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What is LibKey?

Library Search, our JMU Libraries catalog, now includes LibKey.

LibKey provides quick, one-click access to the full text of journal articles available to JMU users. It is an application programming interface (API) from Third Iron that integrates with JMU Libraries subscriptions. Currently, LibKey has four products available: LibKey Discovery, LibKey Nomad, LibKey Link, and

You may need to log in with your JMU eID, password, and Duo when connecting to the full text of articles via LibKey.

LibKey Discovery

Get one-click access to PDFs in the JMU Libraries' Library Search. Look for the Download PDF option underneath the article snippet.

LibKey Discovery example 

LibKey Discovery also provides a link to the complete issue of a journal. Click View Issue Contents to view the table of contents for the issue in which an article appears, so you can find similar articles from the same publication.

LibKey Nomad

LibKey Nomad is a browser extension that connects you with articles that are library-licensed or open access. LibKey Nomad is available for Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Brave, and Vivaldi.

Here is a short demonstration of how it works:


When using LibKey Nomad, you will automatically be directed to the best available version of an article so you don't need to search in multiple places. When the full text of an article is not available, you will be provided with options to request the article through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

LibKey Nomad does not require you to create a personal account. It does not track users or hold credentials, and it is only active when you are on the web page of a scholarly publisher or database.

Getting Started

  1. Install the LibKey Nomad extension for your browser of choice. (Note: A user account is not required to use the extension.)
  2. Search for and select "James Madison University" from the list of institutions. See images below.
  3. When you are on publisher websites, Wikipedia, PubMed, and more, you can look for the LibKey Nomad button to download PDFs.

LibKey Nomad browser extension institution lookup example

Publisher Websites

When you're browsing publisher sites and other web pages, LibKey Nomad provides a link to download the PDF of an article available through the JMU Libraries. It is not necessary to first connect through the JMU Libraries website. If the full text of the article is not available through the JMU Libraries subscriptions, an "Access Options" button will appear, and you will see options for requesting the article through ILL. See example in the image below.

Publisher webpage Libkey integration example


LibKey Nomad also works with Wikipedia. When you're viewing the list of references for an entry, a "Download PDF" button will appear after the citations, if the full text of the article is available from JMU Libraries. An "Article Link" button may appear for citations that are from sources that do not support linking directly to the PDF. For articles not available from JMU Libraries, an "Access Options..." button will appear that provides options for requesting the articles through ILL. See example in the image below.

Wikipedia LibKey integration example


When you're searching PubMed, LibKey Nomad shows options for downloading a PDF, linking to an article, or additional access options. You can also view the cover images of the journals that articles appear in. LibKey Nomad also provides a link to the complete issue of a journal. Click "View Complete Issue" to browse the table of contents for the issue in which an article appears, helping you find similar articles from the same publication. See example in the image below.

LibKey example in PubMed

LibKey Link

LibKey Link works with library databases to connect you directly to the full text PDF of an article. It works with all browsers.

To use, first connect through the JMU Libraries. When viewing citations, click on the white 'Get JMU Access' button.

Example article demonstraing Get JMU Access icon

You will then go to the article itself.

Screenshot of full text

If we do not have the article, you will be taken to a page where you can place an interlibrary loan request.

Example results page illustrating Interlibrary Loan request option allows you to find the full text of an article available by JMU Libraries by entering a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or PMID (PubMed Identifier). It works with all browsers. home page.

How to Search for an Article with

The first time you use you will need to choose your organization.

Visit, enter the DOI or PMID of the article you want, and click the "FIND ARTICLE" button.

On the next screen, enter the name James Madison University to establish your connection with our collections.

After you select an organization, you will get a button to Confirm your selection. See example below: institution lookup


How to Access an Article with

After you choose an organization, you have 4 options:

  • PDF
  • HTML
  • Library Access Options (aka Interlibrary Loan Request)
  • View an Article in Context

Directly below the PDF and article links, you can check a box so that LibKey will remember your format selection for 24 hours. This means that you will be taken directly to the article, in the format you choose, instead of the landing page, for the next 24 hours.

A Library Access Options message appears if there is not a PDF or HTML version available. Click the message to be taken to a page where you can check Library Search for the journal or place an Interlibrary Loan request.

View an Article in Context takes you to the table of contents for the issue of the journal in which the article was published. You may find similar articles from the same publication. article format seletion

Having trouble? Click on the link at the bottom of the LibKey landing page to view all content access options for an article.

Stable Linking may also be used as a prefix to any DOI or PMID to create stable links. will identify where the user is coming from, what their entitlements are, how they authenticate and so on (see the linking syntax documentation for more information).

To create stable links with

Add "" in front of any DOI or PMID in your browser's search bar and will look for the article.