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LibKey Nomad

Learn how to get one-click access to ISU library resources using the LibKey Nomad browser extension.

LibKey Nomad browser extension

LibKey Nomad is a browser extension that simplifies and streamlines access to the ISU Library's subscription resources. Adding this extension to your browser enables one-click access to full text of articles from publisher pages, PubMed, Google, Wikipedia, and more, with no need to start at the library website. If direct access is not available, it automatically loads and fills out the Interlibrary Loan request form for you.


LibKey Nomad is currently available for the following browsers:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Edge
  • Brave
  • Vivaldi


Installing LibKey Nomad is simple. Start with the link below to download the extension:

Once you have added LibKey Nomad to your browser, make sure to set your institution to Iowa State University.

Using LibKey Nomad

When you land on a page for an article, LibKey Nomad automatically checks against the ISU Library's subscriptions and provides a link to a:

  • PDF of the article, if available
  • Manuscript version (via Unpaywall), if available
  • Pre-filled Interlibrary Loan form, if full text is not available

If you are off campus you will be directed to authenticate with Okta before being taken to the PDF of the article. LibKey Nomad does not store your credentials or require you to create an account.

What to look for

LibKey Nomad automatically places a button in the bottom corner of a compatible webpage. This button changes its appearance to indicate what level of access is available.

LibKey Nomad Download PDF button

Download PDF indicates that the ISU Library provides access to the PDF, and will take you directly to the PDF of the document.

LibKey Nomad Article Link button

Article Link indicates that the ISU Library 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 there.

LibKey Nomad Access Options... button

Access Options... indicates that the ISU Library does not have direct online access to the article. Clicking this will take you directly to the Interlibrary Loan request form. Log in with your Net ID and password, and the form will be pre-filled by LibKey Nomad. Just submit the request to receive a PDF copy of the article in 24-72 hours.

Special features


LibKey Nomad integrates with Wikipedia to provide quick access links for items in the references list.

Wikipedia references with libkey nomad pdf links.


LibKey Nomad provides full text links to items in PubMed search results.

Screenshot of PubMed search results

Common questions

LibKey Nomad is a fairly new option for ISU affiliates. Additional questions and answers will be added over time.

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 with no DOI. Additionally, LibKey Nomad is currently configured to work only with selected scholarly websites, and not on the web in general.

Does using LibKey Nomad mean I won't have to log in to access articles anymore? It will still prompt you to authenticate with Okta the first time you use it (each session), but after that it should authenticate automatically until you start a new browser session.

Does LibKey Nomad only work with ISU Library subscription materials? No, it also uses Unpaywall to find free versions of articles that are not part of the ISU Library's subscriptions.

Who can help?

If you need more help using LibKey Nomad at ISU, please reach out to the librarian listed on this guide.