ISU Journal Access Bookmarklet

by Kevin Godby

I spend a lot of time searching for and reading research papers. Many of these papers are available online—for a price. But, since I’m a student at Iowa State University, I have access to many of these online resources via the school’s library.

Unfortunately, the process is a little tedious. I generally start by searching Google or Google Scholar. Once I find an interesting paper, I’ll click on the link. Oftentimes, this will direct me to a login page for whatever archiving service is holding the article hostage. At this point, I have to look at the journal title and volume number. Then I need to go to the library’s huge list of electronic journals and find the suspect journal in the list. Then I have to log in. Then I have to dig around the archives to find the volume and issue that the article appeared in. Finally, I have to scroll through the list of articles in that issue and then find the “download PDF” link. This process isn’t so bad when you just do it once. But when I found myself going through this process repeatedly, I knew I had to find a better way.

So I wrote a little ISU Journals bookmarklet that may help. To install the bookmarklet, just drag the bookmarklet link to your bookmark toolbar in Firefox.

ISU Journals bookmarklet

To use it, just find an article that appears interesting. Click on the link for that article. This will usually lead you to a login page. Then just click on the “ISU Journals” bookmarklet and it will redirect you to the ISU Library login page. Log in using your ISU student identification number (plus the last two digits that no one else ever uses) and whatever random PIN you set. If the library has access to that electronic journal, you should be able to download the full text of the article now.

Please let me know if this works for you or if you run into snags. It’s my first attempt at a very simple bookmarklet, so I may have failed miserably.