FAQ

Getting in touch
I’m from the press, who do I speak to?
How can I help the project?

Open Access
What is Open Access?
Where can I learn more about Open Access?

All about the Button
What is the Open Access Button?
What does the Open Access Button do?
Who can use the Open Access Button?
Who started the Open Access Button?
Why did you start the Open Access Button?
Are you finished yet?

Using the Button
What browsers does the Open Access Button work on?
At what point do you say someone has been denied access?
Can you automatically detect paywalls?
How do you tell if the user is on a paywall?
How do you help a person gain access to the paper they have been denied access to?
I can’t seem to get the Open Access Button to work. Help!

Behind the Button
How are you funded?
What do your licenses mean?
Why not make a Mozilla/Chrome plugin?
Have you ever thought of #icanhazPDF?
Is what you’re doing legal?
Can the Open Access Button be used in other languages?

Question still not answered here?

Further reading about Open Access

Getting in touch
I’m from the press, who do I speak to?
Fantastic! Please email oabutton+press@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

How can I help the project?
We need continued support to take this forward. Of course, the code, text, and data we’ve pulled together are openly available, so you can innovate and advocate with it. If you can, donate to the project to help us support and maintain service as well as helping us with our future development plans. Bottom line, we’d love to hear from you, so whether it’s a suggestion, virtual pat on the back, or, dare I say a bug you’ve noticed, get in touch.

Open Access
What is Open Access?
Open Access is the free, immediate online availability of research articles. Currently scholarly research articles are often only accessible through expensive journal subscriptions also called “paywalls.” Open Access aims to remove this access barrier and for knowledge to be freely accessed and shared by all.

Where can I learn more about Open Access?
There are lots of great resources out there to learn more about Open Access. In further reading you can find a wealth of links to get you started.All about the Button

What is the Open Access Button?
The Open Access Button is a browser bookmarklet thata llows people to report when they hit a paywall and cannot access a research article.

What does the Open Access Button do?
When a user reports not being able to access a research article, the Open Access Button records the user’s location, their profession, and why they were looking for this research. The Open Access Button then integrates this information onto a map to create a real time, worldwide, interactive picture of the access problem. The integration of social media will allow you to make this problem visible to the world. The Open Access Button then has ways to help you find the research you need [info].

Who can use the Open Access Button?
One of the best things about the Open Access Button is that anyone, anywhere around the world can use it. Not a researcher? Doesn’t matter. The Open Access Button is for anyone seeking research, whatever your reasons.

Who started the Open Access Button?
The Open Access Button was started by two students, David Carroll and Joseph McArthur. They are recently joined by an international team of students to assist in maintaining and developing the Open Access Button project.

The project was made possible by the invaluable support of developers, advocates and the open access community at large.

Why did you start the Open Access Button?
We started the Open Access Button, because we are frustrated by the current scholarly publishing system and are driven to change the system that we will have to work with throughout our careers as students, researchers, and academics.

Our goal with the Open Access Button is to make the impact of paywalls impossible to ignore. We want to make this invisible problem visible. The Open Access Button will illustrate how many people, such as your doctor, scientists, and students are being denied access to essential research, and help you get access to the research you need.

Are you finished yet?
No. The Open Access Button is currently a beta product. Keep an eye on the website and blog, and look forward to more project developments in the future.

Using the Button

What browsers does the Open Access Button work on?
The Open Access Button works on all browsers, with the exception of mobile and tablet browsers.

At what point do you say someone has been denied access?
Someone has been denied access if they cannot freely access scholarly research and are required to pay for the individual research article or subscribe to the journal. This is also referred to as “hitting a paywall.”

Can you automatically detect paywalls?
Not yet. It is difficult, but is on the to-do list for the full version.

How do you tell if the user is on a paywall?
We rely on the user to know they’re on a paywall (they’re not hard to spot!) before they press and submit the Open Access Button. However, we record the URL, so this can be validated, but we don’t validate as a standard.

How do you help a person gain access to the paper they have been denied access to?
Firstly, a semi-automated Google Scholar search that will seek out the research article indexed on other websites and repositories other than the journal’s website. Secondly, a semi-automated email to the corresponding author to request a copy of the research article. Thirdly, automatically searching the CORE repository, which aggregates over 18 million articles in open access repositories distributed throughout the web. This is just the beginning and we will continue to seek additional ways to connect researchers with the scholarship they need after launch.

I can’t seem to get the Open Access Button to work. Help!
Help is on the way, we want to get the Open Access Button to as many people as possible. If you’re having any problems installing or using the Button first watch our video here [link to the video explanation] for what to do, and if you’re still stranded email oabutton+bug@gmail.com.

Behind the Button

How are you funded?
Open Access Button is supported by the Right to Research Coalition with a $2000 start up grant that paid for hosting, domains and allowed David Carroll and Joseph McArthur to take time out other jobs to work on the project. The Right to Research Coalition has also paid travel expenses for David Carroll and Joseph McArthur as well as other team members on several occasions. Open Access Button also accepts donations to assist with maintenance and future development of the project but at the time of writing has received none. Medsin-UK houses the Open Access Button project as a “Medsin Programme,” but retains no rights to code, IP or text.

What do your licenses mean?
MIT is an open source software license that gives you permission, free of charge and without restriction, to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the software provided that you include the copyright notice and the same permission notice. Learn more about Open Source license here.

CC-BY is a Creative Commons Attribution license and means that you are free to share and remix our work as long as you give attribution to us. Learn more about Creative Commons licenses here.

Why not make a Mozilla/Chrome plugin?
A Mozilla/Chrome plugin would be more difficult and have less browser coverage than a bookmarklet.

Have you ever thought of #icanhazPDF?
#icanhazPDF is one method of dealing with the frustrating system of scholarly publishing. However, #icanhazDF is a temporary and illegal solution to the problem. The Open Access Button seeks to raise awareness about the impact of paywalls and to change the system from the front end by advocating for the long-term solution of open access.

Is what you’re doing legal?
Yes. All users consent to their data (location, profession, research motivation, etc.) being used when they sign up for an Open Access Button account. Additionally, we use only legal means of helping people gain access to research they’ve previously been denied access to.

Can the Open Access Button be used in other languages?
Open Access Button is a project for anyone to use; however, at the time of launch the Open Access Button and supporting materials are only available in English. The team believes in expanding access to the project and a multi-lingual Open Access Button is a part of our dreams for the future.

Question still not answered here?
Please consult the chart below or contact Open Access Button at: oabutton+questions@gmail.com
simple_answers

Further Reading
Videos:
Open Access Explained! from PhD Comics
How Open Access Empowered a 16-Year-Old to Make Cancer Breakthrough
Right to Research Coalition Intro Video

Readings:
Open Access from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
Peter Suber’s Open Access Overview
“The Open Access Movement Grows Up: Taking Stock of a Revolution,” Heather Joseph, PLOS Biology
Peter Suber’s book Open Access – Available for free as an eBook or PDF

Flyers and Graphics:
Right to Research Coalition Open Access Flyer

Find Open Access Resources:
Directory of Open Access Journals
Directory of Open Access Repositories

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: