Category Archives: open access

Upgrading the Open Access Button

The Open Access Button is getting an upgrade.

Back in January, I talked about extending the Open Access Button to capture links to open access journal papers.

That patch is going to go live real soon now.  There’s some minor tests I need to close off prior to launch but we’re closing in on that.  You can see the on the OAButton github repository.

Once this patch is live, we’re going to start collecting links for Open Access versions of publications and start sharing those with people.

This works pretty simply – the first time a pay wall is hit for a paper, we will now try to determine the author email address and then notify the author that the research is unavailable to the public.

We provide a link that the author can click on to submit an open version of their paper.

Every time someone hits the pay wall after that, the user will be notified where to find the open version of their paper.

We still need your help on this.

There are still some rough edges here.  Right now, I only allow the author to submit the link.  That means we have no way for the general public to participate in supplying links to open versions of papers.  I’m doing this because I don’t know of a good way to prevent abuse where invalid links are submitted.

If we can solve that problem – we can provide a public API where individuals can start contributing links to open access papers.  Cracking this nut would be a huge win.  If we could provide a public API – we can build more tools to integrate to the OAButton and we could dramatically increase the number of people contributing links to papers.

We could also use some love to restyle some of the HTML emails and some of the webpages.  If you have design skills – we need you too. 🙂

This stuff is important.   Let’s fix this.

A note about self deposit repositories:

I didn’t re-use any of the self-deposit systems that individuals and libraries have setup for themselves.  Unfortunately – there’s no rational way of integrating any of these things.   While authors may have deposited a copy of a  pre-print of final draft somewhere, I have no way of determining where that is.  Even if I did, I have no way of querying that system.  I have no way of resolving if the document I find in the system is the same as the document that has been blocked.

If you run one of these systems – we want to work with you.  We just don’t have a way to do that yet.  Let’s figure this out.

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