Accessing KU Libraries Online Resources

Electronic resources available from the libraries' web site are licensed by the University of Kansas Libraries for non-commercial use by KU faculty, staff, students, and on-site visitors at KU campus locations, for educational or research purposes only.

This page describes who can access restricted content, how to access this content under normal circumstances, and how to troubleshoot common issues.

Who can access KU Libraries Online Resources?

Off-campus access to electronic resources is available to all currently enrolled students, faculty, staff and authorized affiliates of the University of Kansas as described in KU's Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Information Resources. Others may use library databases and e-journals from any KU Libraries location. Alumni may wish to consult our guide to resources for Alumni. For general access policies, see KU Libraries' policy on Off-Campus Access to Licensed Electronic Resources.

  • Students: If you are a currently enrolled student and do not have off-campus access, but think you may be eligible (this can sometimes be an issue between semesters), please confirm your current enrollment status by checking Enroll & Pay.
  • Faculty and Staff:  If you are a currently employed faculty or staff member and do not have access, please confirm your current employment status with your department or with KU Human Resources
  • KU Medical Center: In general students and researchers at KUMC should access KU online resources via the A.R. Dykes Library at KUMC.  For more information, see Access to Electronic Resources – Options for KUMC Students, Faculty, and Staff.
  • Affiliates: If you believe you are eligible as an affiliate of university, please review the university’s official policy on affiliates. Human Resources has a comprehensive list of affiliations detailing eligibility for campus privileges. KU Human Resources provides a affiliate status request form which departments and affiliated organizations (not individuals) may use to request affiliate status.

For more information, see KU Libraries' policies regarding access by patron status.

Accessing Links to KU Libraries Online Resources from Off Campus

Access to licensed KU Libraries materials is provided to KU users through the IP address of your computer or device. When you are on a campus network, your IP address will provide access without having to log in. However, from off campus or from the residence halls, scholarship halls, and on-campus apartments, you will need to use KU Libraries' proxy server to access resources.  The proxy server will prompt you for your KU Online ID and password.

When off campus, links to articles or databases that you were able to access while on campus may not work. The links must include our proxy server to be accessible from off-campus. If the link does not contain the KU Libraries proxy server www2.lib.ku.edu address somewhere in the URL, it probably won't work from off campus. To save links or DOIs for future use, or to include links in Blackboard course sites or email, make sure the links include the proxy server address.

For example, this URL will not work from off campus:

By adding http://www2.lib.ku.edu/login?URL= to the beginning of the URL, the same link will work from off campus:

Note that some proxied links may include the proxy server at the end of the URL instead.  For example, this URL includes the prox server and will work from off-campus:

Stable URLs and Permalinks

Some journal or database links will not work unless you use the stable version of the URL from the database itself. Different resources will often point out these "permanent links" in their individual interfaces. To locate links suitable for sharing look for terms like:
  • Stable URL
  • Permalink
  • Durable URL
  • Persistent URL
  • Static URL
  • DOI
Once you've located a resource's permanent link, check to see if it includes www2.lib.ku.edu If so, you're good to go. If not, paste it into your browser bar after the proxy prefix http://www2.lib.ku.edu/login?URL=, or try the proxy server bookmarklet.

Why Can't I Access Libraries Resources using the VPN (KU Anywhere)?

For some KU resources, IT offers a Virtual Private Network (VPN) called KU Anywhere for off-campus access. It may seem intuitive to try accessing KU Libraries resources from off campus using the VPN. However, this process only works for resources hosted on the KU network. Because most of the libraries' databases, journals, and online resources are provided by publishers external to KU, the VPN will not provide off-campus access.  A link using the proxy server prefix should be created instead.

Proxied Links in Citation Management Software

In some cases, citation management software like EndNote and Zotero allows users to search libraries catalogs and databases from the software itself, and import proxied links directly.  For example, Zotero attempts to identify and remember KU's proxy when users access libraries online materials, allowing quicker proxied access to these resources in the future. Instructions for enabling and configuring these settings are available on Zotero's website.

Proxy Server Bookmarklet

If you wish to add the proxy server URL to a link you encounter in your research, you can use the libraries' Proxy Server Bookmarklet. By saving the bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar, you can click the bookmarklet link to re-load a KU Libraries resource so that it contains the proxy server prefix.

Install the Bookmarklet

Safari and Chrome
Firefox
Internet Explorer

Use the Bookmarklet

If you have a database URL in your browser that doesn’t contain www2.lib.ku.edu, you add it by clicking on the bookmarklet in your browser's bookmarks. This will reload your current page with the proxy server URL included.

Common Bookmarklet Issues

The bookmarklet will attempt to proxy any website, whether KU licenses that content or not. If you receive a "Remote Access Error" when using the bookmarklet, the most common reasons are:

  1. The content is freely available, and is not proxied for off-campus use. Don't use the bookmarklet for this content. 
  2. The content is not licensed by KU. It could be that we have the journal you're trying to access, but from a different vendor. 
  3. (Least common) This content is licensed to KU but has recently been moved or is otherwise proxied incorrectly.

If you have  questions or still cannot get access, please Ask a Librarian.


Ask a Librarian

We can help with your research questions -- contact us by chat, phone, email, text or at a Research Help desk.

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