PSDS Frequently Asked Questions


How do I access the PSDS resources?

Resources can be accessed via the PSDS Homepage. If you are connected to your institutional network you should be able to access whether you have logged in to PSDS or not. If you want to access these from another network please make sure you have either registered and logged in to PSDS, or logged in via your institution.

Why do I always see the memo of understanding?

On the CSD and Crystalworks resources you are required to agree to extra terms and conditions. If you are not logged in you will have to fill out this memo each time you access the resource, if you log in to your PSDS account you will not have to fill out the details each time.

You can also bookmark the direct links that you are given after agreeing to the memo of understanding. These will take you straight to the CSD or Crystalworks site.

I’m from outside of the UK, am I eligible to use PSDS?

The Physical Sciences Data-science Service is funded by EPSRC - UK Research and Innovation to provide access to data resources for UK Universities and Higher Education institutions. We give access to staff and students of UK academic institutions for the purposes of teaching and non-commercial research. Unfortunately, if you are not affiliated with a UK institution, you cannot access the data resources through PSDS. You may still be able to access some of the resources directly though.

I'm an Alumni of a University, can I use PSDS?

Unfortunately, we only provide access to current students or members of staff at Universities or Higher education institutions in the UK. We cannot provide access for those individuals who are no longer actively linked to HE institutions. However, if you work at a public-sector institution and wish to have access to the data for this can be assessed on a case by case basis.

Why do I receive an Access Denied error when logging in via my institution?

You may receive an Access Denied error for one of the following reasons:
•    You attempted to login with an account which is not associated with a UK academic institution.
•    You are not registered with your institution as a member, staff, student or employee. We reject other affiliations in accordance with our licencing agreement and the UK Access Management Federation’s Technical Recommendation for participants:
If you believe you were wrongly denied access, please contact us at, and let us know which institution you attempted to log in with. Instead of signing in with your institution, you can instead register for a PSDS account. 

Logging in via my institution results in incorrect information about myself being saved to my account.

This means your institution does not have the correct information saved about you. You will need to contact them to get your details updated. Once your institution has updated your details, the next time you log in they will be updated on the PSDS site.

Why doesn’t my institution appear in the dropdown list?

This means your institution is not registered with the UK Access Management Federation, so you please register for a PSDS account instead. Please contact your institution if you wish to enquire about this.

What happens if I am going to move institution and I usually log in via my current institutional account?

If you will be moving institution, please contact us at from the email address associated with your current institution.

I’m having trouble finding things on the site, what should I do?

First you should check out our Resources page which shows the different resources we have available and links to info pages for each resource. On our Learning page you can find factsheets about the different resources along with some workshop material and video resources.  

If you still haven’t found what you were looking for please contact us through our Contact Us page or email us at 

I’ve registered but haven’t received an email yet.

After registration it may take a little while for your confirmation email to come through. Firstly please check that the email hasn’t ended up in your Spam/Junk email folder.  

If you registered with a non-academic email address we will be in contact to check that you are affiliated with an academic institution. If you have not received anything within 2 working days please contact us through our Contact Us page or email us at 

Which browsers are supported? 

We support the following browsers: 

  • Internet Explorer 7 or newer, on Windows Vista or newer. 
  • Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or later 
  • Opera 8.0 or newer (TLS 1.1 protocol needs to be enabled)  
  • Opera Mobile with at least version 10.1 beta on Android  
  • Google Chrome (Vista or newer. XP on Chrome 6 or newer)  
  • OS X 10.5.7 or newer on Chrome 5.0.342.1 or newer  
  • Safari 2.1 or later (Mac OS X 10.5.6 or newer and Windows Vista or newer)  
  • Konqueror/KDE 4.7 or newer  
  • MobileSafari in Apple iOS 4.0 or newer  
  • Android default browser on Honeycomb or newer  
  • Windows Phone 7 MicroB on Maemo 

We do not support the following browsers: 

  • Internet Explorer, all versions, on Windows XP  
  • Safari, on Windows XP  
  • BlackBerry Browser  
  • Windows Mobile 6.5 and lower  
  • Android 2.x default browser 

Can I use EZProxy?

No, it is not compatible with our service. EZProxy is a paid-for service that sends your request to access a data provider to the EZProxy server in the USA and from there to the service provider.

The PSDS service is not listed on the available EZProxy services list and it is unlikely it ever will be. The PSDS service is free to use for all academic users in the UK. There is no need to pay for a service via EZProxy.

How do I set up EZProxy for use from my institution or home?

Some institutions use EZProxy and make use of its ability to enable authentication for users when they are located outside of the institution’s network address range. However, it is not compatible with our service. Please do not attempt to use EZProxy – it will not work for you.

If you need to access PSDS from somewhere away from your institution, say from home or from an airport, you should get connected to the Internet rather than your institution’s network then navigate to the PSDS homepage, click on the login link and enter your username and password. This will send you to the off-site-home page. Click on the tiles displayed and you will be able to access the service providers as if you were at your desk at the institution.