sciencedirect without VPN

On systems such as Linux where you cannot connect to vpn2.tue.nl, accessing www.sciencedirect.com can be a challenge.

Here is a workaround using SSH-tunneling:

  • add www.sciencedirect.com in /etc/hosts to the entry for 127.0.0.1:
    127.0.0.1 localhost localhost.localdomain .... mytue.tue.nl
  • As root on your Linux system, start:
    ssh -v -4 -L 80:www.sciencedirect.com:80 myaccount@sshserver.tue.nl
    • This sshserver may be any system that allows ssh sessions
    • The remote account can be a regular account
    • Keep this terminal open to watch the debug messages

  • On your browser, open
    www.sciencedirect.com/science/search
    • Check that the ssh-session reports
      Local connections to LOCALHOST:80 forwarded to remote address www.sciencedirect.com:80

  • When done,
    • hit Ctrl-C to finish the ssh-tunnel
    • restore /etc/hosts, remove mytue.tue.nl

Why not use a higher port number

You may wonder why the local port needs to be 80.
For the initial connection, it may be a higher number, such as 4567, so that you would not need the root privilege.
Then you would have to open www.sciencedirect.com:4567
That does work for the initial connection, but search actions will point to an absolute URL www.sciencedirect.com//... that is, without the alternate port implying the default port 80.


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