Download Scientific Papers Out of University

Aim: Download scientific publications out of subscribed environment

For those University or research institutes not providing VPN service, it is very difficult to download scientific publications out of the authorized IP environment, such as home or coffee bar.

Today, I found a solution can cope with this, by using the cookies of web browser record in the authorized environment.


  1. In your University, login to the publisher’s web sites one by one, better to download some papers to make suer the browser been authorized. Firefox is recommend, while Safari has been proved not work, since Safari record the cookies in the memeory.

  2. Back up the web browser’s cookies with a different folder name, this folder is going to be used many times once you want to download publications afterwards. I have tested firefox in MacOS system, I guess the Windows or Linux systems should work as the same way, at least for firefox. For firefox in MacOS, the cookies folder can be possibly find here: ~/Library/"Application Support"/Firefox/Profiles/XXXXXXXXXXX. and copy the folder to: ~/Library/"Application Support"/Firefox/Profiles/XXXXXXXXXXX_authorized

  3. Use the authorized cookies automatically by the run following bash script:

mv  $HOME/Library/"Application Support"/Firefox/Profiles/XXXXXXXXXXX \ 
$HOME/Library/"Application Support"/Firefox/Profiles/XXXXXXXXXXX_normal
cp -r $HOME/Library/"Application Support"/Firefox/Profiles/XXXXXXXXXXX_authorized \
$HOME/Library/"Application Support"/Firefox/Profiles/XXXXXXXXXXX


By using this method, the cookes of the web browser will be initalized to the authorized cookes every time when you run the script.

If you really care about this, you could run the following script once you finished download the papers.

mv  $HOME/Library/"Application Support"/Firefox/Profiles/XXXXXXXXXXX_normal \
$HOME/Library/"Application Support"/Firefox/Profiles/XXXXXXXXXXX
Ming Su
Ming Su
Associate Professor of Environmental Engneering

My research interest is water quality problems in drinking water bodies, with a focus on harmful algal blooms and associated taste & odor problems.