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[BOAI] Launch of Open Access Button Crowd Funding Campaign!

From: Nick Shockey <nick AT>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:17:50 -0400

Hi all,

I’m excited to share that the Open Access Button, a student-led project to map 
collisions with paywalls and connect users with freely accessible copies of 
paywalled articles, is crowd funding its next stage of development. We have 
been involved with this project from the beginning and have been continually 
impressed with the utility of the tool the students have been able to create.  
If you haven’t seen the Button already, I encourage you to check it out at

The students involved really want the Button to be a community owned resource 
and thought crowd funding the development of its next generation would be a 
great way of doing so while seeking additional sources of support for the 
project.  With the right support, I think the Button could become a useful 
piece of infrastructure for the Open Access community, and the project is a 
perfect example of the next generation leading the way on creating a more open 
system of scholarly communication.

The press release for the crowd funding campaign is copied below.  You can 
contribute directly through the campaign’s page on Indiegogo:  Finally, please share this 
announcement with any friends and colleagues who may be interested!



Nick Shockey
Director, Right to Research Coalition
Director of Programs and Engagement, SPARC
nick AT
+1 202 296 2296
Skype: nick.shockey

The Open Access Button to crowdfund Button 2.0
Contact: openaccessbutton AT, David Carroll +447849573408

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 

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 

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 29.

More information about the Open Access Button can be found at

The Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign can be found here and 
a preview of the page before launch can be found here 

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