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Lean Library: access the digital collections anywhere

Do you want to use the University Library's digital collection from home, abroad or at another location? You can! As an employee or student of VU or VUmc, you can use the e-journals, e-books, online articles and databases licensed by the University Library from anywhere, including off campus. You get direct access from any location using the browser extension Lean Library.

Lean Library helps you access online information such as articles, e-books and databases. The tool contains several important features that will make your literature search a lot easier. While searching, for example, you can immediately see whether an article is available within the VU. Is it not available? Then the tool will search for an Open Access version or alternative paid access options. This prevents endless searching and gives you quick access to the desired material, even when you are off campus.

How does Lean Library work?
Install the Lean Library Access browser extension on your laptop and select 'Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)'.  Then go through the installation process and add the extension to your toolbar in your browser for easy access. If you are logged in with your VUnetID, you can use the tool while searching. As soon as you visit a website licensed by the library, you will get a notification stating you can log in with your VUnetID or VUmc account. The extension is available for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera and Safari.

The benefits of Lean Library

Search multiple databases simultaneously with the highlight and search feature
You read an interesting article and you stumble across a promising concept. Lean Library's 'Highlight and Search' application lets you use multiple search engines at the touch of a button: LibSearch, Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science. You select the piece of text in question, use the right-click on your mouse and choose 'Library access.'

Immediate access to Google Scholar and PubMed results
Do you use Google Scholar or PubMed? If so, Lean Library automatically shows hyperlinks to VU LibSearch with the papers it found. This way, you can immediately see which articles are available in the VU literature databases.

Always up to date with new articles thanks to ToC Alert
One of the features of Library Access is the 'ToC (Table of Contents) Alert'. If you have signed up for it, you will automatically receive an e-mail as soon as a new article is added to your favourite journals. The application supports nearly 36,000 journals from more than 3,700 publishers. So you will always stay up to date with the latest developments in your field.

An alternative to Lean Library

  • Use the bookmarking tool

    Are you unable to use the Lean Library tool? The "off-campus access bookmark" provides you with an alternative method to get access to online content. Perform the following action to start using the bookmark:

    Manually create a new bookmark and add this URL: javascript:void(location.href=''+location.href). The off-campus access link doesn't automatically notify you when a visited page grants access to subscribed University Library content. However, if you suspect that access to specific content is available, a single click on the "off-campus bookmark" will prompt you to log in using your credentials.

    To access a full-text paper, follow these steps:

    1. Open the required page in your internet browser.
    2. Click on the "off-campus access bookmark".
    3. A login screen will appear. Log in using your username and password.
    4. The article page will change, and the option to download the PDF will now be visible.
    5. Please be aware that access to resources is only possible when the library has a subscription.

Would you like more information?

Stop by our service desks or contact us!

+31 6 2569 4822

University Library
VU Main Building, 1st floor
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam