Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bottom line:  Make a bookmark out of the libproxy link below to be able to access content as if you were at school.

Hi everyone,

Have you ever tried to use some kind of online resource from home, only to find that it only works from on-campus?  For example, you're on PubMed and you find an abstract of what looks like a great paper, but you didn't go through the HSLIC link, so you don't have access to the full text?  Believe it or not, this happens to me a lot.

A quick way to get around this problem is by going through the library proxy, or "libproxy" for short.  Essentially, you can think of it has a button that reroutes the current website as if you were visiting it from on campus.  While that's an oversimplification, and it doesn't work all the time (for example it won't work for Powerchart or hospital related stuff), I use it frequently for the academic resources that the school offers us.  Another example might be if you find a paper through Google Scholar or by a direct link, you can click the libproxy button to try and see if the school has access to that paper instead of copying the title and trying to search for the paper through HSLIC.

The link is:

I can confirm that it works in Chrome and Safari, even on Safari Mobile on my iOS devices.  The easiest way to use it is to make it into a bookmark.  In Chrome, for example, I would:
  1. Highlight and copy the link
  2. In the menu, go to Boomarks -> Bookmark this page (doesn't matter what page you're on)
  3. Click the "edit" button on the "Bookmark" popup
  4. Name the bookmark "Libproxy"
  5. Delete whatever is in the "URL" (from the current page) and paste in the libproxy link from above
  6. In the box below, make sure to put the bookmark in a convenient place (like "bookmarks bar")
  7. Click "Save"
Now you can test it out (at least if you're not on campus at the moment).
  1. Check out this paper at PubMed:
  2. On the right side, click the "full text online" link
  3. Under "Article Tools" on the right, click "Get PDF"
  4. It doesn't work.
  5. Go back to the paper:
  6. Click your "Libproxy" button
  7. You'll be prompted to log in.  Do so.
  8. Note that you're redirected to the page you were on when you clicked the link, but now the URL has changed and includes ""
  9. Navigate back to the "Get PDF" link
  10. It works.
You can actually click the button at any of the above steps, including the log-in page after the first time you clicked "Get PDF."  When I run into a paper I want to get, I'll normally just try to access it, then try the Libproxy button if I get to a page that wants me to log in.  I've previously mentioned another great use for the Libproxy -- it provides us home access to UpToDate, so you can just type in and click the Libproxy button instead of going through HSLIC every time.

FYI: this kind of bookmark that functions as a javascript tool is known as a "bookmarklet."  There are a ton of really helpful bookmarklets out there, especially for iOS devices.  Let us know if you have any that you use regularly!

Hope you find this helpful,


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