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ScienceDirect: Quick Start Guide: Remote Access

A quick start guide to using the ScienceDirect subscription database, available to VDOT employees through the VDOT Research Library.

Accessing ScienceDirect From Off the VDOT Network

All of the library's subscription databases (including ScienceDirect) can be accessed by VDOT employees from any Internet connected device (such as a home computer). In the case of ScienceDirect, if you want to access the database remotely (as opposed to using it at work or using VPN from your work computer at home) you will first need to Register an account in ScienceDirect using your VDOT e-mail address.

For remote access you will also need a VDOT Virtual Library Card (VLC), which has a separate user name and password.  Instructions for getting a Library Card are listed below. These steps only need to be taken one time to access ALL of the library's subscription databases, so if you already have a Library Card you can skip to Step 3.

Important: To access ScienceDirect from off the VDOT network please use the link

Step 1: Get a Card

Unlimited remote database access is "free" to all VDOT employees using their Virtual Library Card (also "free"). Don't have a Library Card? We can fix that!

1. Go to:​ and select "Sign In."

2. From the sign in screen select  "Get a Library Card!" as shown below:

Library card "self register" screen.

3. If you're pretty sure you already have a Library Card, but you can't remember your Library Card Password (which is different from your VDOT network password!), select "Password Reset" as shown above.

Step 2: Create An Account

Next, fill-in all required fields (marked with the *) and click on the "Register" button:

NOTE: When filling out the form above please enter your VDOT e-mail address in both the "User ID" field and the "VDOT E-mail" field. When you click "Register" the library will receive your request via e-mail. We will verify your status and activate your account within 2-5 business days. To close the loop we'll send you a "Welcome!" e-mail message with documentation to help you get started.

Step 3: Access From Off the VDOT Network

From the VDOT network
You will not be prompted for your Library Card credentials. Simply select a resource from our A-Z list and you will get right in (unless you are using ASTM Compass or Knovel, in which case you will be prompted for the appropriate user name/password). 

Off the VDOT network
When you try to access a subscription resource from a device off the VDOT network you will be prompted to verify your affiliation with VDOT through your Virtual Library Card user name (which is your VDOT e-mail address) and your Library Card password. The login screen looks like this:

VDOT Virtual Library Card prompt for credentials

Note: Be sure to enter your VDOT e-mail address as your user name and your Library Card password. Your VDOT network password will not work here!

Step 4: Recover Password (If Needed)

Forgot your Library Card password?  You can now reset it yourself. Go to the Library Catalog and select the PASSWORD RESET link, shown below: 

Follow the screen prompts, entering your VDOT e-mail address and the captcha below it, below:

Library Card password reset screen.

You will receive an e-mail to your VDOT account with a temporary password.

Step 5: Remote Access to ScienceDirect

If you properly filled out the screen as shown in "Step 3" (above) and you click on the link to ScienceDirect from the Library's Web page, you should be redirected to a screen that looks like the one below. Note the VDOT logo, a visual cue that lets you know you are now in VDOT's subscription: 

Screen showing ScienceDirect with VDOT logo.

NOTE: If you are working from a home computer and try to access the database from (or sometimes if you are redirected to an article from a Google search) you may not see the VDOT logo. If that happens go back to step 3 (if you have a Library Card) or Step 1 (if you don't). However, from your work computer (on the VDOT network or via VPN) you should always see the VDOT logo and you should never be prompted for your Library Card credentials. 

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