Department Blog

Physical Sciences & Engineering Library

Accessing online CRC books through the VPN

The UC Davis library subscribes to several CRCnetBASE products, including ENGnetBASE, MATHnetBASE and BIOSCIENCEnetBASE among many others. These packages contain online books from CRC press, which can be searched and downloaded in PDF form. The books are findable through the Harvest library catalog — just search for the title of the book you are looking for. crclogo

The online CRC books are restricted to UC Davis faculty, students and staff, so you must be on-campus or logged in through the library VPN or proxy server to access them.

Unfortunately, the CRC books do not work well with the VPN. CRCnetBASE eBooks consist of a Table of Contents PDF and separate PDFs for the book’s chapters. Links to other chapters from the Table of Contents PDF do not work when viewed through the VPN.

Solutions for using online CRC books from off-campus include:

  • Entering the URL for the book chapter you wish to view manually in the VPN.

    Once you are logged into the VPN, access the Table of Contents for the book you want to read:

    • If you know the book you are looking for: From the VPN home screen, click Harvest UC Davis Catalog and search for the book title. From the When you find the book’s catalog record, click on the link to the online book.
    • If you want to browse for a book: From the VPN home screen, click Electronic Databases A-Z then search for “CRCnetbase”. Click on the link to the CRCnetBASE home page, then search for your book or go to an individual netBASE collection to browse by title. Once you’ve found the book you want, click “read it online” to get to the Table of Contents.

    In this example, we’re trying to access Chapter 4 of the book Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution in SCI-TECHnetBASE through the VPN. From the PDF Table of Contents, click on the link to the desired chapter.

    The table of contents for a CRC book

  • The VPN will display an error message. Copy the last part of the URL that is displayed in the error: in this case, “L1222ch4.pdf.” This is the chapter identifier.

    The error message that occurs when you try to view a chapter through the VPN

    Now click “back” to go back to the book’s table of contents. Paste in the chapter identifier after the “+” sign in the URL in your web browser’s address bar (replacing the identifier for the table of contents), and hit “enter.”

    The URL of Chapter 4 of this book

    You should be taken to the pdf chapter.

    The URL for each chapter is the name of the Netbase plus the file path for the book chapter. In this case, for chapter 4 of the book Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution from SCI-TECHnetBASE, the URL for the chapter is

    You can also construct URLs this way and paste them into the browse box in the upper right hand corner of the VPN home screen.

    Accessing a CRC book URL directly from the VPN home screen

    Click “browse” to navigate directly to the chapter.

  • Alternatively, the proxy server instead of the VPN can be used for off-campus access. Follow the link for directions on how to configure the proxy server.
  • Or, access the books on campus and save the pdfs of the chapters you need to your email or a USB drive for later viewing.
  • Questions? Ask a librarian for help.


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