Bringing the Open Access Button (2.0) to mobile

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About this idea

Every day people around the world such as doctors, scientists, students and patients are denied access to the research they need. This slows innovation, hampering research and education for students, researchers and the public. This is why we built the Open Access Button (

What we have delivered so far:
Since launching the Open Access Button Beta, it has been helping users to access to the papers they need, providing a global map of people denied access to research, and sharing personal stories. Advocates can use these stories to clearly demonstrate the need and demand for Open Access publishing.

The best is yet to come:
The Open Access Button team are preparing for the development and launch of Button 2.0, the full version of our tool with more ways to search for the research you need, more data and greater usability. Our mission is to:
-Make it easier for people to get access to research, freely and immediately.
-Make visible the impact of limited access and reuse of research.
-Strengthen the growing Open Access movement to make the world's scientific and scholarly research output freely available, putting students at the centre.

Our new mobile app:
In consultation for Button 2.0, our community requested a mobile version of the tool. Mobile app development will run as a separate project in parallel with Button 2.0, incorporating the key functionalities of the Open Access Button. Integral to the application will be a one-stop shop for the established or potential Open Access Advocate to push for Open Access to scholarly research in their community, including data from the Button to fuel data driven advocacy.

Use examples:
The below use examples apply for Button 2.0. We aim to involve as many features as possible in the mobile version, with a focus on advocacy features.
-Students or researchers denied access to research can click the Button for a number of options, including sharing their frustration on social media; looking for an alternative, legal version of the paper; using a repository search to see if that paper is available and emailing the corresponding author.
-An Open Access advocate can access data on denied access to research to drive advocacy efforts, including maps, raw data and more.
-Students, researchers and the public will be made aware of the impact of denied access to research, and showed ways to act, to create future advocates.

Mobile application with key functionality areas of the Open Access Button.

-July - JISC funding notification and summer development commences
-July-August - Development of the mobile Open Access Button
-September - mobile app for limited testing amongst students
-October - full version of Button 2.0 launched

Key People Responsible:
Joseph McArthur and David Carroll are UK students who founded the Open Access Button. They successfully led a team of volunteer developers to build the Beta Button, and now head up the current Student Team ( and professional Steering Committee (

About David Carroll

Undergraduate at Queen's University Belfast


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