Tools & tech

New browser extension assists access to legal, open access, full text research

In previous articles I’ve discussed the importance of open access research and reported on current trends in open access.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a new tool that promised to make the search for open access publications easier. Unpaywall is a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox:

When an Unpaywall user lands on the page of a research article, the software scours thousands of institutional repositories, preprint servers, and websites like PubMed Central to see if an open-access copy of the article is available. If it is, users can click a small green tab on the side of the screen to view a PDF.

Uptake and user feedback have so far been good:

Officially begun on April 4, an early version of the Unpaywall extension has been available for a few weeks and has been downloaded about about 10,000 times.

Feedback has been positive, says Mr. Priem, particularly from researchers in the developing world, where institutional subscriptions are limited.

Article source: The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Header image source: Unpaywall.

Also published on Medium.

Bruce Boyes

Bruce Boyes ( is editor, lead writer, and a director of the award-winning RealKM Magazine ( and currently also teaches in the University of NSW (UNSW) Foundation Studies program in China. He has expertise and experience in a wide range of areas including knowledge management (KM), environmental management, program and project management, writing and editing, stakeholder engagement, communications, and research. Bruce holds a Master of Environmental Management with Distinction and a Certificate of Technology (Electronics). With a demonstrated ability to identify and implement innovative solutions to social and ecological complexity, Bruce's many career highlights include establishing RealKM Magazine as an award-winning resource for knowledge managers, using agile and knowledge management approaches to oversee the implementation of an award-winning $77.4 million river recovery program in western Sydney on time and under budget, leading a knowledge strategy process for Australia's 56 natural resource management (NRM) regional organisations, pioneering collaborative learning and governance approaches to support communities to sustainably manage landscapes and catchments, and initiating and teaching two new knowledge management subjects at Shanxi University in China.

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One Comment

  1. Nice — just installed it. if you can’t install browser extensions for any reason, Google Scholar is still a great place to search for PDF versions of papers []. Just plug in the title of DOI of the paper you want to read.

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