The journal Nature recently reported on a website called Unpaywall, developed by computer scientists to help academics demonstrate how much of their work is freely available to download. Launched in 2017, the site has become a really useful place to find papers that have been legally archived and are freely available.
The site describes itself as “an open database of scholarly articles” and contains 19,838,357 free scholarly articles, so far.
Interestingly, Nature also reported that Elsevier is planning to integrate Unpaywall into its Scopus searches which will be a useful development and demonstrates that it is possible to create a proper open-access search infrastructure, without the dodgy not-so-legal element. Unpaywall is already integrated into Clarivate’s Web of Science.
Evidently there are a lot more papers freely available than people realise, because finding them really isn’t that easy. Unpaywall is taking a significant step towards solving this problem.