The Lazy Scholar Chrome Extension: leap from abstract pages to full text pdf in a jiffy

When rapidly google-searching a specific topic, I end up with an array of browser pages open to various sources. When I review the windows, I often find high page-ranked databases providing abstracts. These, however, have no links to the full PDF which I must read. I then have to copy the article title in order to conduct a Google Scholar search for the PDF in a new window.

Well, thankfully nutrition scholar Colby Vorland was tired of this too and wrote the Lazy Scholar Chrome Extension – when clicked, it checks Google Scholar for the full text!

Earliest evidence for commensal processes of cat domestication

Like any new tool, it will require a bit of practise to integrate into my work flow. But there are even more reasons to adapt. After finding a pdf, I have to insert the NUS Digital Library proxy into the URL for access to subscription-only sites, and provide a relevant name to replace the often incomprehensible pdf name in the download window. If I find myself using the journal content in lectures, I return to Google Scholar to copy the APA citation for insertion into my presentation slides.

Lazy Scholar provides a citation copied to your clipboard, automatically renames pdfs to a standard version (e.g. year-author abbreviated journal name) for download and even inserts proxy links. Researchers are singing praises but would prefer the name Efficient Scholar!

I’m inserting this tool into my digital literacy briefing for my research students. Get yours at

Thanks once again to NUS Science Librarian Aaron Tay who retweeted this today.


2 thoughts on “The Lazy Scholar Chrome Extension: leap from abstract pages to full text pdf in a jiffy

  1. I’ve been trying this extension out, seems a little buggy sometimes.

    The other development you might not be aware is that you can now proxy Google Scholar results page urls.


    This gives you the findit@nuslibraries links (same as using Library links settings), but also gives you

    1) the main article title link in GS is also automatically proxied for known domains (may not necessarily mean access is available as not everything on a given domain is subscribed to)

    2) You also get web of sciences times cited data and a link to the web of science record.


    The original method still works

  2. Hi

    Aaron from NUS Libraries here.

    I did a review of this extension on my blog. It is indeed very very useful.

    But the main thing to note is that it by default gives you free versions found in Google Scholar – think it scrapes the [PDF] from on the right side of Google Scholar.

    This is often the preprint or postprint versions from various sites including our own institutional repository Scholarbank but not exactly the final published versions. (Though you can also find open access articles sometimes or some final copy uploaded elsewhere),

    Often that is still good enough of course. What happens if you want the final published version or there isn’t a free copy?

    Luckily Lazy Scholar can also make use of the library links trick if you set it up as stated here

    That said, I’ve confirmed with the author there is a bug for those of us outside the US though as we are usually redirected to, hence Lazy Scholar is unable to detect it.

    Until the bug is fixed, you have to change the Google Scholar setting in library links on this URL

    (notice it lacks .sg in the domain).

    Once done, when GS cannot detect any free full text you may see

    “I noticed you are signed on into institution login. Click here to go there” which will send you to subscribed versions.

    Clicking on it will direct you usually to the official publisher copy we have access to via subscriptions.

    Lastly you can always add the proxy, but do note that you may be on a page with just the abstract, or if it has the full-text we may have access elsewhere rather than on the site you are on and hence the proxy will fail.

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