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*English Language & Literature

A guide to conducting research in English language and literature at the University of Virginia Library

Help with Access to Library Resources

This page provides guidance on how to use tools like the Reload @ UVA button and LibKey Nomad for help in accessing articles paid for by the UVA Libraries if you are using a non-library search tool like Google off-Grounds.  

To the left you will also find information on what a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is and how you can get access to one at UVA to help when you're researching from off-Grounds. 

If you have questions or run in to trouble when trying to access a particular article, ebook, or other resource, feel free to email Sherri for help, or, for a quick response, try our Ask a Librarian chat support or other options to contact our Library staff. 

Reload @ UVA Button

UVA Libraries Reload Button

Doing research off-Grounds? Try out the reload button! Add the button to your browser's bookmark toolbar (see instructions below), and whenever you come across a journal or article you think you should be able to access, click the button to reload the page through the UVA Library proxy.


Reload @ UVA


Drag the button to the bookmarks toolbar or right click and select the "Bookmark This Link" option.

Chrome or Safari:
Drag the button to the bookmarks toolbar. If the bookmarks toolbar isn't visible, press Ctrl + Shift + B (in Chrome).

Internet Explorer:
Right click the button and choose the "Add to favorites..." option. You may get a warning about adding unsafe links. While it's good practice to be wary, we believe this link is safe.

*Note: Reloading the page through the proxy still won't give you access if it's a resource we don't subscribe to. To verify access, look up the journal or database in the appropriate list.  Credit to Robin Dasler at UMD for developing this simple, yet key, research tool!

LibKey Nomad for Article Access

LibKey Nomad is a browser extension that instantly identifies links to articles for full text access (either through your library's holdings or through Open Access sources), and if it can't find a version of the article that is available to you through your library, it will fill out an ILL request for you through your library. It means you can browse the publisher websites directly rather than searching the library website for an article.

Using LibKey Nomad is a bit like taking a librarian with you as you surf the web: it will identify access to articles you browse, and take you to the full text if we have access. If we don't have access, it will fill out an ILL request for you, which you just have to click to submit.

It works in all of the major browsers including: Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Brave, and Vivaldi. (Unfortunately, it does not work with Safari).

You do not need to be on Grounds, or connected via the VPN to use it, and you don't have to create an account; you'll be prompted to authenticate via Netbadge when needed.

To use LibKey Nomad: 

  1. Download and install the LibKey Nomad browser extension from either the Chrome or Firefox store.
    • You will see a pop up stating that Libkey Nomad can "read and change all your data on the websites you visit." This is allows LibkKey Nomad to detect article details on pages you visit, so it can locate them for you in our library holdings, and it also allows it to add download buttons to the webpage. No data about you or your searches is saved!
  2. Select University of Virginia as your organization when prompted to do so, and then close the pop-up window.
  3. You'll see the LibKey Nomad icon on your toolbar:Green tear drop shape
  4. LibkKey Nomad is now working. Just browse the literature as you would normally, visiting articles through Google Scholar, Web of Science, PubMed or other library databases, or by visiting the journal website directly. Open access repositories and Unpaywall are also checked, if the article isn't in a UVA-subscribed journal.
  5. When you view an article page you will see one of the following:
    • "Download PDF" will appear if the UVA Library has the article available. Click on the image to access the PDF:
       LibKey Nomad Download PDF University of Virginia
    • "Access Options..." will show if LibKey Nomad can't fine a way to access the article for free from UVA subscribed databases. Clicking on this will take you to a pre-filled ILL request form, and you will need to log in to the ILL system via Netbadge: 
        LibKey Nomad Access Options University of Virginia

Using LibKey Nomad to access an article from off-Grounds without the VPN

  1. Locate an article you wish to read. 
  2. Click the LibKey Nomad button on the page.
    Article page with Download PDF button in bottom right of screen
  3. There may be a brief delay, and you may see messaging that says, "To access this document, wait a moment or click here to continue"
    Locating article... access provided by University of Virginia Library
  4. The article will load for you to read.