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EZProxy: Off-Campus Access to Subscription Resources

The Library and ITSC have worked together to provide you with secure, authenticated access to our electronic subscription from off-campus computers via the EZProxy server. You can use such resources at home or even from overseas.

Access from Off-campus

Almost all electronic resources are available for remote access, including the Library Catalog, databases, electronic journals and electronic books.

When you are using a remote computer that is not part of the campus network, and select a link to a resource on a Library web page or in the Library Catalog, the connection will be routed through a “rewriting” proxy server, which will ask you for your ITSC username and password. Once you enter those, the server will connect you to the subscription resources, and act as a “gateway” for the rest of your session. The proxy server is called EZProxy.

After logging in, you may get a security warning about “redirecting to a connection that is not secure”. Simply click “Yes” or “OK” to continue. The proxy server uses a Secure Socket Layer (SSL); it never sends your username or password to the subscription resource.

Requirements & Restrictions

In order to access from a remote computer:

  • Your browser must be set to accept “cookies”, which are used by the EZProxy server and many of the subscription resources
  • You need a valid ITSC username and password

Due to licensing restrictions, Project and Guest accounts; Shared accounts; and those for non-credit based self-financing programs cannot use this service.

Create Links to Resources via EZProxy

If you want to share a document with other HKUST users who may access the document off-campus, try adding http://ezproxy.ust.hk/login?url= to the beginning of the link’s URL.

For example, you are linking to an article in the EBSCOhost database. The record may have a “Persistent link to this record”, such as http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=24940779&site=ehost-live

Change that to : http://ezproxy.ust.hk/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=24940779&site=ehost-live

This link should work from both on and off campus. This method will not work for all databases and resources, as some links are not persistent – they may contain a session identifier or some other non-permanent value – but it is the best first step. To build a more consistent and reliable link for sharing, follow the steps in the Guide to Durable Links.

Potential Security Warnings

When connecting to the EZProxy server, you may receive various security warnings at different stages of accessing licensed resources:

When using some licensed resources, depending on the browser you use, you may receive a warning like this: “The name on the security certificate is invalid or does not match the name of the site”. If you see this warning, you may ignore it and proceed.

Before you log in to a resource, you may get a warning indicating that “you are about to view pages over a secure connection.” Simply click “OK” to continue. EZproxy is set up to use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt your login, providing additional protection during the login process.

After you log in, you may get a security warning indicating that you are about to be redirected to a connection that is not secure. Just click “Yes” to continue. While the EZProxy login is encrypted, many databases do not use encryption for their search connections. So the browser is just letting you know that the site you are being sent to next is not using this encryption technology.

Problems and Questions

Technical Problems

Certain features or links in databases may not work when you use EZProxy. Various database vendors use a variety of programming methods on their database web sites. Some of these methods can make it hard for EZProxy to keep passing information between you and the site. Sometimes the problem may be at the vendor’s side, sometimes it is your browser’s settings that might be preventing certain functionality.

For technical assistance, note the name of the resource and the features you were trying to access, and contact Library Systems at lbsystem@ust.hk.

Other Questions

For non-technical questions such as how to search in a database, contact a reference librarian at 2358-6760 or email lbref@ust.hk.

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last modified 04 August 2016