Proxy Server

About the Library Proxy Server

Most of the Library’s electronic resource database vendors allow access to their products only from computers with an Internet (IP) address that is recognized as belonging to the U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. The Library’s Proxy Server allows authorized members of the UIUC community to access these restricted databases off-campus.

How does the Proxy Server work?
What is required to use the Proxy Server?
How do you use the Proxy Server?
Proxy vs. VPN
What if my network has its own Proxy Server?

Whom to Contact

Depending on what kind of problem that you’re experiencing:

If you’re trying to log in the proxy server but getting “Incorrect NetID or password” from a Shibboleth page or “Not authorized” message from the proxy server, it means that either the NetID or password that you typed in was wrong or your status in the campus database doesn’t allow you to access library electronic resources.  Please contact Technology Services Help Desk for assistance.

If you are unable to access an online resource or being asked to pay for accessing a full text article in an electronic database (and you believe this is an error), it means that the individual e-resource or database may be having issues.  Please contact the Library’s Electronic Resources Management Working Group for assistance.

In rare cases, you may get an “HTTP 404 Server Not Found” or “HTTP 503 Service unavailable” message.  This message means the proxy server is down or having issues.  Please contact Library IT Help Desk at 217-244-4688 to report the problem.

Bookmark or Link to Database Resources

When you access a library electronic resources via the proxy server, URLs are automatically generated and variable. If you bookmark or link to them, you may receive an error or be directed to an outside server later when you reuse them. To avoid this problem, you need to create a “proxied” link by adding the Library proxy prefix ( to the beginning of the URL to create a link. (Also check out the ShortURL tool in the Webtools Toolbox to create a shortened version of the URL.) A proxied link will take you to the resource through the Library’s proxy server, ensuring that you have access to the resource each time you use that link.

First, determine whether an electronic resource is accessible to off-campus users via the library proxy server using the Library Proxy Server Test Page /URL-helper. This online tool will tell you whether an online resource needs to be “proxied” or whether it can be “proxied”. It will also create a “proxied” link for you and simulate the “off-campus” mode so you’ll see what off-campus users experience after clicking the “proxied” link. Then, you can either copy and paste the “proxied” link to where you need it to be or create a “proxied” link using one of the following methods:

  • CitationLinker : Search for specific articles, record links to those articles, or view articles through the proxy server.
  • Proxy Bookmarklet : Log into library databases through a click on the proxy bookmarklet.

Related Resources

  • Ezproxy and Shibboleth — the Library IT’s service commitments for the proxy service.
  • Database Linking — covers basic strategies for creating persistent links in ProQuest, EBSCO, JStor and Lexis Nexis Acadmic Universe.
  • EndNote — has detailed instruction on how to set up proper links to the Library’s proxy server in the software.