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Components and format of IP address recognition URLs

Learn about the components and format of FirstSearch IP address recognition URLs.

The following information summarizes the required and optional components of the IP address recognition URLs that you include in links on your library's web pages. For an introduction to IP address recognition links and URLs, see Quick start to creating IP address recognition links to FirstSearch.

Note to longtime IP address recognition users

When information about IP address recognition was revised in November 2001, a recommended format of IP address recognition URLs was documented to address some problems that previous formats had with proxy servers at some institutions. It is not necessary for you to revise existing IP address recognition URLs because other IP address recognition URL formats continue to work well in most situations. However, you may want to use the new recommended format when you revise existing links or add new ones.

Required IP address recognition URL components

The FirstSearch URL and the IP address recognition token must be included in each IP address recognition URL.

The FirstSearch URL is the FirstSearch service address for Internet communication. If you want to use another communication method, include the communication method component in the URL.

The IP address recognition token signals FirstSearch to use IP address recognition access.

If you have two or more FirstSearch authorizations, include the authorization number component in the URL to specify the authorization number for any link that uses an additional authorization for IP address recognition. For more information about authorizations and IP address recognition, see Information needed to set up IP address recognition access to FirstSearch.

Required components Component format Component example
FirstSearch URL
IP address recognition token fsip fsip


Recommended format of IP address recognition URLs

The following information summarizes the recommended format of IP address recognition URLs:

  • Each IP address recognition URL begins with the FirstSearch URL (, followed by the IP address recognition token (fsip).
  • If optional components are included, they follow the token.
  • "?" separates the token from the first optional component.
  • If two or more optional components are included, "&" separates one optional component from the next optional component.
  • The optional components may be arranged in any order.
  • Lowercase and/or uppercase letters may be used in all components.

The following examples illustrate the recommended format of IP address recognition URLs:

Description IP address recognition URL example
No optional component
One optional component
Two optional components
Three optional components


Other IP address recognition URL formats

The following format rules differ from the recommended format but may also be used:

  • You may use semicolon (;) or colon (:) in place of ampersand (&) or questionmark (?).
  • You may place optional components between the FirstSearch URL and the token (fsip).

If your institution has a proxy server, IP address recognition access may work more reliably if the recommended format is used. Also, you may want to use the recommended format when you revise existing links or add new ones.

Optional IP address recognition URL components

The following table lists the optional IP address recognition URL components described in other sections of this document. Click the name of a component to go to its section.

Optional component Component format Component example
Authorization number component autho=[FirstSearch authorization] autho=999999999
Communications method component route=dedip




Exit page component done=referer


FirstSearch screen component

(Link users directly to a FirstSearch database selection screen, database screen, or Electronic Collections Online journal screen.)

topic=[ topic value]


dbname=[ dbname value]

dbname=[dbname value] &screen=[screen]

dbname=eco&journal=[ISSN] &screen=[screen]



dbname=eric &screen=advanced

dbname=eco&journal=0007-0882 &screen=info
Language component language=[language] language=es

Library logo component logo=[URL] logo=
Timeout periods component timeout=[300-1800 seconds] &fttimeout=[900-2700 seconds] timeout=600 &fttimeout=900


FirstSearch screen component

The following documents provide additional information about the FirstSearch screen component


Special components

The following components are described in other documents:

  • Direct article access: You can use IP address recognition to point users directly to the full text of journal articles available in the FirstSearch service. This lets users click a link to access the full text of a journal article and then return to your library's web pages without seeing other FirstSearch screens. This direct article access supports electronic reserves or reading lists that your library might provide on its web pages. More information about direct article access is available at Navigate the administrative module.
  • Session control: FirstSearch uses a cookie to end any existing FirstSearch session whenever another FirstSearch session is started on the same workstation. For libraries that purchase a specified number of ports (simultaneous logons) as part of their FirstSearch access, this feature releases ports for use by other users more quickly than if the existing session was left to time out. You can turn off this cookie through IP address recognition. More information about controlling FirstSearch sessions and about this cookie is available at Control FirstSearch sessions.