Millions of people use research everyday. From students, medical professionals, to curious hobbyists, we all benefit from being able to access, read, and cite reliable, tested information. But getting the research we need can be hard and costly when it’s locked up behind expensive paywalls. Two university students, David Carroll and Joseph McArthur, were finally fed up with being denied access to online journals and articles that were necessary to continue their studies—so they decided to take matters into their own hands. The result was Open Access Button, a browser-based tool that records users’ collisions with paywalls and aids them in finding freely accessible copies of those research articles. The previous version had over 5,000 users and mapped nearly 10,000 encounters with paywalled research.
The new apps are available both for mobile phones and web browsers, and can be downloaded at openaccessbutton.org.