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The prevalence of web browser extensions use in library services: an exploratory study

Tanmay De Sarkar (University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 June 2015



The paper aims to present an outline how libraries are harnessing browser extensions to provide an easy and convenient access to library resources and services. Investigating the features, purposes of use and types of browser extensions prevalent among libraries in different regions, the paper seeks to measure the degree of implementation of browser extensions.


Stratified sampling method was followed to select academic libraries, and convenient sampling method was applied to select public libraries from four continents – Asia, Oceania, Europe and North America. Two-step web content analysis was applied to gather data along the select dimensions.


The study contributes to the recent advances in application of browser extension with numerous examples focussing on the relevance of different approaches adopted by the libraries. Providing a framework of proportionate implementation along checkpoints, the study also highlights degree of acceptance of browser extension among libraries in different regions.

Research limitations/implications

The investigation was restricted to libraries having English websites and confined to four continents only. This study aims at improving understanding among the librarians about the intended use and application of browser extension and helping them benchmark their effort in support of education, research and training. The current investigation expands the scope of future research on remaining regions and website whose contents are in non-English language to attain a broader perspective of its implementation.


The article may guide library professionals to use, develop and promote the implementation of browser extension in libraries. The checkpoints used here may serve as bedrock for framing questionnaire and interview schedule for conducting future research examining users’ perception of browser extension in the context of library resources and usage pattern, to fully comprehend its practicability and usefulness.



De Sarkar, T. (2015), "The prevalence of web browser extensions use in library services: an exploratory study", The Electronic Library, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 334-354.



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