Finding open access content

OA week icon

With an ever increasing focus on open access within the academic community, a continually evolving range of online services are available providing unrestricted access to current research articles.

These include directories of open access journals and repositories, pre-print server collections of both peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed manuscripts, and aggregating services harvesting open access resources from online platforms across the globe.

How do I recognise if it is open access?


The open padlock symbol is a universal icon indicating whether an article is open access. Whenever you see this symbol online, you will have free access to the content in which it is embedded.

As well as being visible on open access platforms, this icon commonly appears in paid for subscription journals where author have made their article openly accessible:

Where can I find open access articles?

The platforms listed below are a sample of the online platforms giving unfettered access to scholarly research.

CITY RESEARCH ONLINE Repository of City, University of London research papers.
CORE Search engine for articles in Open Access repositories and journals worldwide.
OPEN ACCESS BUTTON Search engine for articles in Open Access repositories and journals worldwide.
UNPAYWALL An open database of 20 million free scholarly articles.
DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals Directory of Open Access journals worldwide.
OpenDOAR Directory of Open Access repositories worldwide.
PLOS Open Access journal platform covering Science, Technology and Medicine.
arXiv Repository of pre-peer reviewed articles covering Science
and Economics.
bioRxiv Repository of pre-peer reviewed articles for Biology.
Preprints A multidisciplinary platform hosting pre-peer reviewed articles.
EThOS (British Library) Repository for PhD Theses from UK Universities – Create account for free.


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