Skip to Main Content

Off-Campus Access Proxy Bookmarklets: Home

This LibGuide details how to install proxy bookmarklets in your preferred browser.

What is a "bookmarklet"?

The term "bookmarklet" is a portmanteau of the terms "bookmark" and "applet". It refers to a small software application that contains JavaScript commands and is stored as a bookmark in a browser.

How do I install a bookmarklet?

In Internet Explorer: Right click on this "BU Library Proxy Bookmarklet" link and select Add to Favorites, or click and drag the link to your Favorites Bar. If you see a security alert that says that the "favorite may not be safe," rest assured that it is safe to continue. Click yes to continue. If your Favorites bar is hidden, enable the toolbar by right clicking beside your last open tab and selecting "Favorites Bar".

In Firefox: Right click on this "BU Library Proxy Bookmarklet" link and select Bookmark this link, or click and drag the link to your Bookmarks Toolbar. If your Bookmarks Toolbar is hidden, enable the toolbar by right clicking beside your last open tab and selecting "Bookmarks Toolbar".

In Chrome: Click and drag this "BU Library Proxy Bookmarklet" to the Bookmark Bar. If your bookmark bar is hidden, choose Customize and Control Google Chrome > Bookmarks and check off "Show Bookmarks Bar". 

Please note: Your bookmarks or favorites must allow JavaScript for these bookmarklets to work.

Why should I use a bookmarklet?

This proxy bookmarklet edits your current URL so that you are prompted for your BU username and password. This allows you to view websites as though you were on campus, regardless of how you arrived at the website. What this means is that if the resource you are trying to access is licensed by the BU Library through that vendor's website, you will gain immediate access, rather than having to backtrack and access the site through the BU Library website first. 

Are there any negatives to using bookmarklets?

The bookmarklet will appear to fail if the site/resource you are trying to access is not licensed by the BU Library. So, for instance, if you use the proxy bookmarklet on an Elsevier URL, but that is not the vendor through which we subscribe to that resource, it will appear as though we do not have access to that resource. If this happens to you, please make sure that you double-check our access through the BU Library catalogue, as we may have a subscription to the resource via another vendor (e.g. JSTOR, Ebsco, Taylor & Francis).

The bookmarklet will fail if you attempt to access a URL for which our proxy server has not been set up, and you will receive an error message to that effect. If you receive an error message when you are trying to access a resource that you know should be set up in our proxy server, please contact Chris Hurst to request that an exception be added.

What if I would rather copy and paste the proxy prefix?

If you would like to copy and paste the proxy URL prefix rather than creating a bookmarklet, go for it! The prefix is:

Simply paste it in front of the URL you are attempting to access (no spaces), and click/tap enter. E.g.,uid&profile=ehost


The content of this LibGuide has been adapted from the University of Manitoba Libraries' Proxy Bookmarklet information page. Many thanks go to the University of Manitoba Libraries for sharing this information.