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Jun 9, 2021

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Open Science in a-click through the OpenAIRE Open Science Lens

Jun 9, 2021

Open Science through OpenAIRE

How many hours do we spend on browsing the internet and searching for the article that supports our research and topic of focus? Plenty. For more than ten years, OpenAIRE has enabled us to find an open access publication via OpenAIRE Explore, since OpenAIRE Research Graph offers a massive collection of research data. That is the best case scenario, where we are already familiar with OpenAIRE and the Open Science ecosystem services. But science evolves, publications exponentially grow, and we seek for shortcuts and easy, trustable ways to perform work. OpenAIRE through its Open Innovation Call, funded by the OpenAIRE-Advance project and European Commission (GA:777541) back in 2020, called for new ideas and innovations to shape future tools for Open Science users. One of the tools introduced today is the Open Science Lens.

OpenAIRE through Open Science Lens

Using lenses helps us see better, distinguish details and maybe also filter out important information. What happens though when you are browsing the internet, Googling for a topic, and you find an article of your interest? In the best case, the article is open access and you can immediately download it. But in many cases, an article is closed, and you need to pay for it or access it through a subscription. Don’t you want to know if there is another version of the article that is open accessible and available through OpenAIRE Explore or third party repositories? Don’t you want to get instant information on a publication while surfing the internet? Don’t you want to press a button and view all publications that are referred to on a page in a few seconds, on the same webpage? 

Moving away from the curent status, where you need to visit a dedicated web site like OpenAIRE EXPLORE to find infromation, a tool like Open Science Lens brings the wealth of information of OpenAIRE Research Graph to where it matters. 

Open Science and OpenAIRE accessible in a click

Open Science Lens allows web users to easily locate and explore information of relevance to Open Science when navigating in the web, or science oriented web pages. On one hand it allows researchers and scientists to easily locate if Open Science information is present for a relevant item found on the web (e.g. a DOI). On the other hand, it allows a science-oriented web site provider to enrich the user experience offered with dynamic aggregation of elements coming from the information space of OpenAIRE / Open Science.

Be a lead user by testing the Open Science Lens 

All you need is a Google Chrome and to install the Open Science Lens extension
Open Science Lens Browser Plugin is a component that will operate in the context of the Google Chrome browser and requires no modifications to the html content rendered inside the browser. It supports two modes of operation when serving the user:
  • Automatic detection of DOIs on a website: Open Science Lens plugin exploits the well-defined and easily locatable on text form of DOIs. Using this as a starting point, it utilizes OpenAIRE API and OpenAIRE graph data model to locate artefacts framing a DOI (publication, datasets, project etc) present in OpenAIRE and unrolls the graph of links to deliver to the user all available information, as well as direct access to the DOI referenced artifact itself.
  • Shortcut to find information on OpenAIRE Explore with a right click: The usability of the DOI autodetection functionality is limited to sites that utilize DOIs in their HTML content. In order to extend the capability to exploit OpenAIRE Graph API beyond DOIs, a second functionality is offered, this of a user-driven triggering of OpenAIRE information lookup services. The user is offered a context-related action that fires a query against OpenAIRE APIs on the specific text selected on the web page (i.e. a few words) or the word under the cursor. The query brings up information related to the current selection from OpenAIRE.

Download the Google Chrome extension from here

Only two steps to install

Step 1 - Visit the link above and click the Add to Chrome button

Step 2 - Go to chrome://extensions/ and enable the Open Science Lens visibility on Chrome bar

OpenScienceLens Extension

Experience the magic of Open Science available on a click!

Explore a single publication on a website

Let’s say you find this article that is closed here. Is there a chance that there is an open access of it available legally? Let’s try to find out.

OpenScienceLens Screenshot

You click on the right side of your screen, on the Open Science Lens logo. A nice column (works like a drawer you can show/hide anytime) presents you all the information regarding this publication as is on OpenAIRE Research Graph:

  • Type of content; publication
  • Date
  • Title
  • Creators with their ORCID’s validated
  • Project/Funds information
  • Related datasets
  • Organization
  • More details and 
  • Number of available versions and their type

The last one indicates to you that there are many versions of this publication, and since there is at least one open access, you can find it by clicking the “All 8 versions” shortcut and be redirected to OpenAIRE Explore!

OpenScienceLens EXPLORE

As easy as that!

Spot multiple publications on a website

Open Science Lens functions like in the previous step for websites that refer to many publications. It is smart enough to locate the DOIs, and more relevant information on the page. That allows you to have an overview of publications mentioned on a webpage along with their versions, metadata in one-click!

OpenScienceLens PLOS

Try it out with a web page of your choice!

Whos it is for: Open Science Lens is for all Open Science enthusiasts, techies and tools testers, researchers, scientists, students, citizen scientists, science lovers, visionaries, librarians.

Related OpenAIRE Services

OpenAIRE Explore: Linking to additional information and refinements.
OpenAIRE Research Graph – Publications / Research Data / Software / Projects / Other: HTTP API to retrieve information and perform lookup and query operations for publications, research data, software, projects and other research products.


Users need to install the web browser plugin, currently available only for chrome.

Do you have any questions? Feedback and want to belong to the group of people who try this new cool tool first? Then please feel free to download the Open Science Lens from Google Chrome Store and send us an email for any inquiries. The CITE team would be happy to get back to you. Contact persons: Georgios Kakaletris (gkakas[at] , Giorgos Pananikos (gpapanikos[at]


The Open Science Lens tool was developed through the successful completion of the OpenAIRE-Advance Open Innovation Call for SMEs, funded by EC (GA No.777541) by CITE S.A., an enterprise activating in the area of ICT services and solutions. Open Science Lens uses significant Open Source Software libraries and platforms as presented in its licensing. OpenAIRE-Advance project has provided substantial technical guidance on using the services.