Announcement by Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem: “Today we’re launching a new tool to help people read research literature, instead of getting stuck behind paywalls. It’s an extension for Chrome and Firefox that links you to free full-text as you browse research articles. Hit a paywall? No problem: click the green tab and read it free!
The extension is called Unpaywall, and it’s powered by an open index of more than ten million legally-uploaded, open access resources. Reports from our pre-release are great: “Unpaywall found a full-text copy 53% of the time,” reports librarian, Lydia Thorne. Fisheries researcher Lachlan Fetterplace used Unpaywall to find “about 60% of the articles I tested. This one is a great tool and I suspect it will only get better.” And indeed it has! We’re now getting full-text on 85% of 2016’s most-covered research papers.
Unpaywall doesn’t just help researchers, but also people outside academia who don’t enjoy the expensive subscription benefits of institutional libraries. “As someone who runs a non-profit organisation in a developing country this extension is GOLD!” says Nikita Shiel-Rolle. It helps journalists, high school students, practitioners, and, crucially, policymakers, who don’t usually have subscription access to the fact-based research literature. There has never been a time when unlocking facts has been so important. So we’re thrilled that more than 10,000 people from 143 countries have installed the extension already.
The best part is it’s powered by fully legal, free, open access uploads by the authors themselves. More and more funders and universities are requiring authors to upload copies of their papers to institutional and subject repositories. This has created a deep resource of legal open access papers, ripe for building upon….
This month is a great time to appreciate this; there’s amazing OA news everywhere you look:
- PubMed announced institutional repository LinkOut, which links every PubMed article to a free Green copy in institutional repositories, where available. This is huge, since PubMed is one of the world’s most important portals to the research literature
- The Helmsley Charitable Trust awarded ASAPbio $1 million to build a next-generation preprint infrastructure for life sciences, followed later by an NIH announcement that it’ll accept citations to preprints
- The Open Access Button announced a new project to use green OA to meet interlibrary loan requests …(More)”.