Unpaywall for open research: plans for Scopus integration

Described as a “ground-breaking development” towards achieving a true open research infrastructure, Unpaywall is a database listing almost 20 million freely available scholarly articles.


This free service locates open-access articles and presents paywalled papers that have been legally archived and are freely available on other websites to users who might otherwise have hit a paywalled version. Our own University repository, STORRE, is included in Unpaywall. Most researchers access Unpaywall using a web browser plug-in.


In July, Elsevier announced plans to integrate Unpaywall into Scopus database searches. (You can access Scopus via our A-Z list of online resources available via the University Portal Resources tab).  This will boost the number of freely available articles in Scopus to around 7 million. You’ll notice this is 13 million fewer than are listed in Unpaywall.  Although this gap will be partly due to Scopus not overlapping fully with Unpaywall, it is also because Elsevier have decided that Scopus will not link to articles in repositories.


The Scopus integration follows on from an earlier integration of Unpaywall into Clarivate’s Web of Science in June 2017. (Web of Science is available via our A-Z list of online resources).


For more details see the Impactstory blog and the Nature article ‘How Unpaywall is transforming open science’.


To get Unpaywall for Chrome or Firefox go to: https://unpaywall.org/products/extension




Clare Allan

Senior Research Librarian