Find texts and resolve references – instantly

How many times have you found references to texts and passages on the web and thought you’d love to check those references, right now? But if you don’t have the texts to hand, the moment is lost, and following the references becomes just another job to do later. And we know what that means.

If the text you want to look-up is in Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO), then you can use our bookmarklet to take you straight to it – and even particular passages in it – from your browser’s toolbar: just select the reference, and then click on the bookmarklet.

Watch our short film to see this in action.

Once you’ve added our bookmarklet to your browser, you’ll be able to:

Click on a work title anywhere on any web page and go straight to that work in OSEO – titles like:

  • Mansfield Park
  • 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner'
  • Horace, Odes, 3.1
  • Andrew Marvell, 'An Horatian Ode'

Click on a more precise reference anywhere on a web page and go straight to that passage in OSEO – references like:

  • Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III Scene 1 line 57
  • Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, 1.2.18
  • John Milton, 'Lycidas', 193
  • Hor. Carm. 1.11.8

Use its simple search field to find texts of works quickly searches like

  • Hamlet
  • 'Westminster Bridge'
  • Diary of John Evelyn

Our bookmarklet makes following these references just a click away, and takes no time at all.

How does it work?

  1. Select a reference on a web page.
  2. Click the OSEO search bookmarklet.
  3. OSEO tries to take you to that text or line in OSEO.

How to install

The bookmarklet is like a bookmark, but contains some javascript to run the search. (So you will need javascript enabled for it to work.)

Chrome, Firefox, and Safari users: install the bookmarklet by dragging the following link onto your toolbar: OSEO search

Internet Explorer users: add this bookmark to “My bookmarks”, and then pin as a favourite: OSEO search

We’ve tested this bookmarklet in up-to-date versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. We’d love to hear feedback on the bookmarklet, (email us at, but we’re sorry, we can’t provide support for installation or trouble-shooting. 

Frequently Asked Questions

And this is on any web page? Not just in OSEO?

That’s right. If the web page presents a reference in the usual shapes for references – Author, Title or Author, Title, line (or Author, ‘Title’, or Author, ‘Title’, line) – it should work. Or even if you just click on the title of a work.

Will it work on any mention of a text?

Sadly, it’s not magic – the bookmarklet won’t be able to find everything, even if the text is in OSEO. If the reference isn’t presented in a normal way, it won’t work. It might not be able to tell an author’s name from a work title; might get confused by punctuation parentheses or quotation marks – or there might be hidden code on a web page that might confuse it. At the moment, it will only take you to a precise line if your reference includes both author and title: so, Milton, 'Lycidas', 193, will work, but 'Lycidas', 193 alone, won't. (We hope to improve this.) And it must be from an HTML web page: it doesn’t work with pdfs.

What if I don’t have a well-formed reference?

If the bookmarklet can’t automagically parse the reference, it will leave you on OSEO with query fields that you can edit. Or, click on the bookmarklet without highlighting anything – you’ll have a nice single text field to type into. This is a great way to get quickly to the text of a play, poem, or novel – click on the bookmarklet, type in a title, and click ok.