Open Access Button Prototype

by Joseph McArthur , Andy Lulham, Florian Rathgeber, Elliot Yates, Nicholas Ng, David Carroll and Twitter

An app allowing you to track and visualise every time someone's denied access to a paper along with their location and story. Read more

Open Access Button Prototype was awarded Runner up at BMJ Hack Day!

If we want to bring about a more open community we’ll need more tools, more information and more engagement around the issue.

That’s where our idea comes in. Imagine a browser-based tool which allowed you to track every time someone was denied access to a paper? Better yet, imagine if that tool told gave you basic information about where in the world they were or their profession and why they were looking. Integrating this into one place would create a real time, worldwide, interactive picture of the problem. The integration of social media would allow us to make this problem visible to the world. Lastly, imagine if the tool actually helped the person gain access to the paper they’d been denied access to in the first place. Incentivising use and opening the barriers to knowledge combined can make this really powerful.

That’s what we’re imagining. We’re calling it the Open Access button. Every paywall met is an isolated incident; it’s time we capture those individual moments of injustice and frustration to turn them into positive change. We’ve figured out how all this and more can be done – If you’re a programmer, we’d love your help creating a basic prototype to prove this is a viable idea. After that our dreams include a having a slick website to provide a home for the button and an accompanying campaign. If you have anything you feel that can help us and you want to help create change to move towards a more open world join us by contacting