Right-click Google Scholar Search

🍎 Before you begin this tutorial, make sure you've completed the Developer Quick Start Guide.

In this tutorial, we'll automate a simple process: searching for the text you highlight in Google Scholar.

We'll use this PBS page to develop our workflow, but afterward, you’ll be able to use this on any website.

βœ…Want to start using this mod rather than building it from scratch? You can activate this mod with a few clicks from our marketplace.

1. Configure a Right-click Button

Open the Page Editor

Start by navigating your browser to this PBS article: A Duke Named Ellington. Then, open the PixieBrix Page Editor.

Grant Access

The first time you open the Page Editor on a new webpage, you need to grant PixieBrix access to the page. You can grant permanent access by either:

  • Clicking Grant Permanent Access, or

  • Granting temporary access by clicking on the PixieBrix extension in the Chrome Extensions dropdown and then refreshing the page

🚨If you had the Page Editor open before navigating to the PBS page, you'd need to close it by clicking the X in the top right corner and re-open it to provide access.

Configure a Context Menu Item

  • Click Add in the top left of the Page Editor and choose Context Menu, and select Context Menu

  • In the Title field, replace "Context Menu Item" with "%s - Google Scholar"

πŸ’‘ The "%s" portion will configure the caption to dynamically change based on the text you highlight. Note this convention is different than the mustache braces {{ used in other places in PixieBrix. It's because Chrome is filling in the selected text, not PixieBrix.

To test your context menu configuration:

  1. Highlight Duke Ellington on the webpage

  2. Right click to expand the context menu. It should look like this

Configure Where the Context Menu Appears

  • In the Sites field, click All URLs. This tells PixieBrix to show the context menu item on any webpage you visit

  • Scroll down to the Advanced Configuration. In the Advanced Permission section, click All URLs. This gives PixieBrix access to a page without you first clicking the context menu

2. Search Google Scholar

Define Your Search Parameters

Next, we'll figure out how to construct a search URL for Google Scholar.

In a separate tab, go to the Google Scholar homepage and search for "Louis Armstrong"

After you click "Enter," you will be taken to the search results page, which has this URL:

Copy the following:


Toward the end of the URL, you will see q=Louis+Armstrong. Google Scholar uses "q" as the search parameter.

Configure the Search

We'll first need to add the β€œOpen a tab” brick. Click the + icon to add a brick.

Search "open a tab" and choose it

In the URL, put https://scholar.google.com/scholar?

In the params field, click the arrow next to the β€œx” at the end of the row, then select β€œObject properties”

Click Add a Property. Delete property and replace it with q, the search parameter we identified in the URL.

In the Value text box type @input.selectionText

Context Menus always include a "Context menu reader" that provides the documentUrl and information about the selected element. In our case, selectionText will provide the selected text

3. Test Your Search

To test your Search, highlight "Duke Ellington" in the PBS article, and click. A new tab should open to the following URL: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Duke+Ellington. Click Save in the Page Editor, and try different searches on different web pages.

Clicking the Save icon will bring up a modal for Packaging a Mod. Set an alias if you haven't already and give the mod a unique ID and description, then click Create.

πŸ™‹Need some help with building? Head over to the Slack Community, and we’ll gladly help you!

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