The Open Access Button to crowdfund Button 2.0

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22 2014

Contact: openaccessbutton@medsin.org

LONDON, UK – The Open Access Button is launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise £20,000 to support the development of Button 2.0. The Open Access Button is a browser bookmarklet that helps users report when they hit journal paywalls and cannot access research articles. Button 2.0 will be an expanded version of this tool with new features and further ways to gain access to research.

Every day, people try to access academic research articles – doctors seeking the newest treatments, researchers advancing our understanding of the world, students trying to further their education. But instead of the essential information they seek, too often these people are confronted by paywalls demanding a fee in exchange for access, sometimes as high as $40 per article. These paywalls exist because a large portion of the academic literature is published in expensive, subscription-based journals whose prices have outpaced inflation for several decades.

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. “My university is able to afford subscriptions to many journals, and yet I still can’t access everything I need,” said Carroll, who studies Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast. “It made me wonder how many others have had the same experience, and how it is impacting people across the globe.”

The beta version of the Open Access Button was launched in November 2013 and has since mapped over 6500 paywalls across the globe. McArthur, who studies pharmacology at University College London, said, “Until now, being denied access was invisible, because it happened to people individually. The Button collects these separate experiences and showcases the global magnitude of the problem.”

The project now boasts an international team of 20 students and a professional steering committee. Ultimately, the Button supports a full move to Open Access publishing, which is the free, immediately online availability of research articles along with the rights to fully re-use these articles. The data generated by the project will be a critical tool for advocates, politicians and government officials as the Open Access movement works to drive policy change.

The money raised through the crowdfunding campaign will be used to fund the development of Button 2.0, and allow the project’s team to achieve their target of launching Button 2.0 during Open Access Week in October 2014. The crowdfunding campaign will run until May 30.

More information about the Open Access Button can be found at www.openaccessbutton.org.

Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign: support.openaccessbutton.org

Follow @OA_Button on Twitter for project and crowdfunding campaign updates.

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About the Open Access Button

The Open Access Button is a freely available browser bookmarklet that allows anyone to record when and where they hit article paywalls and are denied access to research. The tool generates valuable data on the international impact of closed access publishing. The Button provides a platform for advocates by placing lack of access to research into an accumulated and geographic context.

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