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Services for Alumni

Library services and resources for graduates of WMU Browser Extension

What is Unpaywall?

  • is "an open database of free scholarly articles." 
  • Unpaywall  harvests "Open Access content from over 50,000 publishers and repositories, and make it easy to find, track, and use."

How to use Unpaywall

  • use Google Chrome or Firefox browser.
  • go to 
  • Click on "Get The Extension" and follow the instructions to download.  

Once the extension is installed

  • a lock icon will appear in the  upper right side of the page when you encounter journal content  
  • If the article is open access, the icon will change to an unlocked green button.  You can click on the unlock button and access an open access version of the article. 
  • If the article is not available through open access, the icon will change to locked gray button. The article is not available through  open access. 
  • If it is not available ou can manually request the article through Interlibray Loan. 

Green Unlocked Icon

image of journal pay showing green unlocked icon on right hand side of screen


Gray Locked Icon 





Open Access (OA)


What is Open Access?

Open access is free, unrestricted access to high-quality research materials. Information is not found behind paywalls.


Open access Journal Level 

At the Institutional Level 

Academic institutional repositories have off open access to scholarship often through preprints. 

At the Author level

  • BePress

the subject level 

Subject repositories are open to scholars all over the world who publish work in a particular discipline. Some of the larger ones include:

  • RePEc: Research Papers in Economics
  • arXiv: Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics
  • SSRN: Social Science Research Network
  • PLoS Public Library of Science
  • PubMed Central  Biomedicine and Life Sciences

Adapted from

Open Access Browser Extension

What is the Open Access Browser Extension?

"When you use the Button, it'll either take you straight to a free copy of the research article or help you ask the author to freely share the article with you."