HOW NEW TOOLS ALLOW READERS TO FIND FREE RESEARCH ARTICLES. This short video by John Bond of Riverwinds Consulting discusses tools like Unpaywall and Kopernio.
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Hi there. I am John Bond from Riverwinds Consulting and this is Publishing Defined.
Today I am going to talk about new tools to find and access the best available versions of scholarly journal articles; legally and at no cost. There are at least two at this time; Unpaywall and Kopernio.
First Unpaywall is an online widget that crawls the web, searching for free-to-read versions of paywalled papers. Unpaywall is a web-browser extension that looks for papers in repositories worldwide, including preprint services and databases.
Unpaywall indicates when a free version is found, but also lets you know one is not available. Unpaywall reports that users find fully accessible text for 47% of articles; of course, results vary. They access open data from PubMed Central, the Directory of Open Access Journals, Crossref, and DataCite.
Second is Kopernio. Kopernio is a browser plugin that finds the best available PDF of a journal article. Kopernio searches open databases and university subscriptions; if accessible to the user, to find the best version of the article. This tool streamlines finding scholarly content by also accessing such sources as Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, publisher’s platforms, and repositories.
Kopernio does two things. For materials that the user’s library has a subscription, Kopernio ensures that the they end up at the publisher’s version, entering the user’s credentials. For materials that the user’s library has not licensed, Kopernio brings the user to an open version if one is available, such as a preprint or an author deposited manuscript in a repository. Kopernio is making news this week as they were acquired by Clarivate Analytics.
Kopernio and Unpaywall prides themselves on not including results from sources of questionable legality like Sci-Hub, or even ResearchGate. All of their results are above board, and if they are found out not to be, promptly removed.
Both tools, and likely others to come, are in a response to the frustration by users who feel finding appropriate articles is a bit of a maze, particularly when they don’t have access to a federated search tool. Publishers will appreciate more readers finding their materials and users will feel articles are more easily accessible; a win all around.
Well that’s it. I am a publishing consultant and work with associations, publishers, and individuals on a host of content related challenges. Reach out to me at Riverwinds.com.
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