Finding legal Open Access copies with ease
Wikipedia quotes Peter Suber of Harvard University as follows on Open Access.
Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers.
It’s a wonderful introduction, but what does it mean to you? Watch a video below, to see Open Access Helper in action and then continue reading.
As you’ve seen, it means that a large body of scientific research is accessible without charge, free on the web and Open Access Helper is a tool, which will help you find these Open Access copies, even if the main publication is still behind a paywall.
Open Access Helper does this by neatly integrating with Safari on macOS and iOS and then interacting with the APIs from unpaywall.org, core.ac.uk and openaccessbutton.org to lookup possible Open Access copies for these documents.
The copy identified, might differ from the published document and thus, whenever we get the Open Access copy via unpaywall.org, the tool will clearly identify the version presented.
You’ll find these labels:
Submitted Version is not yet peer-reviewed.
- Accepted Version is peer-reviewed, but lacks publisher-specific formatting.
- Published Version is the version of record
Requesting Open Access...
If the article you are looking at was published within the last 5 years, Open Access Helper can take you to openaccessbutton.org to request the author to make her work Open Access. It is a great option, but there are no guarantees.
If you really need access to the article urgently, you might also wish to speak to your institution’s library and see, if they could make it available through Interlibrary Loan.