Arcadia Fund Supports Open Access Button to Improve Access to Research Without Subscriptions

To advance this work, we would like to collaborate with Interlibrary Loan teams who want their work to open up content, repository teams interested in improving their deposit workflows to increase deposits, and libraries currently reconsidering a big deal package (especially if using Ex-Libris Primo, Alma, or Illiad) who would be interested in learning more about how these tools can give you more leverage in negotiations. If that sounds like you, get in touch here but to just stay up to date on our progress, sign up here for updates.

We’re happy to announce that Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, has provided the Open Access Button with a two-year, $420,000 grant to accelerate our work to release content behind paywalls and improve researchers’ ability to do their work without expensive subscriptions.

Libraries have led the charge to open up access to scholarly literature. With Arcadia Fund’s support, we hope to help leverage their leadership to reduce costs, save staff time, improve library services, and open up more content and infrastructure. To do this the Open Access Button will create community-owned, researcher-friendly, institutional tools, including the recently announced GetPDF and InstantILL. These initiatives build on our current work on improving Interlibrary Loan by incorporating subscription content and new user friendly user interfaces.

“Open Access provides an incredible opportunity for libraries to rethink and enhance content delivery, especially in interlibrary loan and in new services like GetPDF that meet users where they are. Together we can dramatically improve user experience and education as well as leverage our services to accelerate open scholarship. I look forward to partnering with the Open Access Button to make this vision a reality,” says Tina Baich, Associate Dean for Collections, at IUPUI University Library.

Currently, authors struggle to understand how to exercise their right to share their scholarly articles freely with colleagues and the public. Complex policies, confusing interfaces, and a lack of awareness mean only a fraction of the research that can be made available actually is readily available. The Arcadia funding will help the Open Access Button to support authors and libraries in changing this by building a radically simple, highly-personalised system to help deposit every unavailable article and building new mechanisms to encourage authors to share through an open, citable, accountable request system for research. This builds on the Open Access Button Request System, a scalable, cost effective, data-driven system for going from paywall to deposit. We hope to expand usage of the request system outside the Open Access Button, where it is currently in development, to include inside ILL, repositories and other services where users hit paywalls.


Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, supports charities and scholarly institutions to preserve cultural heritage, protect the environment, and promote open access. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $500 million in grants to projects around the world.

The Open Access Button builds tools that make it simpler to do research without subscriptions. Our family of tools are community-owned, open source, and built not-for-profit, but for-change. The Open Access Button is supported by SPARC, a global library coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education.