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Best Chrome Extensions for Accessing and Downloading Research Papers

1. What is Chrome Extension?

Google Chrome extensions are small software programs that can be installed into Chrome browsers to customize the browsing experience of the user. Usually, extensions are used to change the browser's functionality as need by the user. Extensions help to add more new features to your browser or to modify the existing behavior of the browser and to make it more suitable for the user.

Some examples of the functionality of extensions are:

  • To add notes or to-do list on Chrome
  • To blocking ads
  • Google mail checker
  • To take a screenshot of the page
  • To download documents from the site etc.

2. Best Chrome Extensions for accessing and downloading research paper

There are lots of extensions available for accessing and downloading research papers or scholarly articles, among them, the following are the popular and best chrome extensions; Unpaywall and Paper Panda. These extensions are especially used to download the pdf of research papers from a site.

1. Unpaywall

From Unpaywall we can legally get the full text of scholarly articles/research papers as we browse. When we view a research article/paper on our browser, it automatically searches for a copy of that research paper in their index of about 20 million free PDFs. If they find one, it will appear as a green tab on the center-right of your browser, and click on it to read the article and/or to download it.

Unpaywall provides legal, author-posted manuscripts that are available on different educational web servers. These manuscripts are Green Open Access and are completely legal. Any papers available out of the publisher permissions are not included in Unpaywall.

Currently, Unpaywall has 400,000+ users.

2. PaperPanda

With Paper Panda get access to millions of research papers. Even we can get access to expensive research papers with the use of Paper Panda.

(disclaimer: we are not aware whether it is legal or illegal to use Paper Panda, we are just showing it for educational purposes). 

Paper Panda finds out the DOI of the paper from the current site, and then goes and searches for it different sources.

After browsing the research paper website on your browser; 

  • Click on the Paper Panda extension button, 
  • Click on the "download this paper" tab
  • get access to the research paper.

Currently, Paper Panda has 40,000+ users.

3. How to download, install and use Chrome Extensions?

The best place to download and install Chrome Extensions is Google Chrome's Web Store. 

Or, you can easily search extensions on Google. 

Search for your required extensions and simply install them by clicking on the "Add to Chrome" button. 

Most of the extensions are present on the right side of the address field in the browser with their (extensions) icons. Some extensions work in the background and perform particular tasks automatically while some perform only after opening it. Only pinned extensions are present on the right side of the address field while unpinned extensions list will appear only after clicking the Extensions button. You can manage (pin or unpin) extensions from the extensions menu. (extensions menu open after clicking the extensions button which is present on the right of the last extension)
 

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