SIPX Service – Frequently Asked Questions
If you are a student, click here.
If you are an instructor, click here.
- I created an account, but the confirming
email with my initial password never arrived.
There are two common causes for this:
||The confirming mail sent to you containing your initial
password was wrongly identified as SPAM. Please look in your
SPAM bucket or email trash to see if the confirming
mail is there.
||Your email address was mistyped. If this happened, then
it will be necessary to contact us so that we can perform
a manual reset.
- My password isn't working.
What should I do?
Passwords are Case Sensitive. Please try again, making sure
that the password you enter has the correct upper/lower
- How do I change my password?
Click on the "View Account" link at the top right-hand corner
of the page. This will take you to a page showing you your account
details. Now, click on the "Change Password" button, enter your
new password (twice), and click on "Change."
- How do I change my email address?
Click on the "View Account" link at the top right-hand corner of
the page. This will take you to a page showing you your account
details. Now, click on the "Edit Profile" button, enter your
new email address, and click on "Update".
- I'm having trouble with my PayPal or
Amazon Payments account/transaction. What should I do?
Please contact PayPal or Amazon.com directly, as appropriate,
if you are having trouble with your account. SIPX does not record
any of your financial data or see any of your interactions with
PayPal/Amazon.com beyond the confirmation of payment.
- How do I read a PDF file?
Most documents provided by the SIPX service come in a format
called "PDF" (Portable Document Format). SIPX cannot
guarantee that the platform you are using can read this
file format, but most machines and devices (desktop, laptop,
tablet and phone) have some form of PDF reading capability.
PDF readers for most platforms can be obtained from Adobe
- How do I load a document onto my
Please contact the device manufacturer or vendor directly
if you need support with your e-reader.
- I've tried, but I can't download
the document I bought. What should I do?
It is difficult to track down why these problems might occur,
and to trace the cause (for example, if the problem is with
your PDF reader, SIPX may not be able help you). As a first
step, please try using a different browser, such as
Internet Explorer (PC) or Safari (Mac or
It is also worth trying from a different machine, if you
have access to an alternative. If these changes don’t allow
you to complete the download, then other issues might
fall into four categories:
||Something is coming back from the server and your
device cannot open it.
||The server is responding with the something,
but not apparently the document you thought you bought.
||The server is actively rejecting the request.
||The request isn't making it through to the server.
It is usually possible to test for case (i) by trying to
save the document onto your machine, after attempting to open it.
Depending on the browser you're using, you can usually do this
by selecting the File menu, and picking "Save as…" or
"Save page as…". Using the File > Save dialog, select a
location you can easily find (such as the desktop) and save
the document there.
If the browser succeeds in saving the file, then right
click on the file you have saved (Control-click on a Mac
without a two-button mouse) and select "Properties" (or
"Get Info" on a Mac) and check the file size. If it shows
that the file is the expected size (typically a few megabytes),
then that suggests that the file is getting through to your
machine. The next thing to try is to open it from its saved
location using Adobe Reader or another PDF reading
application. If the file opens properly, then this tells
us that either a) the browser's PDF Reader plugin is broken
in some way or b) the browser's associated PDF reader app
is not configured correctly, and/or is not able to handle
this particular file (not all PDF readers can read all PDF
files). If in doubt, please download and install the latest
update of Adobe's PDF reader. It's worth noting that on
PCs the most common PDF reader app is usually Adobe Reader
but on the Mac the default is the "Preview" app, unless
it has been changed to be Adobe Reader instead.
Another test to perform is to get the browser to display
the document info. This is visible with Internet Explorer
using File > Properties, or in Firefox with Tools > Page
Info. (This information will be very helpful to the SIPX
Support team if you need to escalate the problem).
If the save operation above succeeded, but the file is
not of the right size (say, less than a couple of thousand
bytes), then try to open the file in a text editor and look
at the file contents. The easiest way to do this is usually
to right-click and pick "Open with…", and then select a
text editor. If there is no "Open with…" option on the
right-button menu, then locate a text editor (Start >
Programs > Accessories > Notepad on Windows, Applications >
TextEdit on a Mac) and open the file from within the text
editor. Sometimes what comes through in place of the intended
document is a document that contains an error message, and it's
important to know what this says. When opened in a text
editor, valid PDF files will usually say something like
"%PDF" as the first four characters. If the file
doesn't have "%PDF" at the beginning, even if it's a
reasonable length, then it's almost certainly not the right
content and/or it got corrupted along the way. If it looks
like a PDF file (with the %PDF), but doesn't open, then
that hints at either a bug in the PDF reader, or an
incomplete download. Try downloading again to check for
the latter. If it doesn't look like a PDF file, and doesn't
look like an error message, then it may be necessary to
escalate the issue to SIPX Support. SIPX Support may ask
you to send us this file that you've saved out.
