The Open Access Button

by Thomas Arildsen

Recently, David Carroll and Joseph McArthur, medical resp. pharmacology students from London, came up with a great little idea: why not develop an easy way for people looking to read scientific papers online to report when they encounter a paper they cannot access, because they have to pay for it? That is, when they “hit a paywall”. David and Joseph set out to realise this idea by developing a browser button that users can click when that happens. The idea is to record reported incidents in a database to calculate statistics of how large this problem is. The idea has been well received and lots of people seem to have joined the effort to help develop it. You can read more about it here:

http://blogs.plos.org/thestudentblog/2013/08/20/if-someone-hits-a-paywall-in-the-forest-does-it-make-a-sound-the-open-access-button/

and follow their progress here:

http://oabutton.wordpress.com/.

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