Technical Support


New browser versions or features, embodying ongoing improvements in user experience, are coming on line every day. The current Science site is designed to take maximum advantage of the improvements implicit in modern browsers. At present the site supports the production versions of the major Web browsers including Netscape, Opera, Mozilla (including Firefox), Safari, Internet Explorer, and Lynx. Earlier browser releases may also work fine, but certain features or display properties may behave in unexpected ways. If you are having trouble with the site, and are using an earlier release of one of these browsers (or a different line of browsers entirely), we would strongly encourage installing a more recent release and seeing if that resolves the problem.

The display functions of the current site rely heavily on cascading style sheets (CSS) and, to a lesser extent, on JavaScript. If you have CSS or JavaScript turned off, the content of the site will still be fully accessible to you, but you may see the following message --

Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.

-- indeed, you may have followed the link in that very message to this page. The message shows up when pages are loaded in browsers that do not support style sheets, browsers whose users have turned off style-sheet support, or text-based browsers that cannot support style sheets by their very nature. The message can be eliminated by upgrading your browser as noted above or by activating style sheet support through the browser's "Preferences" menu; in any event, we stress that all page content remains fully accessible, whether you see this message or not.


Users in certain countries outside of the U.S. and Canada -- specifically, in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, The Netherlands, and the UK -- who are experiencing slow connections may be able to speed things up a bit by accessing the site via

[Important: Do not use this address unless you are in one of these specific countries; othewise you may see a decrease in site performance. Also, please note that if you go to and notice that the address in your browser's address bar changes to, that means our system has automatically detected that you are using a very-high-speed research-network connection, called Internet2, between Stanford University (where the servers for the Science Web sites are located) and your organization. Our server automatically uses that very-high-speed path instead of]

Whether you are in in North America or on another continent, you can also improve your efficiency by using the site's preview views (e.g., Abstracts) to filter content, by increasing the cache size on your browser, or by upgrading to the latest release of your browser.


If you do not wish to sign in to the site each time you visit, you can enable Auto Sign-In by selecting the checkbox immediately beneath the Password blank on the sign-in form. Doing so allows your username and password to be saved (in encrypted form) locally on your computer, so the system can log you in automatically the next time you visit. (Obviously, you should not select this option for a group-use computer, as it would give anyone using the computer access to your account information, including the ability to change your password.)

If you use Auto Sign-In, you can sign out of the site by clicking the "Sign Out" link in the upper right hand corner of your screen, beneath the advanced-search link. If you don't use Auto Sign In, closing your browser will sign you out of the site.

If you believe you have selected Auto Sign-In, but keep seeing the sign-in page when you visit the site, the problem may lie in one of the following conditions related to your browser's cookie settings:

  • You are not accepting cookies. Make sure that your browser's preferences are set to accept cookies.
  • You are using a program on your computer that automatically deletes cookies. You will need to create an exception for in whatever program you're using for the domain.
  • The date is set incorrectly on your computer. Cookies have expiration dates, so Auto Sign-In may not work if your computer's date is not set accurately.
  • Your browser does not support cookies. You will need to upgrade it.
  • You are accessing SCIENCE Online via a "proxy server" that is deleting cookies automatically. You should contact your network administrator to determine whether your institution's proxy server is the source of the trouble.

You are not required to accept "cookies" to use this site as a subscriber (unless your institution subscribes via a Seat License). If you opt not to accept them, however, you will need to select the alternative sign-in link ("Don't use cookies? Sign In Here") on the sign-in page, and you will need to sign in each time you visit the site. See below for more on our use of cookies and what it enables on the site.

If you cannot get past the sign-in screen at all, even if you've double-checked your username and password, the explanation might be:

  • One of the cookie-related issues above.
  • You haven't activated your subscription. If you've purchased a membership or subscription, you will need to activate it (more information).

If you are still having problems after resolving these issues, please use our feedback form to let us know.


Use of Cookies

Science Online uses "cookies" to help personalize and maximize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard drive by a web page server. Cookies are not used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to your computer, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you. One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. The purpose of a cookie is to tell the web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalize pages or register for services at Science Online, a cookie helps us to recall your specific information (such as user name, password, and preferences). Because of our use of cookies, we can deliver faster and more accurate results and a more personalized site experience. When you return to Science Online publications, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the features that you customized. We use cookies to provide Pay Per Article access to our publications. We also use cookies to track click streams and for load balancing.

You may have the ability to accept or decline all cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline all cookies if you prefer. Alternatively, you may be able to modify your browser setting to notify you each time a cookie is tendered and permit you to accept or decline cookies on an individual basis. It is possible to sign in to Science Online without accepting cookies. You will need to select the alternative sign-in link ("Don't use cookies? Sign In Here") on the sign- in page. If you do not accept cookies, you cannot use the convenient Auto Sign In feature, and the only way you can sign out is to quit your browser. You also cannot use our Pay Per Article service. If you choose to decline cookies, that may hinder performance and negatively impact your experience at Science Online.

Use of Web Beacons

Web pages on Science Online may contain electronic images known as web beacons (sometimes called single-pixel GIFs) that allow us to count users who have visited those pages and to deliver co-branded services. Web beacons are not used to access your personally identifiable information on Science Online; they are a technique we use to compile aggregated statistics about our website usage. Web beacons collect only a limited set of information including a cookie number, time and date of a page view, and a description of the page on which the web beacon resides.


If it seems that our home page or current issue aren't changing on your browser, even if you know that new content has been published, the culprit might be a caching problem. Follow the instructions on your browser's preferences menu to clear the browser's disk and memory cache; then quit the browser, restart it, and return to the page you were trying to view. If the content still hasn't changed, press the browser's reload button several times.

If these steps fail to remove the outdated page, your internet traffic may be going through a proxy server that is failing to update itself properly. Unfortunately, you'll need to speak with your Internet Service Provider or system administrator to resolve this problem.


If the size of our type on screen is not large enough, most browsers will let you increase it using the "Text Size" or "Zoom" function on the browser's "View" menu.


If you are using an offline browsers that allows you to download content from a site and read it later, be aware that we impose one restriction on their use. To provide reliable, continuous, and timely access to these sites for all readers, we require that you configure your offline browser to request no more than one page per minute. Non-compliance with this rule could mean that your access to our sites will be blocked until you contact us and resolve the problem. If you repeatedly break this rule you may be permanently blocked from the site. Access to site pages via an Open Proxy Server is prohibited.


If you have other questions that we haven't been able to resolve here or in our site help, please relay them to us using our feedback form.