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Open Research: Finding Open Access Resources

Finding Open Access Resources

There are a suite of tools and resources available to help you discover open access research, from browser extensions that identify open access publications, to open directories, journals, books, data, images and organisations that support open access. See below to find the best way to search for open research materials.

Open Access Resources

Providing the staff and students of Newcastle one click access to Library subscription content and Open Access full text journal articles and eBooks wherever users are located, including off campus. The Lean Library browser extension identifies access to your Library subscription content and alerts you to available content when searching in Google Scholar, Google, publisher web sites, Amazon, etc., and enables you to login and access the content.

Unpaywall provides access to millions of full text OA articles. Once installed, a green unlocked padlock icon indicates if a free version of the article is available, and by clicking on the icon you can access the PDF.

Access full-text journal articles by bringing the library's subscriptions, as well as content from over 20,000 scholarly sites that Endnote Click supports, to you when you start your search. Once installed, Endnote Click will automatically notify you if a full text OA article is available, allowing you to download it. Endnote Click also allows you to manage your searches, citations and allows you to store publications you save. 

           3min video about Endnote Click

Previously known as the Open Access Button, this search tool and web browser extension activates when you search for a research publication to help source and provide access to a free, legal version of the work. When searching the web, the orange Open Access symbol will appear to notify you that an OA version of the publication is available.

Do you need a place to start looking for open access resources or services? Try these directories:


  • COAR
    Provides access to the world’s largest collection of open access research papers, collecting and indexing research from repositories and journals.
  • OATD - Open Access Theses & Dissertations

Provides access to more than 1.6 million open-access theses and dissertations freely available from over 800 institutions worldwide

  • OpenDOAR - Directory of Open Access Repositories

A global directory of open access repositories where you can search and browse through thousands of registered repositories based on a range of features, such as location, software or type of material held

Bibliographic and access information for over 240,000 serials. Entries provide pricing, subscription and distribution details as well as publisher, editor contacts.

Locate online, free, unrestricted access to research using these open access journal publishers & directories.

  • DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals

An independent database containing over 16,500 peer-reviewed open access journals in areas of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities.

JCR allows you to search for journals based on journal name or category and provides details & metrics of journals performance. Limit your search by open access status or view the individual journal's OA statistics and rates before publishing.

JSTOR provides more than 12 million academic journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines. The Open Access journal collection covers topical areas in sustainability and security studies and broad coverage in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

The JURN Directory contains over 3,000 links to curated open access or otherwise free eJournals in the arts & humanities. The directory excludes predatory publishers.

SciELO provides Open Access (OA) to journals contents, including research articles, review articles, research-related communications, case studies and more. Journals are organised both by national collections, managed by nationally recognised research organisations, and thematic groups.

  • SJR - Scimago Journal & Country Rankings

SJR is a publicly available portal that includes journal and country rankings and visualisation tools for SJR data. The Journal Ranking list allows you to limit your search to Open Access Journals and compare or analyse journal metrics.

Sherpa Romeo helps you find an open access pathway to suit you. Search the publisher open access policies database by ISSN, Journal Title or Publisher to review the publisher copyright and open access archiving policies.

Ulrichsweb contains bibliographic and publisher information on more than 300,00 periodicals of all types of academic and scholarly journals, Open Access publications, peer-reviewed titles, popular magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and more worldwide content. Limit by Open Access to find OA journal indexing details to help identify databases, publisher details, editorial contacts, pricing, subscription and distribution information.

arXiv is an open-access archive for 1,962,407 scholarly article preprints in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics

Locate open access books:

Bloomsbury open access books can be downloaded free of charge from Bloomsbury Collections by anyone. You can download a PDF of the whole book, as well as individual chapter PDFs, and you may share these PDFs with others

  • DOAB - Directory of Open Access Books

A community-driven discovery service that indexes and provides access to scholarly, peer-reviewed open access books and helps users to find trusted open access book publishers. All DOAB services are free of charge and all data is freely available

HathiTrust is a partnership of academic and research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world

Read, share and download more than 5,500 peer-reviewed Open Access books

JSTOR provides access to more than 12 million academic journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines.

Publishers of peer reviewed academic monographs, edited volumes, textbooks and reports in all disciplines published open access. Open Book Publisher books are available to read online and download for free

  • OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association)

OASPA represents a diverse community of organisations engaged in open scholarship, to encourage and enable open access as the predominant model of communication for scholarly outputs

Free, adaptable, openly licensed textbooks and supplemental resource

Project Gutenberg has over 60,000 digital books available to download. Contains a large collection of older literary works for which copyright has expired

Find open datasets you can use for your research:

figshare is a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner

  • OpenDRI - Open Data for Resilience Initiative

The Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) applies the concepts of the global open data movement to the challenges of disaster management and the impacts of climate change

Find, access, and re-use data for research, from over one hundred Australian research organisations, government agencies, and cultural institutions

SciELO Data is a multidisciplinary repository for depositing, preserving & disseminating research data for articles submitted and approved for publication, published in SciELO Network journals or deposited in SciELO Preprints


To publish your own open data see 'Publish your data'

The following open access organisations have a suite of resources if you are interested in finding out more about open access:

OAA are committed to advocating for and raising awareness of open access in Australia and New Zealand through collaboration regionally and internationally and building capacity and expertise within this region

The OECD is working with member and non-member economies to review policies to promote open science and to assess their impact on research and innovation

  • OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association)

OASPA represents a diverse community of organisations engaged in open scholarship, to encourage and enable open access as the predominant model of communication for scholarly outputs

ORC are a not-for-profit organisation created to enable the international research community to establish a consensus around how best to deliver a research dissemination system

  • SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)

SPARC, an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication

Finding images online, copyright free can be difficult. The sites below provide images in the public domain or licensed under a creative commons license:

A directory of public domain images available for anyone to download and reuse in any way

Find photos on Flickr offered under a Creative Commons license