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The Open Access Button
The Costs of Scholarly
Joe McArthur - @Mcarthur_Joe
Assistant Director, Right to Research Coalition
Co-founder of the Open Access Button
These slides, and more:
• What the Open Access Button is, and what it’s
• The Costs of Scholarly Publishing from our
• How we’re moving forwards, and why we need
Launched in Summer 2009.
Built around the Student Statement
on the Right to Research: access to
research is a student right
International alliance of 77 graduate &
undergraduate student organizations,
representing nearly 7 million students
We Educate + Advocate for Open Access
Begun in 2013, with the Berlin 11 Student and Early Career Researcher
Conference and Community empowering the next generation to advance
open research and education. One major three day meeting each year, with
year round satellite events and online community events.
Three major events so far, with over 30 Satellite events, dozens of online
events and hundreds of projects in the network.
Founded in 2013, by two undergraduates who knew not much about
The Button tracks and maps when people hit paywalls, and helps
connect users with an alternative version.
How the Button Works
Desktop App Mobile App
• Google Scholar
• More soon…
Professor Randy Schekman
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
State Secretary, Dutch Ministry of
Education, Culture and Science.
Professor Stephen Curry
“The use of the
Button will help
more people to find
“I am even more impressed
by the Open Access Button, a
initiative developed by two
“Tools like the Open Access
Button can help catalyse change
and create a world where science
has more impact, is more efficient
and importantly available to
Around the world
Talks given in:
Team based in:
23Website: openaccessbutton.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In London, during Open Access Week, we packed a room with
over 40 people for the Button’s launch and livestreamed it to
150 more. For the launch and other events, we were privileged
to have Open Access Button talks all over the globe, a selection
of which can be found on our map.
This was accompanied by fantastic press coverage including:
Huffington Post, VentureBeat, Creative Commons, EFF, The
Varsity and Scientific American Blogs.
In addition, during Open Access Week, we took part in a reddit
AMA alongside EFF, Creative Commons, the Right to Research
Coalition and Fundacion Karisma.
Above: Roshan Karn speaking about the Open Access
Button in Nepal (photo credit: Iryna Kuchma).
24Website: openaccessbutton.org Email: email@example.com
Annual Report 2014
Push Button. Get Research. Make Progress.
“Demonstrate scholarly research
dedicated to exploring the impact
Pediatric Intensive Care in South Africa: An Account
of Making Optimum Use of Limited Resources at the
Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital* “I am
developing the PCCM curricula at the University of
“I was researching on Open Collaboration - a concept
that will help me in structuring my venture - a co-
creation community for high school graduates. This
paper suggests a documentation of principles that
would be useful to create structure. Clearly, I can't
access it coz it has a pay per article paywall.”
“understand my disease better.”
“to compare our own research results with
those reported in this paper.”
“Databases embargo the last 12 months of this
journal, so we can't obtain a copy for a student.”
Milestones in cell division : To cycle or not
to cycle: a critical decision in cancer “I am
researching the background for my PhD
thesis, which is in an area of importance
to human health (cancer biology) “
Document supply of grey literature and
open access: ten years later “Article
about my area of work (open access) that
is closed access :
But if we did say cost, we’d think about:
and will continue to be a
So we need your help.
1. We’d like to get the Button installed on
your campus computers (or, at least
2. We’d like to use our stories and data
to drive support for Open Access on your
campus. Help us do it well.
Using paywalls to make change
• Emailing Authors and encouraging them to deposit
(and making it easy)
• Local organising
• Collaborations with other services/sites
How to connect people with
• Currently, jarring and unwelcoming
• We must think about designing ways to help
readers find work behind paywalls
• Can we connect them to other resources?
Note: Logo is only provisional
• Image is CC-BY-NC from https://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/5926476856/in/photolist-a2GK6s-
With Thanks To
Open Society Foundations
Centre for Open Science
Right to Research Coalition
For everyone, head to openaccessbutton.org/about#thanks
The team, friends, family and partners
Co-leads and Co-founders
Medical student. Belfast, Northern Ireland
Assistant Director, Right to Research
Coalition. London, England.
Medical and Arts student. Hobart, Australia.
Dave Bennett (Coordinator)
PhD student. London, England.
PhD Student. Paris, France.
MLIS Student. London, England.
Graduate student in Digital Humanities and
Library and Information Studies. Alberta,
PhD Law Student, Universite Paris II
MA Publishing, University of Sydney
Community and Advocacy
MD/MPP Student. Providence, USA.
Sarah Melton (Coordinator)
PhD Student. Atlanta, USA.
Consultation and Partnerships
Minuette Le (Coordinator)
Researcher, Leuphana Universitaet.
Medical student. San Jose, Costa
Biology Student. North Carolina,
Chealsye Bowley (Coordinator)
Master of Library and Information
Studies, and MSc in Science,
Technology and Society. Florence,
Italy and London, UK.
Molecular Biology student.
Medical student. Mexico.
Medical student. Belfast,
MSc student. Port Elizabeth,
These slides, videos and more:
Email me: Joe@RightToResearch.org
Tweet me: @mcarthur_joe