”Click here to purchase article”.
You have probably seen this several times when searching for articles. You find that perfect article for your research or student thesis, but you are not allowed to read more than the abstract if you don’t want to pay for it. This is called a paywall, and if you don’t pay, you won’t get access to the article behind it. Thanks to the library employees and students at the university get access to a high number of articles online, but there are still articles that the library’s subscriptions will not include, and that are therefore not available to read. This can be very frustrating.
Lately there have been several tries to find a solution to this problem. At the Open Access Week 2014 a web browser extension called Open Access Button was introduced. You install the extension, and as soon as you hit a paywall you click the button. The extension will look for the article in other places, and in many cases it will give you a way to access the article. April 4th another extension was launched, namely Unpaywall. Unpaywall works pretty much like the Open Access Button, and the two complements each other, giving you wide access to a high amount of articles.
Both Open Access Button and Unpaywall looks for articles in open databases like ArXiv, PubMed Central, Google Scholar, and more.
The green lock to the right lets you know that Unpaywall has found a free version of the article. By clicking on the lock, you can access the article.