Skip to content

Off-Campus Access FAQ

UW Libraries' licensed online resources use the IP address of your workstation to identify you as a member of the UW community. If you are on campus, no additional authentication is usually required. If you are off-campus, your internet connection needs to be routed through the UW Libraries Off-Campus Proxy Service which identifies authorized users via UW NetID. If you start your research at the Health Sciences Library's website:, the links will automatically do the routing for you. An additional option for off-campus access which can be used instead of the Proxy Service is Husky OnNet, offered by UW IT. More about the UW Libraries Off-Campus Proxy Service, and Husky OnNet.

Who can access online library resources from off campus?

Current UW students, faculty and staff may access online library resources from off campus. If you believe that you should have access, but don't, please contact your UW department. UW NetIDs are used for for a variety of purposes, so having one, without being a current UW student, faculty or staff member, is not sufficient for access.

Health professionals who mentor UW students, interns, clerks and residents often have clinical faculty appointments, but are not paid by the UW. These appointments are granted by UW departments and generally need to be renewed every year. Clinical faculty have access to UW Libraries online resources during the duration of their appointments.

Do hospital staff have access?

UWMC, Harborview and Northwest Hospital employees should have access to resources with their UW NetID.

Valley Medical Center – contact your HR department. You may be eligible for a Sponsored UW NetID.

Do UW Medicine partners have access?

UW Medicine partners sometimes employ health care practitioners who also have UW clinical faculty appointments. Other employees of these organizations do not have access. So it is possible for two people who work side by side to have different access privileges.

Do licensed health professionals in Washington State have access?

Selected health professionals have access to HEALWA. HEALWA provides online access to current, authoritative clinical information and educational resources to eligible licensed health care practitioners in Washington State. HEALWA users do not have access to UW Libraries online resources. Although both the UW Libraries and HEALWA use UW NetID for authentication, they are two separate collections. Please contact HEALWA for more information.

Do UW Alumni have access?

UW Alumni retain access to Libraries online resources for approximately 3 months after graduation. UW Alumni Association members have access to the EBSCO Academic Search Alumni Edition database, which provides 3,000 academic journals in full text, plus indexing for 13,667 more.

Is there a way to pay for access?

No. License agreements with our vendors do not allow this.

Do patients at UW Medicine have access?

Patients may come in to the library to access computers on site, but do not have access to electronic resources from off campus.

How do I know if I'm connecting through the Libraries' proxy service?

If you look at your browser's address bar, you will see a segment in the middle of the url that says

My access isn't working, what do I do?

Browser settings, firewalls and conflicts with browser plugins can all keep you from accessing UW Libraries online resources from off campus. We've found that trying the following things usually solves access problems:

  • Navigate using links starting at Using the home button or bookmarks after you authenticate can cause your session to lose its connection to the proxy service.
  • Make sure your browser accepts cookies.
  • Clear your browser's cache -- sometimes it helps to set it up so that it automatically clears every time you close your browser.
  • Close all your browser windows and start over at
  • Try another browser.
  • If you are a member of an organization where no one can access UW Libraries resources from your work site, contact your organization's IT support about possible firewall issues.

Very rarely, more serious issues with your workstation can impede your access. Please work with your personal IT support to look for viruses, operating system failures, and firewall issues.

Why do some of the links in PubMed send me to pages where I'm asked for a credit card to access full text articles?

Within PubMed, there are several types of buttons that link to full text, one from the library and others from the publishers/vendors:

The UW Check for Full Text button checkicon is present on all PubMed citations. It will search the UW Libraries Catalog for both online and print availability. It will also lead you to the option to request an article if it is not available online or is owned by another institution.

Vendor buttons vendoriconsometimes link to full text and sometimes present an option to pay for an article.

Even though I've entered my NetID, I can't access articles when I click on the UW Check for Full Text button. checkicon

The UW Libraries Catalog requires you to log into it separately, even if you have already entered your NetID to access other resources. Links are in green. If you've already logged into another resource, it will read the NetID cookie on your workstation without you having to enter it again.

I have a link to an article, how do I route it through the proxy service?

If you often do your research from off-campus, we recommend you install the off-campus access (proxy) bookmarklet on your browser's bookmarks toolbar. The bookmarklet lets you log into the proxy without having to browse from the Libraries website. Get the proxy bookmarklet >

How do I connect Google Scholar with the UW Libraries?

Click "Settings" on the Google Scholar page. On the next page, click the "Library Links" option. Search for the University of Washington and click on the box next to "University of Washington - Full Text @ UW" and save your preferences. Learn more...

How do I create a URL that will force a user to log into the proxy service?

Proxied URLs are useful for sharing links with people who may want to access the resources from off campus. Creating a link to a course reading in Canvas is one example.

To format a URL that will automatically require the user to log in to the proxy service, prepend to the actual URL. For example:

Learn more...

I am not affiliated with the UW, can I access library resources if I visit the Health Sciences Library?

Everyone is welcome to visit the Health Sciences Library and use materials in the library. This includes access to online databases, eJournals and eBooks. Non-UW clients should expect to bring a flash drive to save files or may visit our Information Desk to request a guest Dawg Prints card for printing, including an instruction card detailing how to add money to your guest card online. Guests with picture ID may request a wifi password which will allow them to access library resources using their own devices while on campus. Guest email and access to productivity software (such as MS Office) are not available on library workstations. For UW students, faculty and staff, the Husky Card serves as a library card for checking out materials. Individuals who do not have borrowing privileges may purchase a UW Libraries Borrower’s Card through Library Account Services on the first floor of Suzzallo Library or by calling 206-543-1174. You may also apply for or renew a Borrower’s Card online.