The Library Access browser extension
Library Access is an extension for your web browser. When you install it, your browser gains extra functionality that comes in handy in your search for information. In short: you get easier access to relevant sites and less frustration in dealing with paywalls and login screens. Library Access offers the following advantages:
On campus you usually have automatic access to many databases. Outside of campus, you have to login first. The Library Access extension knows what databases you have access to and will log you in automatically. Nifty!
Example: Go to JSTOR via Google (click on the first search result)
Sometimes one database only contains an abstract, while the another has the article in full. Library Access will send you to that database right away! This can be an Open Access source, or another library database.
When you have Library Access installed and make use of Google Scholar or PubMed, you'll get more direct links to the full-text version of articles. In Scholar this evident by the "Find@Hogeschool Rotterdam" links that are shown.
Example: Searching in Google Scholar
When an article is not available in any database, Library Access will show you a link to the ILL request form of the library. This way you can request the article with a few mouse clicks. For students this service isn't free, but it's always less expensive than ordering from the publisher.
Example: An unavailable article
When Library Access spots the ISBN of a book of which the library has an e-book version, it will present you with a link directly to that e-book. This way you don't order books unnecessarily when an e-book also suffices. Apart from this the extension will sometimes give you a hint when you might me looking for information on the wrong website.
In two steps or less
When you are on the Rotterdam university campus, you don't have to do anything. The configuration is done automatically. Off-campus the only thing you have to do is choose "Hogeschool Rotterdam" at "Select your library".
You don't have access to other libraries, unless you study or teach there. If this is the case, it might be possible to set these up as an "extra institute".
How does it work?
This browser extension displays an icon in the browser toolbar. This sort of works like a traffic light. When this icon is green ( ), you are logged in. When the icon is grey ( ) it's inactive. Is it yellow ( ), then the extension has a message or tip for you. Via the popup window you can login to databases, open e-books and view or request articles. When you haven't logged in yet, you are send to the Rotterdam University login page, or SurfConext.
Only for access
The main purpose of this extension is to give you access to information. Getting your search strategy in order and processing information is still your reponsibility. Take a look at the Literature Research Guide for more information on this subject.
What about my privacy?
You are anonymous
You can use the Library Access extension completely anonymously. The extension doesn't gather personal information. It also doesn't store your IP address or the unique identifier of your computer.
Access to databases
Of course, even without the extension you can get access to our databases from home. Go to the database overview for this. Hint: use the filter options to limit the list to the type of information you need.
Access to the full-text article
Apart from the full-text functionality that the extension has, you can also contact the author of an article. When you ask politely, they will often send you the (pre-publish) full-text version of an article. When you can't find an e-mail address, try the following:
Satisfied with the way this extension works and want to tell your students about it? The library can help you with this.
- We have a flyer available. Ask for it at the library desk.
- We have a Library Access picture for Information screens.
- The short URL for this page is rotterdamuas.com/access. Use this in all forms of communication like study guides, LMS, etc.