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Library bookmarklets

What is a bookmarklet?

A bookmarklet is a script or short program that that can be installed on your web browser's bookmarks toolbar or in your bookmarks/favorites list. If you can't see this toolbar go to your browser's menus and make sure to View->Toolbars->Bookmarks Toolbar is selected if you are using Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera. If you are using Internet Explorer, make sure View->Toolbars->Links is selected.

Installation instructions

The easiest way to install a bookmarklet is to drag its link to your browser's links toolbar. You can also add it to your bookmarks by right clicking (control-click on a Mac) and choosing Add to Bookmarks. A window may question the safety of this procedure. Just say that you want to continue. To use the bookmarket, select text (if necessary, see below) then click on the bookmarklet in your toolbar. (Note that you can rename these bookmarklets to something shorter to gain room on your toolbar.)

Most of these bookmarklets open a new window with the search results. You may need to modify your pop up preferences for this to work. Also, some browsers put the pop up window behind your current window, so you may need to move things around to see your results. There's an example below each bookmarklet that you can try to be sure it works in your browser.

Altmetric It

Lookup altmetric scores for an article you are viewing in PubMed, arXiv, or displaying a DOI..

Try it with this journal article: Quantum coherent optical phase modulation in an ultrafast transmission electron microscope.

Check VT Library

The Check VT Library bookmarklet from LibraryThing lets you know whether a title is available at your library from bookstores and other websites across the web. It checks all the editions of the title, not just the edition you're looking at.

Journal Lookup

To use this bookmarklet: Just highlight a journal title found on any web page and click on the bookmarklet link. The Journal Title Database will be searched for that title. Now you can quickly check to see if the library has full-text electronic access to any journal title, no matter what web page you happen to be on. This will work best with full titles, not abbreviations. Also, make sure not to highlight any initial A, AN, or THE in the title.

Try this journal title: Codebreakers Journal.

Addison Title Lookup

To use this bookmarklet: Just highlight a book title found on any web page and click on the bookmarklet link. Addison, the library's online catalog, will be searched for that title. Note: Again, make sure not to highlight any initial A, AN, or THE in the title.

Try it with this title: Da Vinci Code.


Have you ever gone to a restricted access page only to realize you needed to use the Off Campus Sign In button first? Instead of going to the library's homepage and logging in, then retracing your steps to return to the page in question, try this bookmarklet and save all of these steps. By clicking on this bookmarklet, you will be redirected through the Off Campus Sign In service for the page you are currently viewing. In some cases you may need to use the browser's "Back" button to return to the resource URL, not the vendor's login/error page.

DOI Lookup

Digital Object Identifiers are unique IDs for online articles, conference papers, ebooks and other online information. To use this bookmarklet, highlight a DOI on a web page, then click the DOI Lookup bookmarklet to locate the "digital object" online.

Try it with this DOI: 10.1016/S0388-0001(01)00045-6

ISBN Lookup

To use this bookmarklet: When viewing a book on a site like Amazon or Barnes & Noble, just click this bookmarklet to see if the University Libraries own the book. Note: The ISBN must match exactly. If the library owns the hardcover and the bookmarklet is searching for the paperback ISBN, your search will not bring up that title. This bookmarklet was created by Jon Udell.

Try it on this Amazon page.

Multiple ISBN Lookup

Here's a variation on the bookmarklet above. It searches OpenWorldCat for the ISBN and related ISBNs (for thing like paperback and audio book versions). If you enter your Zip Code, OpenWorldCat will show you which nearby libraries own the item.