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Michigan State University

Third Iron: BrowZine and LibKey

Information about using BrowZine and LibKey, tools available from Third Iron for reading and keeping up-to-date with scholarly literature. Last updated: 7/6/21.

What is LibKey?

LibKey is an API, or application programming interface, from Third Iron that works with the MSU Libraries subscriptions to provide quick, one-click access to the full text of journal articles available to MSU users. Currently LibKey has four products available: LibKey Discovery, LibKey Nomad, LibKey Link, and LibKey.io.

While some of the features of LibKey utilize the BrowZine platform, it is not necessary to have a BrowZine account to take advantage of their functionality. Users may need to log in with their MSU Net ID and password when connecting to the full text of articles.

LibKey Discovery

LibKey Discovery works with the MSU Libraries SearchPlus. When viewing results, LibKey Discovery allows you to connect directly to the PDF of an article with just one click.

Example of LibKey Discovery link to an article PDF in SearchPlus. 

LibKey Discovery also provides a link to the complete issue of a journal. This allows for browsing the table of contents for the issue in which an article appears, increasing discoverability of similar articles from the same publication.

Example of using LibKey Discovery to connect to the complete issue of a journal.

LibKey Nomad

LibKey Nomad is a browser extension that connects users with library-licensed and open access full text articles. LibKey Nomad is available for Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Brave, and Vivaldi. When using LibKey Nomad, users are automatically directed to the best available version of an article so there is no need to search multiple places. When the full text is not available you will be provided with options to request the article through InterLibrary Loan (ILL).

LibKey Nomad does not require the creation of a personal account, it does not track users or hold credentials, and it is only active when on the web page of a scholarly publisher or database.

Getting Started

  1. Install the LibKey Nomad extension for your browser of choice. (Note: A user account is not required to use the extension.)
  2. Search for and select "Michigan State University" from the list of institutions.
  3. Look for the LibKey Nomad button to download PDFs on publisher websites, Wikipedia, PubMed, and more.

Selecting Michigan State University in LibKey Nomad.

Publisher Websites

When browsing publisher and other web pages, LibKey Nomad provides a link to download the PDF of an article available through the MSU Libraries. It is not necessary to first connect through the MSU Libraries website. If the full text is not available through the MSU Libraries subscriptions, a button for "Access Options" will appear and you will be connected to options for requesting the article through ILL.

Example of LibKey Nomad link to PDF on Springer website.

Wikipedia

LibKey Nomad also works with Wikipedia. When viewing the list of references for an entry, a "Download PDF" button will appear after the citations that full text is available for through the MSU Libraries. An "Article Link" button may appear for citations that are from sources that do not support linking directly to the PDF. For articles not available from the MSU Libraries, an "Access Options..." button will appear that provides options for requesting the articles through ILL.

Example of LibKey Nomad in Wikipedia, with buttons for Download PDF, Article Link, and Access Options circled.

PubMed

When searching PubMed, LibKey Nomad shows options for downloading a PDF, linking to an article, or additional access options, and you can view the cover images of the journals that articles appear in. LibKey Nomad also provides a link to the complete issue of a journal. This allows for browsing the table of contents for the issue in which an article appears, increasing discoverability of similar articles from the same publication.

Example of LibKey Nomad in PubMed. A journal cover image, links to download the PDF and view the complete issue, and access options are all circled.

LibKey Link

LibKey Link works with library databases to connect users directly to the full text PDF of an article. It works with all browsers. LibKey Link is currently available in PubMed and Scopus, with more databases coming in the future.

To use, first connect through the MSU Libraries. When viewing citations, click on the white 'Find Text @MSU' button.

Example of LibKey Link in PubMed.

You will be taken to the LibKey landing page. If the full text of an article is available, you will be able to choose to view either the PDF or the HTML version. For some articles, the PDF may not be available but you can still go to the HTML version on the journal's platform.

LibKey article landing page with red arrows pointing to PDF and article links.

Directly below the PDF and article links you can check a box so that LibKey Link will remember your format selection for 24 hours. This means that you will be taken directly to the article, in the format you choose, instead of the landing page for the next 24 hours.

Portion of LibKey landing page with red circle around check box to remember format selection.

LibKey Link also provides a link to view an article in context. This takes you to the table of contents for the journal issue your article appears in, increasing discoverability of similar articles from the same publication.

Portion of LibKey Link landing page with red circle around link to view article in context.

Having trouble? Click on the link at the bottom of the LibKey landing page to view all content access options for an article.

If the full text of an article cannot be found, or if it is not available through the MSU Libraries, you will be taken to a page where you can check the library catalog for the journal or place an interlibrary loan request.

Library page with options for when the full text cannot be found.

LibKey.io

Lookup a journal article by DOI or PMID

 

LibKey.io allows users to input a DOI or PMID and connect to the full text of articles available through the MSU Libraries. It works with all browsers.

LibKey.io home page.

The first time you use LibKey.io you will need to select Michigan State University as your library.

LibKey.io landing page with Michigan State University selected.

After searching for a DOI or PMID you will be taken to the LibKey landing page. If the full text of an article is available, you will be able to choose to view either the PDF or the HTML version. For some articles, the PDF may not be available but you can still go to the HTML version on the journal's platform.

LibKey article landing page with red arrows pointing to PDF and article links.

Directly below the PDF and article links you can check a box so that LibKey will remember your format selection for 24 hours. This means that you will be taken directly to the article, in the format you choose, instead of the landing page for the next 24 hours.

Portion of LibKey landing page with red circle around check box to remember format selection.

LibKey also provides a link to view an article in context. This takes you to the table of contents for the journal issue your article appears in, increasing discoverability of similar articles from the same publication.

Portion of LibKey Link landing page with red circle around link to view article in context.

Having trouble? Click on the link at the bottom of the LibKey landing page to view all content access options for an article.

If the full text of an article cannot be found, or if it is not available through the MSU Libraries, you will be taken to a page where you can check the library catalog for the journal or place an interlibrary loan request.

Library page with options for when the full text cannot be found.

Stable Linking

LibKey.io may also be used as a prefix to any DOI or PMID to create stable links. LibKey.io will identify where the user is coming from, what their entitlements are, how they authenticate and so on (see the linking syntax documentation for more information).

To create stable links with LibKey.io:

Add "libkey.io/" in front of any DOI or PMID in your browser's search bar and LibKey.io will look for the article.

Michigan State University