Releasing a new CORE Discovery browser extension

CORE Discovery helps users find freely accessible copies of research papers that might be behind a paywall on the publisher’s website. It is backed by our huge dataset of millions of full text open access papers as well as content from widely used external services beyond CORE. The tool not only provides state-of-the-art coverage of freely available content, it is the only discovery service which:

  • delivers state-of-the-art performance compared to other discovery tools in terms of both content coverage (finding a freely available copy when it is available) and precision (reliably delivering a free copy of the paper on success);
  • is run by researchers for researchers (as opposed to companies);
  • has the best grip on content from the global network of open repositories;
  • can deliver to readers other relevant freely available research papers even in situations where a freely available version is not available from anywhere on the web.

To satisfy the needs of CORE users, the world’s largest global aggregator of open access research papers now helps users access articles of their interest. Generally, discovery tools can find typically free copies of papers for about 15%-30% of published documents (slide 11). This means that in more than 70% of cases, they don’t bring to the user anything useful. CORE Discovery can offer the user relevant documents even in situations where other discovery tools are not successful. What distinguishes CORE Discovery from other discovery services on the market is that it does not stop when an open access version is not available, but always aims to offer related open access articles to the end user.

This extension is available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera users. To find out more about the extension and to install it, go to the CORE Discovery page. After installing, you will be able to see the padlock button in your browser. As soon as you navigate to a web page offering a research article, you will automatically see one of the following three icons: 

grey – when CORE cannot identify  an open access version of the article or  similar articles,

orange – when an open access version of the article is not available, CORE suggests other similar papers to the one the user is looking for or relevant to the topic, and

green – when an open access version of the article is discovered

Petr Knoth – Founder & Head of CORE, comments: “CORE is uniquely positioned to deliver this service to the community. This is because CORE is not only working at the level of article metadata as other services in this domain, but goes one step further in processing the full text to validate its availability, correctness and to identify other relevant free papers in situations when exactly the same article is not available. While rival discovery systems fail in over 70% of cases by not delivering to the user anything useful, CORE goes one step further in delivering a useful service to users in the majority of cases.” 

The output of CORE Discovery is now improved by providing suggestions for similar research papers both within the collection of the hosting repository and the CORE collection. The tool is powered by the CORE Recommender, which acts as a gate to millions of open access research papers and aims to advance the accessibility of similar scientific papers and reach to wider scientific communities. 

Via CORE Discovery users can automate the process of finding a free full text of a paywalled research article with only one-click. CORE Discovery is a completely free to use tool that can benefit researchers, students and the general public. Within libraries, the extension can be used as an alternative or complement to interlibrary loan and save effort and resources to universities. Additionally, library staff can use it to analyse and monitor open access availability of papers their users read, for example, to understand which content it is worth subscribing to. We encourage libraries to include CORE Discovery in their library guides and pre-install CORE Discovery on the library’s public computers. Library and repository systems providers can integrate CORE Discovery using CORE Discovery API.

7 thoughts on “Releasing a new CORE Discovery browser extension”

  1. Recommenders are very hard, it’s good to have more investment on such a technology! Semantic Scholar suggestions for highly influenced and related works are also very interesting.

  2. Thank you. As a proof of concept, some of you who are most familiar with the tool could run a small proof of concept manually, and replace some closed-access references on high traffic Wikipedia articles with some open-access equivalent. That could demonstrate the functionality to more people and maybe inspire a larger scale usage, similar to the InternetArchiveBot or SuggestBot suggestions.

  3. I read that CORE is set up to discover pdf files only, so that if the paper is only online in a word version, it won’t be found. Is this the case?

    1. Hi Sarah, this is correct. We are currently focusing on pdfs at the moment. We do plan to include other formats such as Microsoft Word documents in the future but we don’t have any time frames for this at the moment

  4. Hello, thanks for this post. This is an interesting development.

    I am interested in learning how the browser extension you are offering is different from functionality already offered by Unpaywall or OpenAccess Button?

    1. Hello, thanks for your comment.
      Our discovery tool has been created in order to support repositories and users at the same time. In terms of the use case functionality for the end user, we don’t differ significantly from OA Button and Unpaywall, in fact, our system uses them as a backup solution. However, OA Button is different from us technologically because it tries to discover all papers at the time of the user asking the question by calling many different APIs (including the CORE API). Instead, and in addition CORE Discovery, finds attempts to find papers before the user asks the question to deliver a blazingly fast response and truly discover new OA sources that are unknown to existing APIs (i.e. by crawling and processing data). What is more, neither OA Button nor Unpaywall provides a solution for the many cases in which no paper is found, this is where CORE differs with its Recommender provision. We are also best at surfacing content from repositories, while other systems tend to have a preference for content from publishers. For more information about how CORE Discovery compares, have a look at our study here.

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