New tools to put OA into Interlibrary Loan from the Open Access Button

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Libraries have led the charge to open up access to the scholarly literature. We want to help turn that leadership into leverage to reduce costs, to save staff time, to improve library services, and to open up more even content and infrastructure. We’ve been looking first at how to do that with Interlibrary Loan after outlining initial ideas, case studies, and most importantly extensive conversation and co-design/development with librarians around the world. We’re now happy to introduce you to some new tools from the Open Access Button:

  • DeliverOA: Making it easy to find self-archived Open Access versions of articles and deliver them right inside your ILL workflow.
  • OAsheet: Find out if lots of articles are Open Access all at once by giving us a list of articles as a spreadsheet. Perfect for running ILL records to see how much impact integrating OA into your processes could have.
  • EmbedOA: Easily help patrons find Open Access articles from your Interlibrary Loan pages or LibGuides.

Today, these tools catalyse open by injecting Open Access content into mission critical, ubiquitous, systems in libraries processing millions of requests a year, to save libraries time, money, and provide a better experience for patrons in the process. Better yet, they set the scene for the integration of the Open Access Button’s request system into ILL, which holds enormous potential as way to help authors deposit work in repositories. We’re so excited to finally show these off to the world, but these are still early days. So, please let us know if something doesn’t work as you’d expect, if you have questions, or if you have ideas for how to make them better.

Along with these new tools you can use today, we’d like like to preview what might come next in our work with libraries. Currently codenamed GetPDF and InstantILL, these are new tools we’ve prototyped, mocked up, and are exploring to tackle problems we heard libraries and patrons across the globe say they are struggling with. Here’s a bit more about them:

  • GetPDF: A browser plugin to ensure libraries can provide excellent access for their patrons anyplace, anytime, in just a click with or without subscriptions. It’ll do that by combining content from ILL, Open Access, pay-per-view, and subscriptions into one simple tool for users so they always have the easiest, fastest, cheapest legal option at their fingertips.
  • InstantILL: An ILL form that delivers content to patrons instantly without them needing to fill out a form, and that empowers staff to process requests instantly.

Even if you’re not involved with ILL, or a librarian, there is news for you! We’re happy to say that there is an all new Open Access Button plugin (including a launch on Firefox) that sets the scene for GetPDF, a chatbot for the Open Access Button we’re testing, new resources, and finally big behind the scene updates to our request system, API, and website. Expect everything to be dramatically simpler to use, to run faster, and to take you straight to full text more often.

In light of our focus on Interlibrary Loan and building institutional tools, we will be winding down our open data efforts in the near term. We still think the goal of our data efforts — creating user friendly connections between papers and datasets (whether already open, or hidden) — remains deeply important, and as we continue to build out our request system, we hope to revisit this work.

We’re incredibly grateful and thankful for all the support in getting our open source, non-profit, library-aligned project this far. Special thanks goes to the team at SPARC, Cottage Labs, the hundreds of librarians around the world who built with us, talked with us, and demonstrated their deep interest. We’re just getting warmed up, and there is more to come. If you want to be the first to know about new Open Access Button developments, sign up for infrequent updates and more information here. If you want to help, share this post with others — especially your library and their Interlibrary Loan team.