How to use the Open Access Button

Open Access Button: How to use it?

How can I get the Open Access Button?

You can get your very own Button in seconds at Simply sign up by telling us your name, email and profession, then drag the button to your bookmark bar — you’ll need to make sure your browser bookmark bar is enabled first. Now you have the Open Access Button!

How do I enable my browser bookmark bar?

You can find instructions for activating yours here: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, iPad, Internet Explorer

I’m in front of a paywall, what should I do now?

Every time you hit a paywall, simply click the Open Access Button. After a second you’ll see the button activate. When you are asked to allow the Button to find your location, you should say ‘yes’ so we can put you on the map (Don’t worry, we don’t use your exact location). Take another second to tell us why you are looking for that paper, then hit submit.

Sharing your experience

On the next page, you can use Facebook and Twitter to help build engagement for the Open Access movement. Share your frustration with the world! You’re not alone, we all hate paywalls (and so do your friends). You can also like and follow the Open Access Button team to keep up to date. Or you can simply skip to the next page.

With thousands of people around the world, we can map the true impact of academic paywalls and create positive change.

Finding the paper you need

This is the final page, we promise. Here you will find many ways to get the paper you were seeking. Firstly, an automated Google Scholar search runs simply by clicking. If that doesn’t work, we’ve made it easy to email the author to ask for the paper directly. You may also find the paper you need, or something similar, using a pool of open access papers we’ve incorporated into this page.

Of course, we can’t guarantee these will always work, but you may just get the research you need.

I’ve got my paper, now what?

Now you’re free to continue your research. We hope more of the papers you need are open access, but if not, use the Open Access Button anytime you hit a paywall.

I still couldn’t find my paper

By continuing to use the Open Access Button at each paywall, your frustration becomes visible. Together we can work towards a more open scholarly publishing system where you can access the research you need.

Take a look at the map.

Head over to to see you’ve made your mark on the map!