‘Open Access Button’ Designed to Raise Awareness, Improve Access

 This morning, a team of developers and researchers announced the release of a new research tool in the form of a browser bookmarklet: the “Open Access Button.” The bookmarklet will work with a variety of browsers, and it’s intended to allow the user who installs it “to track the impact of paywalls and help you get access to the research you need,” in the words of the creators:

People are denied access to research hidden behind paywalls every day. This problem is invisible, but it slows innovation, kills curiosity and harms patients. This is an indictment of the current system. Open Access has given us the solution to this problem by allowing everyone to read and re-use research. … By using the button you’ll help show the impact of this problem, drive awareness of the issue, and help change the system. Furthermore, the Open Access Button has several ways of helping you get access to the research you need right now.

To learn how to install and use this plugin, read these directions.

You can follow the project on Twitter (@OA_Button), Facebook, and their blog. If you’re a developer who would like to have a look at (or contribute to) what’s behind the bookmarklet, the code is available on GitHub.

Have you given the Open Access button a test drive? If so, what are your thoughts? Please share in the comments!

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