This is an interesting tool every PhD student and researcher should know about, especially when they are frustrated by pay walls for scientific articles. And the anoyances rise when there probably already is an open access version around. The solution: Open Access button. It is a simple bookmarklet you use when browsing the web and stumble upon a pay wall, if you click it it searches the web for an open access alternative.

Screenshot of the Open Access button in action as a bookmarklet in a browser
Screenshot of the Open Access button in action as a bookmarklet in a browser

When there is no OA version available, you can make some noise about your frustration on social media, get in touch with the author and put the article in a wishlist. This wishlist gives you an alert when the article is found als OA alternative weeks or months later.

It is such a great idea that even our own State Secretary of the Dutch Ministry of Education Culture and Science Sander Dekker is enthusiastic about it.

I am even more impressed by the Open Access Button, a genuinely grass-roots initiative developed by two students.

Check it out at

Published by maurice_

Maurice is a passionate merger of ideas by bringing connections to new scientific concepts and existing technologies. Currently he works as project coordinator for the Higher Educational sector at SURF on innovations in the Scholarly Communication and Open Science. Besides this he loves to play the trumpet and be around in theaters.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.