Library Hack — emailing links from FASTsearch

For today’s post, I wanted to show you a useful library ‘hack’ to help you better access items you’ve emailed yourself from FASTsearch.

As you’ve likely seen, when you email yourself a list of citations from the temporary save folder in FASTsearch, all you really get is a bare-bones citation and a link:

Fastsearch email screenshot

Click image to enlarge.

While it’s great to have the citation, sometimes following the links to get back to full-text can cause a bit of frustration…


Image by Quinn Dombrowski. CC license here.

Okay, hopefully they don’t lead to a broken computer, but you may have noticed that sometimes you follow a link only to be greeted with our proxy server’s error message:

Screenshot of proxy error message

Click image to enlarge

Why is this happening?

Well, our proxy server needs to know that you’re someone who is authorized to access our resources before it will let you do so.  When you follow a saved/bookmarked URL from an email (or wherever), the proxy server has no idea who you are, so instead of redirecting you to the page in the link it displays the error message.

What can you do?

While I haven’t found a perfect fix, I can share the most reliable work-around I’ve found so far.  (Of course, other than this work-around, you can always re-find the item in FASTsearch, use Google Scholar through the library, or connect to the larger publication via the ‘Journal and Book Title’ look-up.)

Caveat: It’s important to remember that this is just a hack/work-around so there is no way to guarantee it will work in every instance, with every computer, or with every browser.  There are many variables at play–but this is something worth trying.

Alright, step one, connect to the library homepage:



Step two: copy and paste the URL from your emailed FASTsearch result into the address bar, on top of the library’s URL:



And that’s it.  Ideally, when you input it this way it will take you straight to the article in its database:


Click image to enlarge.

Just remember to connect first to the library homepage, copy the link, and paste it on top of the homepage URL. As Emeril would say, ‘Bam!’

Other Details

I’ve tested this method out in a few different scenarios.  While I find that it tends to work with both the Firefox and Chrome browsers, I haven’t had as much success with it using Internet Explorer. Also, I should note that I operate on a PC, so I would love to hear Mac users’ experiences to find out if it works the same, or if it works with Safari.

Happy searching, and copying/pasting!

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