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Introduction to the Lean Library plugin for journal discovery

What it does

Ever felt annoyed when you've been stuck behind a paywall for a newspaper article, or frustrated that you're asked to sign in to access a journal article when you're sure the Library has access?

Lean Library Access is an add-on for your browser that makes it easier to get instant access to journal articles, ebooks, and newspapers. The extension aims to save you time by showing you which databases the Library has a license for, and allows you to access those databases when you are not on campus.

If you land on a webpage where you can't access a resource, Lean Library can give you a link directing you to the full-text version available through the Library subscription, or alternatively an open-access version. It can save you a lot of time looking for a login button or having to go back to Library Search to look up a title. 

It's particularly useful for resources like newspapers, where we have access to articles, but not through the main newspaper websites.

Google Scholar

Lean Library will configure Google Scholar to show you links where there is access available to a journal. It will also allow you to subscribe via email to table of contents for any journals that you are particularly interested in.

Screenshot showing a list of articles in Google Scholar with buttons



How to install

You can download the browser extension from here:


It works with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer, and Opera.

Once you have installed the extension, choose 'University of St Andrews' from the download menu. 

LEAN Video


This is a new service and is still being developed. If you come across any problems or things not working as expected please email us to let us know. 


Lean Library does not collect any personal information unless you actively share it with us. It doesn't collect your IP address or your device’s unique device IDs. By using the extension you will remain completely anonymous.