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BEACON Express Help

Getting Started

First-time users must register before they can use BEACON Express.
Your username for BEACON Express is the same as your JPL Username and is authenticated by the
JPL Directory and Authentication service. For more information please see:

  1. From the BEACON Express logon screen, click on “First Time Users.”
  2. Read the information and click on Return to Logon Page link.
  3. Log on using your JPL username and password.
  4. Fill in the requested information and click “Submit Information” when done.
  5. Next you will be prompted to add an account number for your profile. Enter your project and task number in the window provided.Click on “Add Account.”
  6. Repeat the above step for each account number that you may want to use for requesting materials.
  7. When complete, click on BEACON Express Main Menu to proceed.

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Making requests


Use to request copies of referenced journal articles, book chapters, or meeting papers.

  1. Click on the Article/Paper link under New Request on the Main Menu
  2. Enter as much information about the item as possible. Required fields are marked with asterisks.
    Use the notes field for additional information if needed.
  3. Click on Submit Request.

Borrow a Book

Use to borrow material from the JPL Library or from another library via interlibrary loan.

  1. Click on the Book Loan link under New Request on the Main Menu
  2. Enter as much information about the item as possible.
    Required fields are marked with asterisks.Use the notes field for additional information if needed.
  3. Click on Submit Request


Use to request desk copies of books, documents, reports, standards, dissertations, or other items

  1. Click on the Purchase link under New Request on the Main Menu
  2. Enter as much information about the item as possible.
    Required fields are marked with asterisks.
    Use the notes field for additional information if needed.
  3. Click on Submit Request

Other Requests

Use to submit any request that doesn’t fit the above categories OR use to cut and paste a
single citation or up to three citations.

  1. Click on the Other link under New Request on the Main Menu
  2. Enter as much information about the item as possible.
    Required fields are marked with asterisks.
    Use the notes field for additional information if needed.
  3. Click on Submit Request
  4. NOTE Special character (such as: &, *, %) will cause the request to show up blank. Please remove the characters BEFORE submitting.

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Where are my requests?

Once your request has been submitted, you can track its progress by using the following functions:

  • Outstanding Requests:
    To view, edit, or cancel requests that are still in process.
  • Electronically Received Articles:
    To view or download a pdf of an electronically delivered article or paper.
  • Cancelled Requests:
    To view or resubmit any request that has been cancelled (either by Library staff or by you).
  • Checked Out Items:
    See what ILL items are currently checked out to you.
  • History Requests:
    Use to see all your completed and fulfilled requests.

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Editing a request

  1. Click on the Outstanding Requests link under View on the Main Menu
  2. Select the request you wish to edit by clicking its transaction number.
  3. It can be edited as long as the status of the request has not passed the status of “Request Sent.”
  4. Click on Edit Request and enter additional information.
  5. Click on Submit Request.

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Cancelling a request

  1. Click on the Outstanding Requests link under View on the Main Menu
  2. Select the request you wish to cancel.
  3. Click on Cancel Request.

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Viewing checked out items

Please note that this is only for items borrowed through Interlibrary Loan.
For books checked out from the JPL Library, please call the Library Circulation Desk
at (818) 354-3840 or go to the JPL Library Catalog and select “My Account”.

  1. Click on the Checked Out Items link under View on the Main Menu to view all interlibrary loans checked out to you.
  2. Select the transaction number and check the due date.

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Renewing an item

To renew books please call the Library Circulation Desk at (818) 354-3840.

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Changing your user information

You can change any personal information except linked accounts and passwords by choosing Change
User Information
under Tools on your Main Menu.

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Changing a password

Please see for information about your JPL
username and password.

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Changing your account information

Click on Change Accounts under Tools on the Main Menu. You will then get a list of the account numbers
that are linked to your BEACON Express record. Note that you must have at least one Account set up to make requests
in BEACON Express.

To add an account, fill in the fields on the Change Accounts page and click on Add Account.

To make changes to an existing account entry, you need to click on its Remove link, and re-add it with the updated information.

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How to sign up for electronic delivery

  1. Click on Change User Information under Tools on the Main Menu.
  2. Answer “Yes” to the question for “Preferred Electronic Delivery if Available (PDF file via web)”.

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How to view or print electonically delivered articles

  1. Click on Electronically Received Articles. This will display all the requests that are available to you via electronic delivery.
  2. Select the request you wish to view/print by clicking on its transaction number.
  3. Read or print the article.

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Who do I contact for further assistance?

