can't I access the full text?
A. Possible reasons are:

* When installing software from an online archive, please read any licence agreement and installation instructions first. Installation instructions are usually available online (often called readme). You may need to check with your technical support department before downloading or installing the software. IOP Publishing makes no guarantee of the quality or fitness for purpose of any software described above. IOP Publishing cannot take responsibility for any loss, damage or injury caused either directly or indirectly through the use of this software. All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Where IOP Publishing Ltd is aware of such a claim, the product names appear in initial capital letters. IOP Publishing Ltd makes no claim to these trademarks.

Q. Can we subscribe to the electronic version only?
A. At present, e-only access is only available for New Journal of Physics (NJP), Journal of High Energy Physics (JHEP), Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (JCAP), Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment (JSTAT) and Physical Biology. These titles are only available online i.e. not in print.

How to use Electronic Journals

Personalization options

Usernames and passwords

Q. Do I need a username and password to access Electronic Journals?
A. Access to the Standard mode, which provides free access to all tables of contents and abstracts plus access to the full-text of your institutional subscriptions, does not require a username and password. However, use of the Login mode, which includes our personalization options, does require a username and password.
Q. What happens to my registration details?
A. The information that you supply is stored in a registration database under the rules of the Data Protection Act. We may contact you about other IOP Publishing products and services (unless you have asked us not to do so).
Q. What if my username and password stop working?
A. Usernames are case insensitive (i.e. 'john', 'John' and 'JOHN' are all treated as the same username). Passwords are case sensitive (i.e. 'password', 'Password' and 'PASSWORD' are treated as different passwords). If your CAPS LOCK key is on, you may have problems typing your password correctly. Alternatively, it may be that someone has tried to use the username and password to access the journals illegally. Contact for assistance.
Q. How can I change my user details and/or password?
A. You can change your user details and/or password from the User options page. You will need to login first.

Downloading and printing articles

Q. How do copyright and fair use apply to Electronic Journals?
A. You should approach Fair Use in the same way as you would for IOP Publishing's print journals. You may keep a print or electronic copy of an article for your own study. The Institute of Physics is a not-for-profit learned society. We ask subscribers to help us protect the future viability of electronic publishing by not redistributing journal articles. Please do not make them available on Web, gopher or ftp sites. Please do not e-mail them. We are, however, happy to discuss terms to allow our subscribers to distribute and copy information more freely.
Q. What about interlibrary loans?
A. Institutions may use hard copies derived directly or indirectly from the electronic edition of the publications for the purpose of inter-library loan with the same limitations that apply to paper copies for that purpose made from the print edition of the journals. Specifically, copies must be made in compliance with Section 108 of the Copyright Act of the USA and Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU Guidelines), the text of which is available as part of USA Copyright Office Circular 21. The electronic transmission of copies of articles for inter-library loan purposes is not allowed.
Q. What are Adobe Acrobat and PDF and how do I use them?
A. The Portable Document Format (or PDF) was developed by Adobe for viewing and printing documents on a PC, Macintosh and a wide variety of UNIX systems. PDF documents offer high-quality reproduction on screen and on paper. To read these documents you need Adobe's Acrobat Reader software, which is simple to use and available at no cost. You can download it from IOP Publishing's site by selecting the 'Adobe Acrobat' link from Article Options in the abstract view of your full-text article, or directly from Adobe's site ( (Please refer to the note below). You can set up Acrobat Reader as a 'helper application' for your Web browser; this means that whenever you download a PDF file, the Acrobat Reader will launch automatically, at the same time opening the PDF document for you to read on-screen. For more information, Acrobat Help can be found in the Electronic Journals Help Index accessible via the Electronic Journals Navigational Link bar.
Q. What are PostScript and GhostView and how do I use them?
A. PostScript, developed by Adobe, is a computer language for describing the text and graphics on a printed page. It offers excellent print quality. PostScript is available for articles published from 1996-2002 (PostScript is available for Journal of High Energy Physics (JHEP) articles from 1997 onwards). The PostScript files provided in the Electronic Journals service are compressed using a compression method called gzip. Gzip is available for a variety of platforms. If you do not currently have it installed, you can download a copy from our online PostScript help page (select the PostScript link from Article Options in abstract view of your article or access via the Help index ). Once you have uncompressed the file, you can send it to a PostScript compatible printer. On a macintosh you will require a utility such as Drop-PS; in Windows you will need to be in MS-DOS mode and type a command to print, e.g. copy filename lpt1, or print filename; on UNIX, type lp -dprintername filename (where printername is the name or code of the printer and filename is the name of the uncompressed PostScript file). Alternatively, you can use PostScript viewing software such as GhostView. You can download the free GhostView software from the University of Wisconsin site ( (Please refer to the note below).
Q. How do I print on US Letter paper?
A. When printing Acrobat files to US Letter paper from A4 size journals in the archive from 1874-1995, we recommend checking Shrink to Fit in the Print dialogue box, to ensure the article will fit on the paper size currently loaded on your printer.
Q. What is HyperCite®?
A. HyperCite® technology links article references to the abstracts or full text of cited papers. It allows you to follow links to references cited in an article, or papers that have cited the article you are looking at. This is achieved through links to INSPEC's database of scientific and technical journal abstracts dating back to 1969, to the Los Alamos e-print server (known as E-print), to other publishers' Web sites and to IOP Publishing's own Electronic Journal Archive. More information can be found by selecting HyperCite® from the Electronic Journals Help Index.
Q. I have an individual print subscription: can I obtain online access to the electronic version?
A. Members of the Institute who subscribe to our journals at the IOP member rate can obtain electronic access, as can LMS member subscribers and IPEM member subscribers.
Q. How do I submit an article?
A. Information for authors is available on our Web site at

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