Unpaywall is a free Chrome extension to bypass paywalls and read research papers for free. While browsing if you come across any research paper which is behind a paywall i.e. you need to make payment to read the full research paper, it then automatically searches for the free and legal version of the research paper in the background. If it finds that in its index, then it indicates to you by an unlock button on your Chrome, which will open the full and legal research paper in a new tab. So, this is a pretty useful Chrome extension for all research paper lovers as they can now read some of the research papers for free and the best part is its totally legal. Unpaywall has already indexed more than 10 million research papers and claims that it finds fulltext for almost 65-85% of research papers.
If you are one of those who likes to read research papers a lot, then you can check out any of these free sites to find academic research papers. You can also check out these 3 free academic search engines for Chrome which can help you find useful academic sources on the web. In case, you are looking for a social network to upload research papers, then check out Academia.
What Unpaywall will do is, it will automatically find the free version of the research paper that you see while browsing and provides the link to the free and legal website to read that research paper. So, you can access premium research papers (in paywall sites) for free. It is also available for Firefox.
How to use this free Chrome extension to read research papers for free:
Let’s see the steps to use Unpaywall and read research papers behind paywalls for free:
Step 1: Install Unpaywall for Chrome from the link at the end of this review and then open a research paper behind the paywall, as shown in the screenshot below.
As I mentioned, it searches within its index of free research papers and shows you an unlock button on the premium research paper site to indicate that it has found its free fulltext version, as you can see in the screenshot below.
Step 2: Now, all you have to do is click on the Unlock button to access the free and legal research paper in new Chrome tab, just as in the screenshot below.
It also provides a couple of options like enable color-code tab for Green and Gold OA and hide content from less trusted content resources (decreases coverage by 20%). It will display a green tab (unlocking button color) when a research paper is found from an institutional repository and blue tab when the research paper is fetched from journal-hosted content with an open license.
Unpaywall is a free Chrome extension to automatically find free research papers that are behind paywalls from trusted sources. The best part is that it provides the link to a free and legal to read the research paper. I must say it is a pretty useful Chrome extension to bypass paywalls and to read premium research papers for free.