By Annette Friedrich
In science, more and more publications are Open Access, i.e. accessible to everyone without payment barriers. Also at the HZB, scientists are encouraged to publish Open Access.
“Green” road to Open Access
Most scientists prefer the “green road” to Open Access: They publish their paper in a journal under payment restrictions and after an embargo time (6 to 12 months), deposit the manuscript (pdf without the layout oft he journal) in the repository of their research institute. After the embargo time, their „green Open Access“ paper can be viewed by everybody free of charge.
Multitude of repositories
Research institutions and universities around the world maintain thousands of repositories with different names and structures. Finding a specific paper can be difficult.
As a librarian, I have therefore installed the plugin „Unpaywall“ in my browser for my daily article search. Unpaywall shows me whether the article is “Open Access” somewhere and also in which form, whether as a “green” or “golden” Open Access article. The plugin searches thousands of repositories and homepages worldwide that have registered with Unpaywall.
Email to the heldesk of Unpaywall
Nevertheless – not everything goes smoothly automatically. I regularly check our uploaded “green” Open Access files. So I noticed a new paper that was published and activated but not displayed. Of course we have been registered with unpaywall for a long time – where was the error?
First I checked all entries in our own data base PASTA – but they were completely correct. Then I wrote to the helpdesk of unpaywall.
Then I had to wait a few days, worried that my ticket has been forgotten – but no: the programmers simply had needed some time to analyze the case.
7000 Documents made visible
Finally they could identify the problem: not only the required paper from HZB, but another 7000 documents from other research institutes too have been invisible and not retrievable. My specific request had pointed to this little bug and thus contributed to make 7000 “green” Open Access documents visible in one fell swoop.
So this is part of a librarian’s daily duties. The scientists publish their results, submit the open access manuscript, and we take care of search options and visibility.
And if you too would like to install the plugin unpaywall, you can do it here: https://unpaywall.org/
The Helmholtz Association has a Open Science Initiative
More Information on Open Access in Wikipedia
Thanks for the tip! Hopefully everything will be Open Access before too long 🙂
Another useful tool is the Google Scholar plugin, which is also pretty good at finding full-text versions of articles, and also lets you see a list of any articles that cite the one you’re viewing. This is an invaluable tool for me in finding related research.
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