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Nature Specials: Sustainability, Interdisciplinarity, and Nobel Prize

November 2nd, 2015

Every so often, editors at Nature Magazine compile special issues on selected topics, with articles and news from current issues and archives.  Here are a few Nature Specials:

  • Sustainability: Pollution, climate change, depleted water reserves and a reduction in biodiversity are among the most alarming consequences of the harm inflicted on the environment by humans’ uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources. The extent of damage is huge and will affect the well-being of future generations. This selection of News, Comment, Review and Research articles from Nature explores the priorities for building a sustainable future. Published in April 2015.
  • Interdisciplinarity: Scientists and social scientists are coming together to solve the grand challenges. Nature scrutinises the data on interdisciplinary work and looks at its history, meaning, and funding. A case study and a profile explore the rewards of breaking boundaries; meanwhile we present five principles for working across disciplines.  Published in September 2015.
  • 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics:  The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald “for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass”.In celebration, editors have drawn together a Collection of content from NatureNature Physics and Nature Communications. Some items are linked directly to the prize-winning discovery, others paint in interesting details of the neutrino story — which begins with Wolfgang Pauli’s postulation in the 1930s and continues today in a variety of imaginative experiments around the world.

Climate Studies Resources: Databases, Journals, and Ebooks

October 29th, 2015


  • ProQuest Natural Science Collection: An extensive database containing full text and records of journal articles, trade magazines, book chapters and websites related to earth sciences, environmental studies, meteorology and geosciences. In addition to scientific and technical resources, this database also include journals and web sites related to policies and social economical aspects.
  • Web of Science: A database for records of scholarly journals from all subjects and disciplines. Links to the full text article is available if JPL subscribes to the electronic journal.

Selected Electronic Journals:

Selected Electronic Books:

Additional resources are also available. Contact the Library Reference Desk, ext 4-4200, for more information.

Implication of water on Mars, Link to the Paper

September 28th, 2015

Here is the link to the Nature Geoscience article, published on September 28, that is the background of the day’s big NASA announcement:

Spectral evidence for hydrated salts in recurring slope lineae on Mars, Nature Geosciencedoi:10.1038/ngeo2546



Paper Records Inventory (PRI) System Upgrade

September 23rd, 2015

On Monday, Sept. 28 the Paper Records Inventory application — which supports records storage, retrieval and return of inactive paper records to off-site storage — will be on a new user-friendly interface.

All data and records will be migrated to the new system. Some improvements include advanced search for storage request and box searches. There is also a new “my submissions” feature, which displays all the requests that you have created in the system.

For help using the application, please call the JPL Records help desk at ext. 4-5469 or visit the Records Management page.

For technical assistance, contact the JPL IT service desk: 4-HELP.

Sep 23, 4:00-5:00 PM, JPL Stories: John Callas

August 31st, 2015

JPL Stories Presents:

An Adventure with Spirit: the ultimate tale of an intrepid rover

Presented by: Dr. John Callas, Project Manager, Mars Exploration Rovers

Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 4:00-5:00 PM

@ the HUB, Building 111-104


Contact was lost with Spirit on March 22, 2010 after six years of operation from this 90-day rover. The circumstances that ultimately led the loss began years before the rover’s end, with Spirit’s survival always in question. But it was those same challenges to survival that resulted in Spirit’s greatest discoveries. Come hear the story of survival and discovery on the surface of the Red Planet.


The JPL Stories program, sponsored by the Library, Archives, and Records Section, celebrates the Lab’s unique environment and history, and provides an informal way for JPLers to share their stories with each other. For more information about the JPL Stories series, if you have a JPL story to tell, or if you have suggestions for future stories, contact Teresa Bailey, x49233.


Sep 10-11, 9:00-4:00, Desk Copy Exchange

August 31st, 2015

Summer is winding down, and Fall is coming.  The next Desk Copy Exchange is scheduled for September 10th and 11th, 2015, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm  at the Hub on each day.

The JPL Library receives returned “desk copies” and occasional book donations from employees.  After adding the appropriate ones to the library’s collection, there are duplicate copies and slightly out-of-scope books remaining.  The “Desk Copy Exchange” is for all JPLers; come take a look and provide a new home to the books so that they are useful again!

There are books on sciences, engineering, business management, and computer applications.   The Exchange will be held on September 10th and 11th, between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, or until all these books find new homes, whichever first.

Aug 13, 2:00-3:00, Mathematica

August 10th, 2015

The Office of the Chief Information Officer is sponsoring a presentation about Mathematica at the Hub. Watch for announcements from OCIO.

Aug 6, 12:00-1:00 Open Developer's Meetup

August 5th, 2015

Monthly meet up of JPL open developers. Contact David Mittman for more information.