Top 30 Browser Extensions

I am an unapologetic browser extension enthusiast, especially when it comes to finding articles behind paywalls and saving money (okay, so those go hand in hand). Below you’ll find a list of our favorite browser extensions that save time, money, and sometimes even our sanity.

But in all seriousness, I started compiling my own list of favorites when I discovered that more and more full-text articles were housed behind paywalls and I¬†looked for tools to legally get behind those paywalls. What happens when an article isn’t available in my library’s print collection or through a database? Before requesting the article via ILL, I check for article access using three of the browser extensions mentioned below: Google Scholar, the Open Access Button, and Unpaywall.

In addition to article access, I use browser extensions to find coupon codes when online shopping, to send links from Gmail directly from my browser, to save links to PowerNotes, to create shortened URLs, and many other things! Read on for a list of our favorite 30 browser extensions, compiled by myself, Emily Barney, Debbie Ginsberg, and Tawyna Plumb.

  1. Active Inbox: Turn your inbox into a task manager (Free trial, $4.16/mo)
  2. AdBlock: Blocks ads, including YouTube video ads, without giving any personal info (Free)
  3. Amazon Assistant: Get delivery updates, deal notifications, and access shortcuts to Lists (Free)
  4. Bitly: Create shortened URLs directly from your browser (Free)
  5. Boomerang: If you use Gmail, Boomerang is a nice add-on that allows you to schedule messages to be sent at a later date (Free)
  6. BS Detector: Alerts users to unreliable news sources (Free)
  7. Buffer: Manage all of your personal or business social media from one place (Free starter plan; premium plans available)
  8. Diigo: Save and annotate web links and cached pages (Free, premium plans available)
  9. Ebates: Automatically apply coupon codes and get cash back when online shopping (Free)
  10. Evernote Clip: Save links, articles, and PDFs to your Evernote account (Free, premium plans available)
  11. Eye Dropper: Easily detect any color on web pages (Free)
  12. Google Scholar: Lookup scholarly articles as you browse the web, and easily identify PDFs, when available (Free)
  13. Grammarly: Built-in grammar checker (Free, premium plan available)
  14. Honey: Honey searches and applies coupon codes (including free shipping) to your online shopping cart (Free)
  15. HTTPS Everywhere: Encrypt your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure (Free)
  16. LastPass: Password manager and password generator (Free, premium plan available)
  17. Library Extension: Looking for a book or ebook? Begin on Amazon or Goodreads, and this extension tells you if your local library has a copy (Free)
  18. Memento Time Travel: View past versions of web pages (Free)
  19. Momentum: Replace your new tab with a personal dashboard customized to your preferences (Free)
  20. One Click Extensions Manager: Easily manage your Chrome extensions (Free)
  21. OneTab: If you suffer from too-many-tabs-open-itis, this extension was made for you; convert your tabs into a list and when you need the tabs again, restore them individually or all at once (Free)
  22. Open Access Button: Access full-text articles when available, or request access directly from the author (Free)
  23. Perma.cc: Save permanent records of web sources you cite (Free; Perma.cc account required)
  24. PowerNotes: Gather, organize, and keep track of research; works with Lexis and Westlaw (Free, premium plan available)
  25. Rescue Time: Track how you spend your time on the internet to help increase your productivity and answer the age-old question, “Where did the day go?” (Free, premium plan available)
  26. Send from Gmail: Makes Gmail the default email application from your browser; a compose window in Gmail appears when you click any email address on a webpage (Free)
  27. SurfSafe: Catch misleading, photoshopped, and fake news (Free)
  28. Unpaywall: Search for an article and if it’s available via open access, an unlocked icon will appear on the right-hand side of the screen (Free)
  29. Web Developer: Adds various web developer tools to your browser (Free)
  30. Zotero: Save online sources to this free and open-source reference management tool (Free)

We’d love to hear your favorite browser extensions – chime in on Twitter @CSSIS and let us know which extensions make your life easier!

Assistant Director, Research and Instruction, at Boley Law Library, Lewis and Clark Law School, in Portland, Oregon.