How to support fellow scholars at the University of California

… and many others without journal subscriptions. We’ve made it free and easy to make your paper accessible and concretely support positive change in publishing!

The University of California (and many other universities) have canceled their large subscription package to Elsevier as part of an effort to make academic publishing better serve science and society. It’s a noble goal that means scholars at UC might not be able to access your work unless it’s Open Access.

But good news! You can make your papers available for free quickly and legally (even if they’re already published) by using our non-profit tool!

1. Put your article into openaccessbutton.org

If you can use a DOI, the next step will be faster.

After you hit submit, we will track down information on your article and check what your journal will allow you to share legally. This will save you a lot of time later!

2. Click “Share your work”

It’s located on the bottom left (you can ignore the rest.)

If you don’t see the above screen, then your journal doesn’t allow you to share the paper. You’ll have to move on to the next article in this case, though most journals do allow you to share some version of your article.

3. Find the correct version

Time to find the version you can upload! Our short guide will help you find the right version of your article if you need a hand.

4. Upload it

An example of a file upload page. If you need help finding the right version, there is help a click away.

Drag and drop or point and click. It’s your call. Regardless, we’ll do our best to check that your file can be legally shared (we’ve got your back!). Then, the file will get uploaded to Zenodo, a free, non-profit repository that accepts works from all corners of scholarship. Once there, it will be indexed by Google Scholar, Web of Science, Unpaywall, given a DOI and be permanently preserved. That’s a whole lot more than ResearchGate does!

In a few clicks, you have just made your work legally and freely available to colleagues at the University of California. One down, and many to go.

Plus! You’ll have helped breakdown systemic barriers that disproportionately keep marginalized communities from participating in and benefiting from your research.


You may want to consider uploading your work to your institutional repository instead of Zenodo, in which case your local librarian will be able to guide you through the process. You can check to see if your institution has a repository here by searching for your university.

We’re currently building an even simpler, standalone system for uploading your work where it can be legally accessed by anyone (also known as ‘self-archiving’, or ‘green open access’). We’re not done yet, but this moment calls for action! If you have feedback, please let us know! If you’re a librarian who would like to simplify their institutional repository deposit workflow, please sign up for updates here.