Skip to Main Content

Using browser extensions to access eJournal articles

Provides an overview of the browser extensions LibKey Nomad and EndNote Click and how they can be used to provide one-click access to the full-text of subscription and open access eJournal articles.

What is LibKey Nomad?

LibKey Nomad is a browser extension providing easy access to full-text articles that University of Birmingham Library Services subscribes to, or to an Open Access version. Articles can be accessed directly via the online platforms of journal publishers (such as Taylor & Francis Online, Elsevier ScienceDirect), bibliographic platforms (such as Web of Science and Scopus), and also Wikipedia.

Where we don’t hold a copy, alternate options will be presented via FindIt@Bham, such as access to a different online platform not supported by LibKey Nomad, a print copy of the journal, or details of how to obtain an interlibrary loan.

How to install LibKey Nomad

LibKey Nomad is available to download on the web browsers Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Brave, Vivaldi and Safari.

To install the browser extension go to the Download Nomad webpage, select 'Get LibKey Nomad Now', and select the web browser you would like to download the extension to.

Illustrates selection options for web browsers Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Brave, Vivaldi and Safari.

Clicking on the browser link will take you directly to the LibKey Nomad page in the browser’s web store. Follow the instructions to install the extension - for example, clicking ‘Add to Chrome’ will install LibKey Nomad within Google Chrome.

When LibKey Nomad has been successfully installed you will be asked to select an organisation. Once you have selected 'University of Birmingham', LibKey Nomad is ready to use.

LibKey Nomad Google Chrome installer with University of Birmingham selected.

How to use LibKey Nomad

If you are browsing an article on a publisher's site and haven't logged in via FindIt@Bham, you may be met with a paywall when trying to access the full-text of an article.

Illustrates a paywall for a journal article.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean that University of Birmingham doesn't have subscribed access to the article, or that an Open Access version of the article is not available. If subscribed access or open access to the article is available LibKey Nomad will appear in the bottom left corner of the browser with either a 'Download PDF', 'Article link' or 'Manuscript PDF' button.

Illustrates the LibKey Nomad 'Download PDF', 'Article Link' and 'Manuscript PDF' access buttons.

If 'Download PDF' or 'Article Link' appears, this means that you will be linked through to the final, published 'Version of Record' of the journal article. After clicking on 'Download PDF' or 'Article link', a box will appear to tell you that LibKey Nomad is locating the article.

Pop-up showing that LibKey Nomad is locating a subscribed copy of a particular article.

Accessing the article off campus may direct you to sign in with your University credentials. You will then be directed through to the article itself - either directly to the PDF (when the 'Download PDF' button is available and selected) or to an authenticated University of Birmingham session on the publisher platform that allows you to download the PDF from the platform (when the 'Article Link' button is available and selected).

If 'Manuscript PDF' appears, this means that you will be linked through to an 'Author Accepted Manuscript' version of the article, held within a repository. While the content may not have been formatted for publication, it is likely to have been peer reviewed, and is being made available to you because the final, published version is in a journal that Library Services does not subscribe to.

LibKey Nomad and Interlibrary Loans

There will be occasions when the article you are browsing on a publisher's website is not available to you as a member of the University of Birmingham, either because Library Services does not subscribe to it in electronic or print form, or an alternative Open Access copy does not exist. However, in this scenario you may be able to use LibKey Nomad to fill out a request for an Interlibrary Loan and have Library Services try and obtain a copy from another library for you. To do this, look out for the 'Access Options' button in the bottom left corner of the website.

LibKey Nomad 'Access Options' button.

Selecting 'Access Options' will transfer you to the FindIt@Bham entry for the article. Sign in to FindIt@Bham with your University of Birmingham credentials. In the 'Get It' section of the FindIt@Bham article record you will see a message indicating that no electronic or physical copy of the article is held by Library Services, followed by a link to an Interlibrary Loan Request Form. 

FindIt@Bham article record where Get It section points user to an interlibrary loan request form.

Select the 'Interlibrary loan request (can take up to four working days)' link. You will be transferred to an Interlibrary Loan Request form with all of the essential detail needed for making the request auto-filled. Find out more about Interlibrary Loans.

Wikipedia and LibKey Nomad

LibKey Nomad will also highlight journal articles referenced on Wikipedia that Library Services has access to. Clicking on the ‘Provided by’ button at the bottom left of the screen when you are on a Wikipedia page will take you to the 'References' section. LibKey Nomad will tag the journal articles listed that have DOIs with Nomad's ‘Download PDF’, 'Article Link', 'Manuscript PDF', or ‘Access Options’ buttons.

Example of LibKey Nomad embedded within the References section of a Wikipedia page.


Q. How do I uninstall or disable LibKey Nomad?

A. To uninstall, right click on the LibKey Nomad icon. On Google Chrome select 'Remove from Chrome' on the menu that appears. On Firefox the option will be 'Remove extension'.

Illustrates how to uninstall Nomad via Google Chrome and Firefox

You can also uninstall LibKey Nomad via your browser’s web extension store and select ‘remove from...’. See the list of links to each LibKey browser store.

To disable LibKey Nomad (rather than uninstall it), right click on the LibKey Nomad icon and select 'Manage Extension'. On Google Chrome, for example, this will open up a menu that will allow you to switch LibKey Nomad off.

Illustrates button to switch off LibKey Nomad when installed in Google Chrome.

Q. Why is LibKey Nomad not giving me access to the article when 'Download PDF' is clicked?

A. If you are connected to the University VPN while using LibKey Nomad, you will be unable to download an article. Try disconnecting from the VPN - see the Knowledge Base instructions on how to disconnect.

Q. Why do I not see a prompt to select University of Birmingham when I install LibKey Nomad?

A. If you are using Chrome in Incognito mode or Firefox in a private browser you will have to grant LibKey Nomad access. Right click on the LibKey Nomad icon located in the top right corner of your browser and select ‘manage extensions’. In Chrome, enable 'Allow in incognito'. In Firefox, go to 'Run in Private Windows' and select 'Allow'.

Q. Why is my browser showing a crash report when I select 'Download PDF'?

A. Sometimes selecting 'Download PDF' will lead to a crash report such as the one below.

Crash report after 'Download PDF' has been selected.

To resolve this, right click on the 'Download PDF' button and select 'Open link in new tab'. You should now get access to the article.

Illustrates how to open a PDF in a new tab when right clicking 'Download PDF.

Accessibility statement