A Greasemonkey script: Library Ezproxy Forwarder

Update: I’m typically using Google Chrome or Chromium these days, so it’s unlikely I’ll update this script in the future. For a similar extension for Chrome, try the EZProxy Redirect extension.

Many University libraries use some server software called Ezproxy to do authentication and arbitrate access to full-text online journal subscriptions. Essentially, Ezproxy uses some URL mangling, rewriting all hyperlinks, to pass traffic via the proxy (rather than using a conventional browser proxy setting). For example, http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/313/5785/314 is changed to http://www.sciencemag.org.ezproxy.lib.unimelb.edu.au/cgi/content/full/313/5785/314 . If the user is not logged in to the proxy (ie has no fresh & valid cookie), a login screen is given before being forwarded to the journal site.

This plugin helps mangle URLs to add the proxy domain to outgoing links from various journal sites as well as NCBI PubMed (eg, like .ezproxy.lib.unimelb.edu.au), meaning that the user doesn’t actively have to go to their library site to follow “ezproxy-fied” links. It makes getting full-text articles via the institutional library proxy a more seamless experience (assuming that your library subscribes to the journal).

The plugin contains a list of journal and publisher sites at which it is active, plus some “special case” code for making sure only fulltext links outgoing from NCBI PubMed are handled. You can add your own journal sites as needed.

The user needs to edit the variable proxyname to make the script use their institutions EZproxy … I can’t really help you with that part, since I only know that my workplace (The University of Melbourne) uses .ezproxy.lib.unimelb.edu.au .. beyond that, you are on your own 🙂 !

I’ve uploaded the Library Ezproxy Forwarder script to Userscripts.org