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What is LibKey

LibKey is a set of services from Third Iron built on algorithms that link your journal content, both subscribed and open access, to reliable pdf and/or html versions with one click. It appears as a button in the brief item record on the Primo results page. It ties in with Google Scholar and has a Chrome extension, allowing your users to connect to content no matter how they're finding it. 

Here is what is looks like in Primo.

More info from Third Iron

Presentation to WACTCLC with Ted Tyson

Heavy researchers can download articles quickly without leaving Primo, inexperienced users can get connected to content without dead end links and confusing provider interfaces. Accessibility is improved because those using screen readers and other assistive technologies do not have to scan through as many screens and navigate cluttered buttons. Plus, it enhances the discovery of content in context through the integration of BrowZine for viewing the full journal issue contents.

WACTCLC's Commitment

The WACTCLC Executive Committee has determined LibKey to be a great value and voted to use surplus consortium funds to pay for the first two years of the service subscription for all WACTC colleges. All participants will be getting LibKey for free through June 30, 2026.

Implementation groups

Links to Primo with LibKey are added as they go live. For Cohort 4, we will link to other integration examples.

Option # they have chosen (from here), + if customized text, Alma link resolver, or styling 

Cohort 1 Cohort 2 Cohort 3 Cohort 4
Bellevue (1) Big Bend (2) Pierce District Clover Park
Bellingham Technical (5) Edmonds Renton Technical Bates
Green River (2+) Highline Centralia Columbia Basin
Olympic (1) Lower Columbia (2+) Everett Tacoma
Skagit Valley (1+) Peninsula (1) Lake Washington Tech Walla Walla
Whatcom (1) Wenatchee Valley (1+) Spokane CC  
Yakima Valley (2) Grays Harbor (4+) Spokane Falls CC  
North Seattle (3+)   Shoreline  
Seattle Central (3+)   South Puget Sound  
South Seattle (3+) Search Box example using Seattle Central LibKey id

Lookup a journal article by DOI or PMID

Browse journals by subject areas

Directions for LibKey Nomad Installation

LibKey Nomad is a free browser extension that provides seamless one-click access to full text articles the library has access to directly from most publisher web pages as well as Wikipedia and PubMed.

To install the extension visit:

  • Select your web browser.
  • Follow the instructions to add the extension
  • Grant any required permission(s) to add the extension*
  • Enter your college name when prompted to select your institution from the drop-down menu
  • Close and restart your web browser

Upon restarting your web browser you will now see buttons like this when you are looking at articles in PubMed, ScienceDirect, and other scholarly publisher platforms.

  • Download PDF: The library has access to this item and you can download the full-text PDF with one click.
  • Article Link: The library has this item and you'll be directed to the article page where you can download the full text.
  • Manuscript PDF: The library has access to an author manuscript version of this article and you can download the full-text PDF with one click.
  • Access Options: (MAY BE DISABLED FOR YOUR INSTITUTION) The library may not have access to this item, but you'll be directed to where you can make a request via Interlibrary Loan.

*When adding the extension your web browser may ask for permission to add the extension along with a message that it can "read and change data on the websites you visit." You see this message because LibKey Nomad must be able to read the pages and change them to add download buttons. No data about you or your searches is tracked and no account is required. For more about LibKey's privacy policy visit the Third Iron Privacy Policy page.