IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, Safari Online Bookmarklet

Update: Turns out there is a better bookmarklet. Skip mine and use Jeff McNeil’s.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa library provides electronic access to both the IEEE Xplore conference/journal database (UH library link), and the ACM Digital library (UH library link) among many others. The access goes through a proxy (linked from the pages above) with different ports for the different databases. The proxy authenticates you so that only UH-affiliated people can access the databases. This is really helpful for computer science research.

However, if you do any Googling that takes you to a paper in IEEE Xplore or ACM DL you cannot access the PDF because you are going to the site directly, instead of through the proxy. This is annoying, since you have to click on your bookmark for the UH version of Xplore or DL and then find the paper again.

Ideally, this problem would be solved by federated identity (like Athens) or Identity 2.0, but until the external database providers and UH support them we have to settle for a hack. I created the following bookmarklet that will switch your current page to the appropriate UH proxy if it is from the IEEE Xplore or ACM DL sites.

IEEE/ACM proxy converter [Update, see below]

To install, just drag it onto your browser toolbar or right-click it and bookmark it. I have only tested it briefly in Safari 2.0.4 and Firefox, but it seems to work. Note that if you haven’t authenticated this session, the proxy will first send you to a login page. It could extended to support other UH proxies, but bookmarklets can only be so large.

I was surprised how easy it was to create the bookmarklet. I used the CoralCDN bookmarklet for inspiration, and within 20 minutes I had something working despite never having used Javascript before. This Daring Fireball post was invaluable for quickly and easily converting Javascript into bookmarklet form using BBEdit (or TextWrangler in my case).

Update: doesn’t allow any Javascript in pages hosted here, so there is no way to provide it directly from this blog entry! Bleagh. So here is a link to the Javascript source, and here is an external web page containing the bookmarklet. As an added bonus I have added support for the proxy for the Safari database of books (particularly O’Reilly books) (UH library link).


3 thoughts on “IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, Safari Online Bookmarklet

  1. Pingback: Improved UHM online resource bookmarklet « Seize the Moment of Excited Curiosity for the Acquisition of Knowledge

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