Open Access Button

About the Open Access Button: “The key functions of the Open Access Button are finding free research, making more research available and also advocacy. Here’s how each works.

Finding free papers

Research published in journals that require you to pay to read can sometimes be accessed free in other places. These other copies are often very similar to the published version, but may lack nice formatting or be a version prior to peer review. These copies can be found in research repositories, on authors websites and many other places because they’re archived. To find these versions we identify the paper a user needs and effectively search on Google Scholar and CORE to find these copies and link them to the users.

Making more research, or information about papers available

If a free copy isn’t available we aim to make one. This is not a simple task and so we have to use a few different innovative strategies. First, we email the author of the research and ask them to make a copy of the research available – once they do this we’ll send it to everyone who needs it. Second, we create pages for each paper needed which, if shared, viewed, and linked to an author could see and provide their paper on. Third, we’re building ways to find associated information about a paper such as the facts contained, comments from people who’ve read it, related information and lay summaries.


Unfortunately the Open Access Button can only do so much, and isn’t a perfect or long term solution to this problem. The data and stories collected by the Button are used to help make the changes required to really solve this issue. We also support campaigns and grassroots advocates with this at”