Oxford English Dictionary (OED) - off-campus access not working

Screenshot of OED Paywall
The OED paywall. Ideally, you should never see this screen when using Georgetown's subscription.

Users of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) may encounter paywalls from off-campus. When looking up words, occasionally the site will require you to (incorrectly) "sign in or purchase a subscription." (See picture on right.)

The OED website may also throw various pop-up encouragements at you, encouraging you to subscribe for full access.

Occasionally the FIRST word you look up (or first search) in the OED will work fine, but subsequent searches will hit the paywall, even when correctly going through the Library's proxy server.

If you see the OED paywall, we advise the following workarounds:

  • Clear your browser cache and cookies -- sometimes this clears the paywall
  • Switch to Firefox if possible -- we've noticed Firefox avoids the paywalls more frequently than Chrome or Chromium-based browsers. (However, Firefox will still occasionally hit the paywall.)
  • Use the OED from on campus -- on-campus access is unaffected.

Do NOT use "Sign in through your institution" -- while Georgetown has a current institutional subscription to the Oxford English Dictionary, we do not use this authentication method on Main Campus. (There are several "Georgetown" entries in Oxford's institutions list, but none of them is Georgetown University Library.)

Other Oxford University Press products (e.g. Oxford Academic, other OUP dictionaries) are not affected, as far as we can tell.

We apologize for the inconvenience and are working with Oxford to fix this problem.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Electronic Resources & Serials Unit.