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Are there any open source/free alternatives to EZProxy?

For those who are not familiar with EZProxy, it's a proxy server that allows users to access institutional subscriptions (like journal subscriptions) that work based on your IP range, like if your university library is subscribed to an online journal, you can append the ezproxy url for your library to the journal url and read the journal, all the links are automatically rewritten by the proxy.

For example, to access Nature at http://www.nature.com you would go to http://www.nature.com.proxy.myuniversity.edu

I DON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING ILLEGAL. I JUST DON'T WANT TO BUY the EZProxy itself. We have legally obtained subscriptions and I want to allow access to these (which is acceptable by the content providers) through EZProxy. But I want to see if there are any alternatives to the EZProxy itself.

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closed as not constructive by Chris S Jan 10 '13 at 16:25

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This is a question that a sysadmin might have! isn't it? –  Ali Dec 16 '11 at 18:00
5  
NO! I don't want to circumvent anything! I want to run such a service without paying for EZProxy! –  Ali Dec 16 '11 at 18:01
5  
@Driftpeasant Many library databases require that a university properly secure their subscriptions by only allowing traffic the the university's IP range. This means that for off-campus users, they will need to use an on-campus proxy w/ authentication to get to these resources. Most library databases recommend EZProxy for this. (In fact, that's what we use, Ali). –  MDMarra Dec 16 '11 at 18:13

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

EZProxy isn't really that expensive and it's what all of the major library database repositories support. I'd strongly recommend acquiring the (small) amount of funding needed to go with the recommended and supported solution rather than using an alternative that will leave you in support limbo.

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It is only your opinion not an solution (answer) to the question. –  jm666 Jun 21 at 6:45
    
Of course it's an answer to the question. It even has the green check mark, which can only be awarded by the OP. –  MDMarra Jun 21 at 10:47

Web servers with proxy capability should do the trick just fine, as long as nothing "special" is required by the publication that you're connecting to (if they're authorizing you based on the proxy's IP, or if you can use something like HTTP basic auth, it'll work fine).

Here's an example Apache config (get the DNS in place for the full URL to point to this server):

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName nature.com.proxy.myuniversity.edu
    ServerAlias www.nature.com.proxy.myuniversity.edu
    Order deny,allow
    Deny from all
    # Allow authorized IPs here:
    Allow from 10.0.0.0/8
    Allow from 172.16.0.0/12
    ProxyPreserveHost Off
    ProxyPass / http://www.nature.com/
    ProxyPassReverse / http://www.nature.com/
</VirtualHost>

One caveat is any absolute links in their site code that send the user to www.nature.com, away from your proxy domain, would break things; ProxyPassReverse only acts on redirections within HTTP headers. mod_proxy_html may help if you run into this, but your mileage may vary on sites where links are added to the document from outside of HTML code (in javascript, for instance).

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