Millions of people a day are denied access to the research they both need and paid for because of paywalls. It doesn't have to be like this, but we need your help to change it. We're making a tool to help change the system called the Open Access Button. The button is a browser-based tool which tracks every time someone is denied access to a paper. We then display this, along with the person's location, profession, and story on a real time, worldwide, interactive map of the problem.

It gets better though. While creating pressure to open up scholarly and scientific research, we help people work within the current broken system by helping them get access to the paper they need. We started building a prototype at the BMJ Hack Weekend, and came third place. But we're not finished yet and our launch is coming up fast! To help build it we're hosting a hackathon on September 7-8 of September in London. If you're a developer, have an eye for design or both we'd love to see you.

If you're not in the UK, you can join in from anywhere in the world—just sign up. And if you want any more information about the project, email us at or read more about the project.

This post originally appeared in the Software Carpentry blog.