Last Friday night we tweeted about a new Chrome extension we’ve been working on. It’s called Unpaywall, and it links you to free fulltext as you browse research articles. Hit a paywall? No problem: click the green tab and read it free.
Unpaywall is powered by an index of over ten million legally-uploaded, open-access resources, and it delivers. For example, in a set of 11k recent cancer research articles covered in mainstream media, Unpaywall users were able to read around half of them for free–even without any subscription, and even though most of them were paywalled.
So far the response to Friday’s tweet has been amazing — 500 retweets, and in just a few days we’ve gotten more than 1500 installations: Hockey stick growth! 🙂
And we’ve also gotten rave reviews, like this one from Sarah:
Wow, just wow, this could be the single most useful extension ever! https://t.co/FWTBje4Lq2
— Sarah Hammond (@schammond) March 14, 2017
Why the excitement? Finding free, legal, open access is now super easy — it happens automatically. With the Unpaywall extension, links to open access are automatically available as you browse.
— Ethan White (@ethanwhite) March 13, 2017
This is useful for researchers like Ethan. It’s also really helpful for people outside academia, who don’t enjoy the expensive subscription benefits of institutional libraries. This is especially true for nonprofits:
@jasonpriem as someone who runs a non-profit organisation in a developing country this extension is GOLD! thank you
— Nikita Shiel-Rolle (@Nikitasr135) March 14, 2017
…. and folks working to communicate scholarship to a broader audience:
— FLGenomicsFrances (@FLGFrances) March 14, 2017
Go give it a try and see what you think! The official release is April 4th, but you can already install it, learn more, and follow @unpaywall. We’d love your help to spread the word about Unpaywall to your friends and colleagues. Together we can accelerate toward to a future of full #openaccess for all!