[Jan. 2024] Finding information on Open Access
Many get considerable amount of information from books, journals and magazines but outside academia where libraries get thousands of journal subscriptions for their members, accessing full-text remains locked behind publisher paywalls.
Now, government agencies, research institutes and educational institutions publish a wide variety of brochures, reports, white papers, annual reports, journal articles, dissertations and thesis on a range of issues of interest on Open Access.
Open Access is a publishing model through which research
outputs are distributed online, free of access charges, as opposed to the
traditional subscription model in which readers have access to information by
paying a subscription.
Start by browsing our list of open access information sources.
Finding open access journal articles
An easy way to locate copies of paywalled articles is to
enter the article's Digital Object Identifier (DOI), found in the article's
citation, into the Open Access Button, which searches repositories worldwide. The
site will either take you directly to an open copy of the research article or
help you ask the author to freely share the article with you by depositing a
copy in a repository. You may also want to use the Unpaywall browser extension that points you to legal, author-posted manuscripts that are hosted on university and government web servers.
You can find more repositories that provide free, open access to academic outputs and resources at OpenDoAR, the quality-assured, global Directory of Open Access Repositories hosted by Jisc. Each repository record with OpenDOAR has been carefully reviewed in line with a submission policy to ensure quality control and offer a trusted service for the research community.
You can also find free research articles in peer-reviewed
open access journals. Millions of these open access, peer-reviewed research
outputs are collated by and searchable at CORE (delivered by The Open
University and Jisc), and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
Finding open access datasets
When people think about open access they tend to think about open access journal publications, but open data publication is an increasingly important part of open access to scholarly outputs. Open data are freely available research data that have been published and licensed for re-use by the author.
Sometimes, the data are published as supplementary material accompanying the journal article; the data can also be made openly available via data repositories or dedicated data journals. Find a data repository relevant to your discipline at the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data).
The Wellcome Trust maintains a list of Wellcome Open Research-approved repositories
Open data journals publish peer-reviewed datasets and descriptions of datasets (metadata records). To find an open data journal relevant to your discipline, search the list of peer-review open data journals hosted by the University of Edinburgh or the Open Data Journals from the FOSTER project.