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Getting Started with LibKey Nomad Browser Extension


The library is excited to offer access to the LibKey Nomad browser extension that simplifies and streamlines access to Northwestern Library’s subscription resources. Adding the extension to your browser enables one-click access to full text articles from publisher pages, PubMed, Google Scholar, Wikipedia, and more. Once installed a button will appear in the bottom corner of compatible webpages indicating what level of access is available to you. If direct access is not available, Libkey Nomad will automatically populate an Interlibrary Loan request for you.

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Install LibKey Nomad

1. Visit the Download LibKey webpage at Screenshot of LibKey Nomad University Selection Step
2. Select the “Get LibKey Nomad Now” button in the center of the webpage.
3. Choose your browser. (LibKey Nomad is available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Brave and Vivaldi).
4. Click “Add” or “Install”. Confirm permissions if prompted. 
5. Select Northwestern University. Once the extension is installed you will be prompted to choose your institution from a dropdown list. This step is crucial because it ensures you get access to the content that Northwestern subscribes to.
6. Start Browsing. Now, whenever you're on a website with academic articles, LibKey Nomad will automatically check if we provide access to them. If available, you'll see an icon or notification allowing direct access to the article.


For additional support view the YouTube video tutorial: LibKey Nomad browser extension delivers one-click article access (1:58).

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Use LibKey Nomad

When you land on a page for an article, LibKey Nomad automatically checks against Northwestern Libraries' subscriptions and provides a link to a PDF, article page, or a pre-filled Interlibrary Loan form if full text is not available. If you are off campus, you will be directed to authenticate with Duo before being taken to the PDF of the article. LibKey Nomad automatically places a button in the bottom corner of a compatible webpage. The text of the button will change to indicate what level of access is available as outlined below.

LibKey Navy blue button with text Download PDF

Screen Shot of LibKey navy blue button with text Manuscript PDF

Screen Shot of LibKey navy Blue button with text Access Options

Download PDF indicates that Northwestern Libraries provides access to the PDF and will take you directly to the PDF of the document.

Manuscript PDF indicates that Northwestern Libraries provides access to the article and will take you to a page where you can access the article. You may also be able to download the article from the webpage.

Access Options indicates that Northwestern Libraries does not have direct online access to the article. Clicking this will take you back to log in with your Northwestern Net ID and password, and the form will be pre-filled by LibKey Nomad by clicking "Request a Scan of this Article". 

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Special Features



LibKey Nomad integrates with PubMed to provide full text links to items in search results. 

screen shot of pubmed search results highlighting the navy blue libkey link now active



LibKey Nomad integrates with Wikipedia to provide quick access links for items in reference lists. It can also connect you to a table of contents for the specific issue to allow you to explore that issue for related items, and alert you to retracted articles in your search results as shown in the image of Wikipedia citations.Wikipedia references screenshot

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does using LibKey Nomad mean that I won’t have to log in to access articles? No. You will still be prompted to authenticate with Duo at the beginning of your search session but once you are signed in it will automatically authenticate until you start a new browser session.
  • Does LibKey Nomad work for every site/database/article? No. LibKey Nomad uses an item's DOI to retrieve full text options. It cannot retrieve items without a DOI. Additionally, LibKey Nomad is currently configured to work only with selected scholarly websites, and not on the web in general.
  • Does LibKey Nomad only work with Northwestern Libraries’ subscription materials? No, it also uses Unpaywall to find free versions of articles that are not part of Northwestern Libraries' subscriptions.
  • Need additional assistance? Please contact our reference team with any questions at
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Updated: April 5, 2024