If the SIPX server is rejecting your request for some
reason, then you'll typically get an error message
(HTTP status response) in the browser. How the status
code is displayed will depend on your browser. The
definitions of these codes can be found here.
The key ones to look out for are 4** and 5**. 404 will
typically mean that the URL was wrong (or got corrupted)
in some way. However, if you are using a proxy, and/or
some form of firewall, and the proxy/firewall is rejecting
the request for some reason, then this may give the
illusion of an error code coming from the SIPX server
that actually isn't. If your proxy or firewall is getting
in the way, then you will have to take this up with your
system administrator. SIPX may ask you to forward any
error message or status code you receive if you escalate
your issue. While all of the above problems are typically
out of our control, if working your way through the steps
described above doesn't resolve the issue, then our Support
team will try to assist you.
- How do I contact you if my question is not
covered by any of these FAQs?
Please check all of the questions above carefully. If the
answer you need isn't found in our Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQs) information, please fill in our .
We will respond as soon as possible. We will also be updating
these FAQs on a regular basis.
- How do I set up a new course
and begin adding readings?
You can quickly set up a new course by selecting "Create a new
course" from the main "Courses" drop-down menu.
Next, fill in the course details within the form provided and
click on the "Create" button. Note: if you are working
within a Learning Management System (LMS), some of these fields
might automatically populate. Once the course has been created,
the system will lead you to a course overview page that provides
options to add readings, further edit course details, and view
pricing, among other functions. To add readings, click the
"Add readings" button and fill in the form to begin
Please note that in cases where a digital copy of the reading is
not readily available within the SIPX system, you will be required
to scan/upload your own copy for students to download and use once
they have completed the licensing transaction.
- How do I manage my
existing course(s)? How do I add readings to an existing course?
There are two ways you can manage and add readings to existing
courses. The first is by locating the existing course from the
list of courses captured within your home page view. From there,
click on a course to view the specific course overview page and
access a range of options, including the ability to add readings.
Next, click the "Add readings" button and fill in the form to
identify the reading(s) you wish to add.
The second way is to select either the "View current courses"
or "Add readings to an existing course" from the main "Courses"
drop-down menu. If you select the "View current courses" option,
you will be brought to a complete list of your current courses.
From there you can click on a specific course to review and/or
update, including add readings.
If you select the "Add readings to an existing course" option,
you will be brought to the reading search page where you can
select the course you wish to add readings to from the "Course"
drop-down field, fill in the remainder of the form, and hit the
"Search" button. The system will generate a series of search
results from which you may choose the best option.
Please note that in cases where a digital copy of the reading
is not readily available within the SIPX system, you will be
required to scan/upload your own copy for students to download
and use once they have completed the licensing transaction.
- How do I
communicate/send course readings to my students when using SIPX in
conjunction with my institution's Learning Management System
When using SIPX by entering through your institution's LMS, you
can share your course readings by clicking on the "Inject into LMS"
(or similar) button on the SIPX course page. This action will
automatically place the reading links into the appropriate
location within your LMS course page that students can then access.
- How do I
communicate/send course readings to my students when using SIPX as a
If you use the SIPX system as a standalone service, you can
share your course readings in one of two ways. One way is to
provide students with a link to the overall course page within
the system, which lists the course readings. Once on the course
page, students can click the link icon to view and purchase
each reading. Alternatively, you can copy and paste each
individual reading link into an email or separate course
website (public or private) and publish that information
to students in the manner you are accustomed. When students
click each link, they will enter the SIPX system and can
follow the steps to purchase.
Those students who have not used SIPX before will be asked
to set up a SIPX account, which is a simple and quick process.
They must use an active email address that is affiliated with
your institution in order to receive applicable pricing
benefits associated with that affiliation. The SIPX service
offers a reminder to do this at account creation, but you might
also want to reinforce that messaging to your students.
- How does SIPX ensure that my students
receive the best-priced sources?
SIPX draws information from a number of different resources,
including your institution's library subscriptions when we
have a direct relationship. When a publisher license allows,
the readings from those subscriptions are provided at no
additional charge above and beyond the amount originally
paid by the institution to obtain the subscription.
By leveraging the user's student status and university
affiliation, students will benefit from significantly lower
course material costs. (Note, the user must use an active
institution-affiliated email address when creating his/her
SIPX account in order to gain access to that institution's
subscriptions; this is handled automatically for students
entering through the institution's LMS system.) In addition,
the SIPX service brings together a range of document
information, including direct data from publishers, open
sources and copyright agencies, so you have a wide range
of materials to choose from that meet your budget.
- Does the SIPX system take into
account university holdings and subscriptions? How do I access those?
Are they regularly updated?
