Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Firefox + Google Scholar + Cornell Library

So, I was sick of having to go through the CU Library homepage for every journal article I wanted to download at home. And so I wrote a quick and dirty plugin to add a link to each Google Scholar result to access it through the CU Library proxy automatically, this saving gobs of time (maybe someday as much time as I spent writing it in the first place!).

One (small) issue with this is that it only works if you're logged into CUWebLogin, but checking for that each time is very slow. So I actually make two links - the "login" link goes through the official channels while the other link attempts to bypass them and go directly to the article, so it should be quicker if you're already logged in. It probably wouldn't be too tough to edit it to work for a different school with a little investigation.

To use the plugin, you need to have GreaseMonkey, which is a pretty standard Firefox plugin allowing you to use any of a multitude of "user scripts" which are basically scripts people write to post-process webpages.

I also wrote a standalone plugin to add a button to the (right-click) context menu to access a page through the library, in case it came from somewhere other than Google Scholar. This one is only the slow access method, although it could be configured to access it quicker with enough demand.

At some point, I may integrate all this into a standalone plugin. And I may look into adding a configuration tool so that other university libraries will be usable (although I'd need help from others for this to work). For now, if you're at a different school and would like to try using this, talk to me and I'll see if I can hack together a version for you.


  1. Install Greasemonkey if you haven't already.
  2. Install the userscript for Google Scholar links.
  3. Install the browser plugin for the context menu:
EDIT(2010 Nov 23): Added Chrome extension.


Jared said...

Hey Steve,

Do you have any scripts/extensions with similar functionality for Chrome? this is a godsend, but I stopped using Firefox so i'm SOL.


Steve said...

I've never done a Chrome extension before, and I actually don't have access anymore since graduating. Nonetheless, I think I've got a version that should work. I've edited the original post with a link. Please let me know if it works or not.

Jared said...

Score, works like a charm.

You're the man.