Skip to content

When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.


Building Button 2.0: The Open Access Button

David Carroll, co-lead of the Open Access Button gives an update on the Open Access Button, with some news and plans for the future.

The Open Access Button is a bookmarklet that lets users track when they are denied access to research, then search for alternative access to the article.  Each time a user encounters a paywall, they simply click the button in their bookmark bar, fill out an optional dialogue box, and their experience is added to a map alongside other users.  Then, the user receives a link to search for free access to the article. The Open Access Button hopes to create a worldwide map showing the impact of denied access to research and to push for a more open scholarly publishing system. The second version of the Button is currently in development but we need you to make it happen – read on to find out why.

We launched the Open Access Button Beta after 7 months of hard work at the Berlin 11 Student and Early Stage Researcher Conference in November 2013, with coverage in the Guardian, Scientific American and beyond.

Open Access Button
Over 5000 paywalls have been marked since launch.

To date, the response has been overwhelming. Over 5000 paywalls have been mapped since launch (just the tip of  the iceberg) and we’ve had people from all over the world sending us messages to tell us the Open Access Button has helped them get access to the research they need. What’s currently at is just a taste of what we are now building and since November, the team has been hard at work building Button 2.0.

The next version of the Button will be more powerful, better and more useful than the Beta. In order to build and launch Open Access Button 2.0, we’re seeking input from a variety of stakeholders to shape the Button project’s future. We want to be community centered and this survey will be the first of many opportunities in which the community can input and shape the Button they want to see in the future. This survey will form a key part of our consultation work and we encourage anyone interested in the Open Access Button to complete this. You can find the survey here.

The Open Access Button Team with Nick and Nicole from SPARC

As we build the bigger, better Button 2.0, were going to need a bigger team to make it all happen. Do you love Open Access and want to be part of the creation of Button 2.0? Then it’s your lucky day, we’re recruiting. You can find out more details including the application form here. The new team members will expand the already global team, reflecting the very nature of the Internet that we’ve grown up with. The people that make up the team embody the system we’re working towards, a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.

If you’re not a student but you love Open Access, there will be opportunities coming up soon, promise! You can follow the latest updates on @OA_Button.

We are best when standing on the shoulders of giants, we’re better when those shoulders are openly available to read and re-use. The Open Access Button hopes to make the problems of paywalls impossible to ignore, get yours at Get involved in building Button 2.0 here.

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 16.57.44

David Carroll is a medical student at the Queen’s University Belfast. He is co-founder and co-lead of the Open Access Button. You can find him on Twitter @davidecarroll and the Open Access Button @OA_Button




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add your ORCID here. (e.g. 0000-0002-7299-680X)

Back to top