Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring time and the linking is easy . . .

Making links to any library resource available to you or other MU students, faculty, and staff from off-campus is easy . . . if you know the proxy secret. What is the proxy secret? (shhhhh! not so loud! read quieter in your head!) Here's the scoop:

If you find an article in a database and then email the URL of that article to a friend, the friend may not be able to get to the article unless he or she is on campus. This is what the proxy server is all about - giving access to library databases and resources to any MU person off-campus.

Here's how it works: if you want to post a link to an article, or e-book, or anything that you find through the library's web site, you add something to the front of the URL to make sure someone else can read it off-campus. That something is this:

http://proxy.lib.miamioh.edu/login?url=

That part of the URL makes the link take a detour through the proxy server, asking the link clicker to enter his or her UniqueID and password to get access to the end part of the link.

The databases themselves (like Academic Search Complete or Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe) already have this detour built in to their URLs for off-campus users - those on-campus never notice this. But if you are linking to a journal title like Business Week, don't just put a link in like this:

http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bft&jid=B7OA&site=eds-live

Add the proxy, and it will work fine off-campus.

http://proxy.lib.miamioh.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bft&jid=B7OA&site=eds-live

It's a great way to share articles or other items you find without making people do the searching for it themselves. Just look for links marked as "persistent links" or "link to this publication (article, etc.)." Try it out, or be sure to ask us if you have questions.

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