Here are a selection of OA resources including search engines and online book and journal collections:

BASE is one of the world's largest search engines especially for academic web resources.  BASE provides more than 120 million documents from over 6,000 sources.  About 60% of the indexed documents are freely available.

Bioline International Open access to peer reviewed bioscience journals published in developing countries containing research in the areas of: public health, international development, tropical medicine, for and nutritional security, and biodiversity.

Biomed Central Online publisher of free peer-reviewed scientific articles in all areas of medical research and biology.

BioOne Open access biomedical science journals.

Cambridge Journals Digital Archives Free archival content to journals published by Cambridge University Press covering disciplines including: Science, Medicine, Humanities and Social Sciences, Language and Linguistics.

CORE aggregates the world's open access research and provides access to millions of articles.

DOAB Directory of Open Access Books provides access to over 12,500 academic peer-reviewed books and chapters

DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to over high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.  DOAJ provides access to almost 12,000 journals and over 3 million articles.

Euro PubMed Central  is a repository, providing access to worldwide life sciences articles, books, patents, and NHS clinical guidelines.  It searches over 33 million abstracts and provides full-text to almost 5 million articles.

Google Books Find chapters and some complete books online, or search for suitable titles to buy of find in the Library.

Google Scholar  is an academic search engine that finds full-text articles, theses, eBooks as well as abstracts.  Google Scholar finds freely available OA content along with subscribed content available from the Library.  To see full-text available from the Library when off campus makes sure you go to Settings > Library Links > search 'Abertay' and select 'Abertay Library - View it @ Abertay'

Hathi Trust is a partnership of academic and research institutions, offering a collection of millions of book titles digitised from libraries around the world.

IAMCR Open Access Journals  International Association for Media and Communication Research is the preeminent worldwide professional organisation in the field of media and communication research.

IOP Journal Archive 1874-1998  Free archival content via JISC to all UK Higher and Further education institutions. IOP Journal Archive is a digital collection of nearly all the work published by the Institute of Physics between 1874-1998. The archive contains over 120,000 peer reviewed articles.  Please note that access is granted via Abertay's IP address (on-campus use only)

JSTOR Open Content  Explore multi-disciplinary academic content on JSTOR that is open to everyone. Search thousands of free journal articles and open access book chapters.

OAPEN  is a collection of freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences.

OpenDOAR  searches hundreds of Open Access repositories for freely available academic research articles.

Open Textbook Library  Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. A growing catalogue of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks.

PLOS  Public Library of Science.  PLOS is a non-profit organisation of scientists committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature freely accessible to scientists and to the public Health and life sciences journals.

PubMed Central  Free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).

Sage Open  A peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes original research and review articles on the social and behavioural sciences and the humanities. 

Springer Open 60+ peer-reviewed fully open access journals across all areas of sciences.

Wiley Open Access Journals Open access science journals from Wiley. 

What is Open Access and how can it help me?

Library resources are not free!

The Library pays hundreds of thousands of pounds every year for subscriptions to online journal collections and databases that provide you with access to original published research.  This subscribed content is crucial for completing coursework and carrying out research.  It is available via LibrarySearch, direct from the publisher platforms (see links on our Resources A-Z or Subject Guides) and we have chosen to make much of it available via Google Scholar.  However, these Library subscriptions are not freely available; they are behind a paywall that your Abertay login credentials allow you to unlock. 

Our resources are also set up to recognise when you are on-campus (IP authentication) so you will easily get to our full-text subscriptions via Google when in the University.  If you try this from home you would not get to the full-text without logging in.

No University has access to all published research and sometimes you will need to obtain something that is not covered by our subscriptions.  Open Access research outputs complement our Library subscriptions and are a valuable resource for all staff and students.

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) refers to the unrestricted, online access to published research outputs.  It allows published research to be made freely available online rather than only being available to those who can pay for access.  The Government and most research funders support OA believing that increased access and reuse of research outputs are beneficial.  OA publishing is consistent with the highest standards of quality and is now a well accepted route for publishing research outputs. 

Where should I search?

You should always begin your search with LibrarySearch as it is the quickest and easiest way to search our large collection of resources simultaneously.  LibrarySearch contains a mix of subscribed (paid-for) and Open Access content.  You will see that there are icons in the results list for both peer-reviewed and OA content.  However, if you don't find what you're after in LibrarySearch, there are also some additional tools you can try to find an OA version elsewhere.  Although these tools won't always give you the access you require, they are a useful addition to your research toolkit when you need instant access to something.

There are many OA tools available but we have selected four of the best for you to try.  Just as LibrarySearch simulateously searches multiple Library resources from a single search box so you don't have to repeat the same search in various databases; these OA tools search thousands of sources to instantly locate an OA version for you.  OA content is harvested from many sources including repositories run by governments and scholarly societies but the main sources are University repositories and OA journal content hosted by publishers themselves.

  • Open Access Repositories hold digital copies of published research outputs that are then freely accessible - like our Abertay Research Portal 
  • Open Access Journals make their articles available for free but sometimes require the author to pay a fee to support publication costs.  The journal and article are then freely available to the general public and not locked behind a paywall.  OA journal articles are also peer-reviewed.

What if I still can't find what I'm after?

If you can't gain access via our Library subscriptions or through the tools suggested below, you can submit an inter-library loan request.  And please remember that if you have any queries about accessing resources for coursework or research please contact us:

Please note: by installing the extensions listed below you are agreeing to that company's terms of service.  Please read the terms or use and privacy policy carefully before installing any browser extension tools and if you don't agree to anything mentioned, don't install it!

Search for OA articles now using this search widget powered by the Open Access Button:

Open Access Button
Google Scholar Button
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Libkey Nomad
Core Discovery

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