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    How to Utilize the Unpaywall API for Open Access Content and Resources in Discovery

    • Product: Alma

    What is the Unpaywall API?

    • Unpaywall is a Database of Open Access Content  that maintains links to full text articles and Open Access resources.
    • The Unpaywall API allows for retrieving the metadata associated with these full text articles and resources.


    For more information on what Unpaywall is, please visit the following article,  "So, what is Unpaywall anyway?"

    For more information on Unpaywall API that the Integration uses and how it works, visit their website here


    Why Should an Institution Consider Using the Unpaywall API Integration?

    • The Unpaywall API Integration in Alma allows users to discover and use Open Access and Full Text resources that may not normally appear or be available to them.
    • Enabling the Unpaywall API Integration in Alma for use in an Institution's Discovery Environment can take less than 5 minutes to configure and enable.


    For Instructions on how to enable the Unpaywall API Integration, please visit this Knowledge Article


    What are some Known Issues with the Unpaywall API Integration?

    • Alma only checks for Unpaywall full-text access when opening the full view of a record from discovery (Primo VE).  
    • If the only available full-text source for an article or resource is through Unpaywall, it will not appear in search results unless the Include results with no online full-text to request through Inter-Library Loan filter is applied.
    • The response from the Unpaywall API must meet the following conditions for a Unpaywall Service to display:

    I.  The response should have a "best_oa_location" specified in the response

    II. The 'url_for_pdf' field under the "best_oa_location" must have a value.

    III. The response must also include the "is_best" value = true.

    • Unpaywall is a third party Database.  There may be occasional instances of incorrect links or links to non-Open Access content.
    • If Primo (using https) displays a "Get PDF" link from Unpaywall that uses http, the browser may refuse to open the link because the browser thinks the action of https Primo opening a less secure http link is risky behavior. If this occurs, as an alternative, try manually copying the Get PDF link address and pasting it in a new browser tab or window.


    • Article last edited: 18-Oct-2023
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