Skip to Main Content

Intro to the Relay Library

Relay library FAQs, research tips, and more!

About the Relay Proxy

What Is a Proxy? 

Access to Relay library’s online resources (including databases, ebooks, online journals, and other e-resources) is restricted due to license agreements with vendors and publishers. This is where the proxy comes in! When you use the proxy to access a restricted online resource from the library website, you will be prompted to enter your Relay credentials - this confirms your “online identity” as a member of the Relay community.

From a technical perspective, a proxy lets you go online under a different IP address. Relay's library databases are set up to only allow access from certain IP addresses, so you must be signed into the proxy to get access. 

Why might I want to use a proxy? 

You don't need to use the proxy if you are accessing resources through the Relay library website. It's also not necessary if you're accessing Relay resources through Google Scholar (learn more about how to do this here!). These platforms automatically add Relay's proxy for you, so you don't have to worry about it.

However, there are a couple of instances where you might want to use a proxy:

  • Someone sends you a link to an article behind a paywall (such as EdWeek) 
  • If you find a paywalled article or other resource through a Google search (or any non-Relay library search) and want to see if Relay provides access to it

How do I set up the proxy?

There are several different ways to set up a proxy, outlined below. If you plan to use the proxy frequently, using Zotero or the Bookmarklet are most recommended!

How to Set Up a Proxy, Option 1: Zotero

Zotero is a citation management tool that allows you to build a personal library of information from articles, books, documents, web pages, and more! You can use Zotero with any word processing tool to help format your research paper. With Zotero, you can

  • Save citations from databases, web sites, and library catalogs
  • Manage, categorize into collections, and organize
  • Cite sources "in-text" as you write and create reference lists in most citation styles (including APA!) 
  • Attach PDFs, images, web page snapshots, reading notes, and more to citations in your collection

You can learn more about Zotero here

If you’ve already got a Zotero account, there’s a browser extension called Zotero Connector that will automatically proxy websites for you! All you will need to do is download the extension (linked above), and then use library resources as usual. You will see a yellow banner that asks if you want to save the proxy - once you’ve saved the proxy, Zotero will automatically set up the proxy for you on future websites. 

How to Set Up a Proxy, Option 2: Bookmarklet

If you often do your research from off-campus, we recommend you install the proxy bookmarklet on your browser's bookmarks toolbar. The bookmarklet lets you log into the proxy without having to browse from the Relay GSE Library website.

Many people like to just search for a journal using Google and go directly there. To get your browser to route you through the library proxy server, you can simply try the following:

Drag this button up to your bookmarks toolbar in your browser: (or right-click to save it to your favorites toolbar)

Reload via Relay Lib

Now, when you're on a web page that you'd like to redirect through the library's proxy server, clicking this button will automatically reload the web page.

How To Use The Proxy Bookmarklet

  1. Once you have installed the proxy bookmarklet, navigate to a database or webpage that is Relay GSE restricted.
  2. Once you are on the page, click on the proxy bookmarklet in your browser's toolbar, and you will be redirected through the proxy server.
  3. If your browser session was just started you'll be prompted for your Relay GSE login the first time.




How to Set Up a Proxy, Option 3: Manually add Proxy URL

If you are browsing a website that you know the Relay Library provides access to, you can copy the proxy URL (below) and add it to the front of the website URL.

For example, to view this article:

You would add the proxy in front to get access:   


It’s possible to paste this URL in front of any paywalled online information resource to try to gain access - however, keep in mind that this only works with resources that the library provides access to. You may get an error message if the library doesn’t provide access to that resource, or if the resource is not configured to work with the Relay proxy.