Yes. Provided SIPX has a direct relationship with your
institution's library, we integrate content covered by your
library's subscription licenses into the system. This
generally translates into significant cost savings for
your students. Items that fall under your institution's
subscriptions licenses will automatically show up within
your reading search results. The SIPX system is updated
with your institution's current subscriptions on a regular basis.
- What if I have a course that recurs
quarterly with the same exact syllabus; can I simply offer the
past course to my new students?
No. Most publishers only grant licenses for readings for
particular courses for particular terms, so these reading
links will de-activate after the duration of the course.
You must currently create a new course page and re-run
the associated reading searches, but we plan to provide
shortcut features in a future release.
- Does SIPX archive past
Yes. While past courses will not show up in the student view,
as an instructor or administrator you are able to search and
view past courses. To do so, select "View all courses" from
the main "Courses" drop-down menu. The system will generate
a complete list of all your courses, past and present. You
can either scroll down your list of courses to select the
specific past course, or you can fill out the form located
at the top of the page to search for the exact course you
wish to view.
- When searching for reading
sources, what are the most important search criteria to include so as
to avoid producing too many results?
Since we collect data from a number of sources that each
have varying search parameters, we advise you to provide
the following key pieces of information within the search
field sections: the ISBN, ISSN, or DOI number, and/or the
journal or book title. Additionally, as publishers
and rightsholders require exact page ranges (and in some cases,
chapter ranges) to determine pricing, you will be asked to
include accurate ranges after you've selected your reading.
- If I have multiple page ranges
from one source, do I have to search for each separately?
No. In cases where you would like to add one reading entry
with multiple page ranges, the SIPX system will allow you
simply to input as many sets of numbers within the page
range field as you wish. For example, you can specify the
following set of pages: "1, 3-15, 56, 67-70, 121-140".
Additionally, you can specify front-matter pages using
Roman numerals: for example, "II-IV, VI-VIII". If searching
with both roman numerals and numeric page ranges within one
reading source, please be sure to group roman numeral
ranges separately from the numeric ranges, such as:
"II-IV, 1-30" (as opposed to: "II-30").
If you would like to add multiple page ranges from the
same journal or book that will be assigned at different
times during your course, you should create separate
readings for each one. Doing this ensures that the course
reading list dovetails with your syllabus. Fortunately,
the SIPX system enables you to do this relatively easily
with the "duplicate reading" option. Once the reading has
been added with the first page range set, simply click on
the "Create duplicate reading from same book/journal"
immediately below the added reading entry on the course page.
The system will automatically pull up the necessary
information to run the reading search. All you will
need to add is the new page range parameters and fill
in the form to complete the creation of this new reading link.
- I see that there are two different
prices listed -- "total list price" and "total price
to you" -- what is the difference?
A list price refers to the guaranteed maximum price that a
student might pay for a given reading: it does not take
into account any potential discounts or fees (such as
institutional library subscription licenses, publisher
deals, pricing specific to certain geographic regions,
or payment processing and service fees). The "total list
price" indicates the sum of all the individual reading
list prices within a given course. The "total price to
you" indicates the "total list price" minus all applicable
discounts as well as payment processing or service fees.
- What is the fair use policy? How does
the system handle items that fall under fair use?
Currently, fair use policies are set by each institution,
not SIPX. Please check with your institution to determine
the terms of your fair use policy.
- What should I do if the system does
not produce the results I'm looking for, or requires special permission
from the publisher or rightsholder?
In the event the system is unable to provide the exact
source you are looking for or a suitable alternative, or
generates a result that requires special licensing terms,
you may choose to submit a request for permissions help.
A member of the SIPX customer service team will manage the
search for copyright permission at that point. That person
may contact you directly for additional information if necessary.
Please be advised that the permissions help process
can take up to eight (8) weeks to complete, as approval is
dependent upon rightsholder response. As such, you may wish to
review alternative source options before opting for permissions
- The system indicated that it would
take up to eight (8) weeks to hear back from publisher on permissions
help items. Is there a way to expedite this?
No. Unfortunately, there is no way for SIPX to expedite this
process since approval is dependent upon rightsholder response.
Our dedicated customer service team does everything in its
power to resolve copyright permissions swiftly and effectively.
- If we don't hear back from
the publisher or rightsholder in a timely fashion, can SIPX go ahead
and release the material anyway?
No. SIPX is not authorized to allow the use of licensed
materials without permission from the affiliated publisher
- What if I have online, film or TV
Currently SIPX supports text-based content, but we plan to
include video content in a future release.
- How do I contact you if
my question is not covered by any of these FAQs?
Please check all of the questions above carefully. If the answer
you need isn't found in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
information, please fill in our
We will respond as soon as possible. We will also be updating
these FAQs on a regular basis.