Access to literature via proxy in Luxembourg

Today I received an email from the university library that as of today, we have to register with the library before we can download academic literature. The reason is that the Consortium Luxembourg wants to track usage statistics to determine the financial contributions from each Consortium member. The university librarians gave two solutions, either to use the university search engine, or to manually change the url to include the proxy information. Neither solution is particularly user friendly, but as luck would have it, the latter gives us the possibility to create a bookmarklet that gives you one-click access.

Using the bookmarklet

  • Drag the below text “A-Z Access” to your bookmarks.
    A-Z Access
  • Look up a paper that isn’t open access (even though it should be), such as this one of mine: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-40501-3_46
  • Click the A-Z Access bookmarklet in your bookmarks
  • Login to your A-Z.lu online account (once you’re logged in this will be skipped automatically)
  • You will be taken to the page where you can download the paper (if A-Z has access to it of course)

Background

The bookmarklet works very simple, it looks at the hostname of the current window and adds the required proxy url bit. Many thanks to Redditor Untgradd who gave the solution to add the proxy after the TLD (the .com bit) rather than at the end of the entire url.

The code:

javascript:void(window.location.hostname=window.location.hostname+'.proxy.bnl.lu')

Aside

Backup Overleaf → Dropbox → BitBucket

I used to always write using MS Word. I actually like Word since Word2010, and have not really felt the need to move to the unusable Windows TeX editors that I have tried in the past. But since starting at the University of Luxembourg I also work on a Mac, and switching between Word on two different OS’s is quite annoying. In the meantime, Overleaf has managed to become a rather usable TeX editor, so I have been working with this for the past months and must say I have grown to rather like it.

There is however one caveat; Overleaf manages all files itself and integrating it with Dropbox is almost $100/year. I do not want to just trust Overleaf with my entire thesis, so I set out to automate backups of my work. Although Dropbox does versioning, it doesn’t show the exact changes like git allows, so I wanted to also backup to BitBucket, which allows private repositories for free unlike GitHub[1]I don’t need my entire thesis writing to be public yet.. This proved not a trivial task, so I will write here how I managed to create a workflow of automatic backups for Overleaf → Dropbox → BitBucket.

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References   [ + ]

1. I don’t need my entire thesis writing to be public yet.