Monday, 27 January 2014

Hitting the Button for Open Access

Open Access Button
(Image: Open Access Button)
Coming across paywalls for content can curtail and frustrate research. To log this frustration and attempt to highlight the need for Open Access two medical students, David Carroll and Joseph McArthur, have created an Open Access button.

Once installed, this plugin allows users to simply click to record that they hit a paywall and could not access the desired material. Your approximate location is then logged on a map, helping build the global case for Open Access. Once you have filled in a brief description the plugin offers alternative routes to the desired material, including an automatic Google Scholar search and similar articles that are available through Open Access sources. In the future the developers plan to add the ability to directly email the author of the work for a copy.

The button had a formal beta launch in Berlin in November 2013 and at the time of writing had reported 4269 paywall hits.

You can find out more and download the button for your browser at the Open Access website, or follow them on Twitter.

Neil Waghorn
Steve Smith

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