Scripting qutebrowser to grab papers with scidownl


I have been using scidownl to download scientific papers using that I find on the web. It’s quicker than using the journals’ own pdf download interface, which often requires multiple button clicks and validating through my university.

With scidownl I can copy a DOI that I find on the web and download the paper:

scidownl -D "10.2307/3236848"

To further streamline the process, I wrote a little keybinding for qutebrowser , my web browser, which allows me to highlight a DOI on the webpage, hit the keybinding (,d), and download the paper to my ~/Downloads directory in the background for reading later:

config.bind(',d', 'enter-mode caret ;; yank selection ;; spawn ~/bin/scidownl_qb {clipboard}')

scidownl_qb is just a shell script which downloads the file to the right location:

#!/usr/bin/env sh

/usr/local/bin/./scidownl -D "$1" -o /Users/johngodlee/Downloads

Note that I had to include the full path to the scidownl executable in the shell script. This is because qutebrowser uses a different <code>$PATH</code> to the rest of the OS .