Skip to Main Content
London Metropolitan University

Research Matters: Finding Open Access material

Research Matters

What is Open Access?

There has been a growing movement in recent years to make scholarly content available as Open Access (OA), meaning freely available online for all to read. Many funding bodies now make it a condition of funding that the research outputs are made available as Open Access, often in an OA Repository or database.

Open Access Journals

A selection of Open Access e-journals:

Bentham Open: over 100 plus peer-reviewed open access journals. These free-to-view online journals cover all major disciplines of science, technology, medicine and social sciences.

Bioline International: open access peer reviewed bioscience journals published in developing countries.

BioMed Central:  an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher of 276 peer-reviewed open access journals.

BMJ Open:  an online, open access journal, dedicated to publishing medical research from all disciplines and therapeutic areas.

Dialnet (Spanish journals): Arts and Sciences Open Access journals in Spanish (do bear in mind that citing content written in a language other than English would require your reader to understand that language too).

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ):  an online directory that indexes and provides access to quality open access, peer-reviewed journals.

European Geosciences Union:  Open access peer-reviewed journals in the geosciences and planetary sciences.

Free Medical Journals:  Open Access medical content.

Hikari: publishers of Science, Technology and Medicine journals.

Hindawi Publishing Corporation:  over one hundred peer-reviewed, open access journals in the fields of science, technology, and medicine.

Indian Academy of Sciences: publishers of several Open Access journals.

Intech: Open Access journals in Science, Technology and Medicine.

Internet Library of Early Journals: A digital library of 18th and 19th century journals. 

Internet Scientific Publications (ISPUB): a publishing house which offers free access to over eighty ejournals on various medical topics.

Nature Communications: an open access journal that publishes high-quality research from all areas of the natural sciences and has an Impact Factor of 10.742. Note: only submissions received after 20th October 2014 are open access.

Open Humanities Press: an international open access publishing collective in critical and cultural theory.

PeerJ: publishes the world's scientific knowledge through Open Access licensing.

PLOS: a suite of influential journals from all areas of science and medicine that contain rigorously reported, peer reviewed Open Access research articles.

Project Euclid: free access to journals, conference proceedings and monographs in the field of theoretical and applied mathematics and statistics.

SAGE Open: a peer-reviewed, "Gold" open access journal from SAGE that publishes original research and review articles in an interactive, open access format.

Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO): an electronic library covering a selected collection of Brazilian scientific journals.

SpringerOpen: Springer’s portfolio of 160+ peer-reviewed fully open access journals.

Virginia Tech Digital Library and Archives: access to scholarly electronic journals that are peer-reviewed, full text and accessible without cost.

Wiley Open Access: authoritative peer reviewed open access journals across many research disciplines.

Open Access books

A selection of Open Access e-books:

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB): a discovery service that points to Open Access books that can be found elsewhere.

Bloomsbury Open Content: Bloomsbury ebooks in a range of disciplines.

Bookboon: educational material for students and business professionals.

Brill Open: established publishing house providing ebooks, mostly for the Humanities.

CLASCO: e-book content from the Latin American Council of Social Sciences.

Computers and Composition Digital Press: publishing innovative, multimodal digital projects.

Digital Culture Books: an imprint of the University of Michigan Press dedicated to publishing innovative work in new media studies and digital humanities.

Global Text Project: publishing open content electronic textbooks that are freely available from this website.

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

Hikari: publisher of international journals and books in science, technology and medicine.

HSRC Press: The Human Sciences Research Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies.

InTech: InTech is a pioneer and world's largest multidisciplinary open access publisher of books covering the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine.

Internet Archive and Open Library: The Internet Archive is a non-profit project that was founded to build an Internet library.

manchester openhive: the Open Access arm of Manchester University Press. Select "Book" and/or "Chapter" underneath "Refine by type" to search across or browse book content. 

National Academies Press: over 5000 titles from the US National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council to read online or download in PDF format.

NCBI Bookshelf: provides free access to books and documents in life science and healthcare, (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine).

OAPEN: the OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Online Books Page: a website that facilitates access to books that are freely readable over the Internet.

Open Humanities Press: an international, scholar-led open access publishing collective whose mission is to make leading works of contemporary critical thought available worldwide.

O'Reilly Open Books: O'Reilly has published a number of Open Books (books with various forms of "open" copyright) over the years.

Project Gutenberg: Project Gutenberg was the first provider of free electronic books. publishes work in contemporary philosophy.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare:  the Web's first edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

UCL Press: the UK's first fully Open Access University Press.

University of Westminster Press: now providing Open Access e-books of the titles that they publish.

Open Access repositories and databases

The London Metropolitan University Institutional Repository

The London Met Repository was established in 2015 to serve as the University’s Open Access Repository for research outputs.

The Repository is a showcase and brings the work of London Met academics to the attention of a much greater audience, both within academia and the general public, thus enhancing the profile of the University’s academics on both a national and international level.

You can search for material by keyword, or browse by year, subject, department or author.

We have now added the CORE Recommender tool to the Repository, which suggests similar articles on the topic being searched, pulled from the millions of Open Access papers available through CORE. When you are looking at an article in the Repository, scroll down to the foot of the page to see these recommendations.

Other OA repositories and databases 

Here is a selection of some other databases in which you can search for Open Access material:

African Digital Research Repositories:  A list of known African repositories compiled by the International African Institute.

Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE): BASE is one of the world's most voluminous search engines especially for academic Open Access web resources.

CORE: CORE (COnnecting REpositories) aims to facilitate free access to scholarly publications distributed across many systems.

Dimensions: Free source of over 117m Open Access articles mainly focussing on the Sciences, with additional author and funder information. 

Europe PubMed Central: Free information resource for biomedical and health researchers.

JURN: JURN has been established since 2009 as a curated collection of Open Access journals and books using Google search functionality.

Jxiv: OA repository containing the latest research from Japanese scholars across all subjects. Some items have an English translation.

OAIster: a union catalogue of OA records harvested from collections worldwide.

OpenDOAR: an authoritative directory of academic Open Access repositories. When you go to search for repositories, you can also click on "Browse by country" to view repositories from different countries. 

Organic Eprints: an international open access archive for papers related to research in organic agriculture.

PubMed Central: a free archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).

Semantic Scholar: an AI-powered search engine built by the Allen Institute with the aim of making scientific literature easy to search for and access. They actively work with publishers to make OA versions of their content available (including book chapters in some cases). The focus is on Science but it is possible to find some Humanities and Social Science content here too. 

Shared Research Repository: find research produced by staff at the British Library, National Museums Scotland, British Museum, (MOLA) Museum of London Archaeology, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Tate.

Other useful OA resources

EndNote Click (formerly Kopernio) is a fantastic Google Chrome extension which can help you to locate Open Access versions of papers quickly and easily. When you come up against a paywalled journal article, Endnote automatically searches for a full text PDF elsewhere (i.e. in a university repository or similar OA database), and will pop up in the corner of your screen with "View PDF" if it finds one. 
The Kopernio View PDF option
Unpaywall is a similar tool; its browser extension helps you to access Open Access copies of material via their OA Database, which at the time of writing contains over 26 million journal articles from over 50,000 publishers. 
The Open Access Button is another tool which can help you to find OA versions of articles or other material. There is a web version and a Chrome extension, and if the paper you are looking for is not available, the OA Button can make requests to authors for you. 
The Cassyni database is a collection of research seminars from across the globe. It allows you to watch and cite the seminars that have been posted by fellow researchers.