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Session Time-out Errors
Known Problems

Library of Congress Authorities Help Pages: use the browser's back button to resume searching

=> A limited number of session ports must be shared by all public users of Library of Congress Authorities. To assure that ports are always available, sessions which are inactive for more than 5 minutes are automatically disconnected.

=>After 5 minutes of inactivity, users will receive a message that their Session Has Timed Out and that they must "Start Over."

Session Time-Out Errors

The Problem:

Some users find that their attempts to restart a authorities catalog session result in a "timed-out" error message. This happens when a user's Internet browser preferences have been set to prohibit the reloading (and refreshing) of Web pages that have been previously visited and stored in its cache.

The authorities catalog assigns a new ID number to each search session. If a browser prohibits the reloading (and refreshing) of a Web page, it is unable to update the session ID and will return an error.

When a session times out (and the browser is set to "never reload") and "restart" is selected, Library of Congress Authorities will attempt to reload the earlier session. Since the ID attached to that session indicates the session has timed out, the user always gets back the message that this session has timed out, and no new search can be initiated.

The Solution:

Fortunately, it is easy to fix this problem. The user must change the default settings on the browser to allow new versions of Web pages to be loaded. The process is slightly different for Internet Explorer and Netscape.

IMPORTANT: Because there are many versions of each browser in use, the exact location and the text of each menu choice in your browser may be different from those in these instructions.

Internet Explorer Users (assumes version 5.x):

The setting is called "Check for newer versions of stored pages."

  1. Starting in the Tools menu at the top of the screen, select:
  2. Tools > Internet Options > Temporary Internet Files - Settings

  3. Under "Check for newer versions of stored pages", select:

Netscape Users (assumes version 4.5/4.7):

The setting is called "Document in cache is compared to document on network."

  1. Starting in the Edit menu at the top of the screen, select:

  2. Edit > Preferences > Advanced > Cache

  3. Under "Document in cache is compared to document on network", select:
    Every time


If the above steps do not clear up the problem, you can usually force a server reload of the search page by holding down the [Shift] key while clicking Reload in Netscape, or by pressing [CTRL][F5] in MS Internet Explorer.

Use the browser's [Back] button to exit help and resume searching.

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June 28, 2002