Unlocking Open Access – Unpaywall

We talk a lot about uploading your articles to Pure so other researchers can benefit from Open Access. But we rarely talk about how you can use Open Access to benefit your own research. In this series of blog posts, we’ll show you some simple ways to find Open Access articles. First up: Unpaywall.


A screenshot of a paywalled article, with the open padlock logo of Unpaywall on the right hand side of the page
The open padlock icon on the right hand side of the page shows that an open access version is available. Clicking the icon will take you to the article.

You’re searching for useful papers for your research. But the library can’t afford a subscription to all the journals you need. Papers hidden behind paywalls are a constant frustration. You could ask the library to get copies for you, but you’re on a tight schedule. You’d rather get that paper now.

Unpaywall is the solution. This browser extension adds an icon to your screen that lets you know if an Open Access version of the paper you’re trying to view is available. Click that and you’ll be reading the full text in seconds.

You can add the extension to Google Chrome or Firefox, even on university computers. Once you do, it’s always on and checking to see if it can provide a link to an Open Access version. If so, it’ll add an unobtrusive open padlock icon to the right of the screen, which will take you to the full text.

This is the easiest way we’ve seen to add Open Access to your research strategy. You can add Unpaywall to your browser here: http://unpaywall.org/

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