Open Access Button – breaking down paywalls
Launched on Monday, the Open Access Button is a great new tool for finding open access copies of research articles and at the same time raise awareness and gather evidence of the impact of paywalls on scholarship worldwide.
How it works:
- First, install the Open Access Button bookmarklet onto your browser toolbar (get it here)
- Now, whenever you hit a paywall (i.e. a publisher demands money to download an article) you simply click the Open Access Button.
- You will be presented with three pages:
- Page 1 extracts details of the item you are searching for from the publisher’s web page; you will be asked for your location and (optionally) your reason for wanting the article.
- Page 2 gives you the chance to ‘share your frustration’ with the paywall via various social media.
- Page 3 gives you options to find an open access copy of the article through Google Scholar or CORE.
Of course there’s no guarantee that an open access copy of your article will be available, but the time it takes to go through this process is minimal (it sounds longer when described above than it is in practice) and the data that are collected by the button will be used to promote awareness of the impact of paywalls and ‘help change the system’. The tool is still in its infancy and the student developers are driven by a refreshing streak of idealism but in my opinion the button is worth a try.
- How to use the Open Access Button
- Open Access Button FAQs
- Guardian article: Push button for open access