Today, at an international meeting of student advocates for expanded access to academic research, two undergraduates from Great Britain announced the launch of the Open Access Button – a browser-based tool to map the epidemic of denied access to academic research articles, and help users find the research they need.
University students David Carroll and Joseph McArthur created The Open Access Button in response to their own frustrations with gaining access to the results of academic research.
“I realized there was a problem when, time after time, I ran into barriers accessing articles relevant to my research,” said Carroll, who studies medicine at Queens University Belfast.
“My university is able to afford subscriptions to many journals, and yet I still can’t access everything I need. It made me wonder how many others have had the same experience, and how it is impacting people across the globe.”
Carroll and McArthur announced the Open Access Button’s launch in front of a crowd of more than 80 at the Berlin 11 Student and Early Stage Researcher Satellite Conference, an international meeting for students interested in Open Access advocacy.
The meeting was a precursor to the Berlin Open Access Conference, a convening of thought leaders across the globe on the issue of Open Access.
“Open Access is a powerful solution to the barriers that researchers in developing and transition countries face trying to access and share critical research that can improve people’s lives,” said Iryna Kuchma, EIFL Open Access Programme Manager, who spoke at the conference.
“It should not only be academia who has access to the latest research results, but anyone who is interested – doctors and patients, farmers and entrepreneurs, educators and high school students,” she concluded.
More information about The Open Access Button, including instructions for installing it, can be found at www.OpenAccessButton.org .
Follow the conversation on Twitter at @OA_Button and hashtag #oabuttonlaunch.
EIFL's Open Access Programme educates researchers and students about changing scholarly communication landscapes and advocates for the adoption of Open Access policies and mandates by research funding agencies, universities and research organisations.
In addition to advocacy, EIFL works with institutions to launch Open Access repositories, to publish Open Access journals and to share open research data and open educational resources.