Join the Button’s Steering Committee!

The Open Access Button is a browser bookmarklet that lets users report when they are denied access to research, then search for alternative access to the article. Each time a user encounters a paywall, they simply click the Button in their bookmark bar, fill out an optional dialogue box, and their experience is added to a map alongside other users. Then, the user receives a link to search for free access to the article. The Open Access Button hopes to create a worldwide map showing the impact of denied access to research.

We launched the Open Access Button in Berlin in November 2013 and to date there have over 5500 paywalls mapped. What we have now is just a taste of what we are now building but we need to expand the team in order to create the Button 2.0.

What is the Steering Committee
The Open Access Button project is led by extremely competent students from across the world, from different subjects and at different stages of study. However, we appreciate that for a project of this scale close guidance from professionals is a requirement for success — this is where the Steering Committee comes in. The Steering Committee has been created to provide this guidance to the team and ensure we’re as effective as possible.

As a Steering Committee member, you’ll be joining and supporting an exciting project with a strong track record and even more exciting future.

What does a Steering Committee member do?
As a Steering Committee member for the Open Access Button team you will be required to be intimately familiar with the project in order to effectively guide the student team in the project’s next phase of development. Steering Committee members should be willing to aid students on the week to week running of the project as well as provide a longer term perspective.

Steering Committee members will be expected to give 2 hours a week to the project over the course of 2014; however, the input may vary depending on needs at the time. Included in this will be regularly attending coordination calls, which are currently held on a weekly basis, and proactively identifying areas where you may be able to aid the project. In addition to calls with other steering committee members, liaison directly with students may be required in some cases to advise on specific issues or to provide training.

We are looking for nominations from the community of who to appoint to the committee. Our current steering committee has experience with project management, student leadership and Open Access advocacy but we are interested in adding expertise in the following areas:

  • Fundraising
  • Governance
  • Programming
  • Law — specifically copyright
  • Communications including media and press
  • Technology in Global South

If you would like to nominate someone for the committee (you may self nominate) then please email us at with their (or your) name and email address (you may want to double check with them first!). Nominee’s will be requested to confirm an interest in joining the project and to send a CV. Nominations are due 20th March.