In November 2013, we launched the Open Access Button Beta in Berlin and since then the Open Access Button has been doing its job, visualising when people have been denied access to research because of a scholarly publishing system that is not fit for purpose.
Today, we are announcing a major partnership with Cottage Labs to further develop the Open Access Button. Cottage Labs are a small partnership of software development and project management professionals, whose previous work includes building the Open Article Gauge and supporting the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). They will work on development of the Open Access Button, in addition to providing hardware and sysadmin support.
The Button that currently exists at openaccessbutton.org is only the first step. Since November we’ve been working hard planning for the future of the Button and building a global, diverse student team supplemented by a professional steering committee to help us make the future Button the success.
The collaboration with Cottage Labs is provided in-kind to build core functions of the future Open Access Button and to drive us forward but this in kind support is just for the core functions. To build a fully powered Button, the community’s support is still essential. Regarding the partnership, David Carroll, Co-Lead of the Open Access Button said that “after successfully launching our beta tool, the partnership with Cottage Labs is an exciting opportunity for all involved and their support will allow us to deliver the best possible tool for our users”.
The Open Access Button Beta was built with the support of the Open Access Community and a small team of incredible developers. To build the full Open Access Button, we will need this and more. We will make a major call for developers later this month. If you can offer financial support, in-kind support, or just some helpful words of advice, we would love to hear from you, especially if you’re a library or Open Access publisher. This project may be run completely by volunteers, but money is still required for us to succeed. With the community’s support, we can meet our goals and launch the best Button we can and continue to make the problems of paywalls impossible to ignore.
The Open Access Button is an initiative of Medsin-UK, the UK’s student global health network tackling global and local health inequalities through education, advocacy and community action. More information about Medsin can be found at www.medsin.org.