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Open Access: Finding Open Access Materials

License for LNDL Content

Except the sections on the Open Access Button, Finding Open Access Journals, and Finding Open Access books, content for this Ligguide page has been borrowed from the Loyola Notre Dame Library Copyright Information Center Research Guide and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

 

License for Boston College Content

Content on the Open Access Button, Finding Open Access Journals, and Finding Open Access Books has been borrowed from the Boston College Libraries' Finding OA Content Page and is licensed under a Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution License

Tools for Finding Open Access Materials

  • Open Access Button Chrome extension. When you find an article behind a paywall, click the open access button. The button will return a link to an open access version, if one exists, and also to any underlying datasets. If none exists, you can request a copy. Volunteers will contact the author and ask for an open access version.
  • UnPaywall's Chrome Extension. When you view a research article, Unpaywall automatically looks for a copy in our index of 20 million free, legal fulltext PDFs. If we find one, click the green tab to read the article.

Finding Open Access Journal Articles

  • Ulrichsweb Serial Directory. A source of detailed information on more than 300,000 periodicals (also called serials) of all types: academic and scholarly journals, e-journals, peer-reviewed titles, popular magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and more.

  • Pubmed Central. A 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). 

  • arXiv. An open-access pre-print repository of articles in the sciences.

  • bioRxiv. An open-access pre-print repository of biology articles.

  • medRxiv. An open-access pre-print repository of health sciences articles.

Finding Open Access Journals


  •  
    ROAD

    ROAD synthesizes information about open access journals from a number of sources. Its base is a subset of the ISSN registry. Users may browse to find open access journals by country or by subject. Users may also search for an open access title by name, ISSN number, subject, or other concept.

  • OAISter
  • OpenDOAR
  • BASE
  • Google Scholar
  • PLoS
    Creative Commons licensed science journals.
  • BioMed Central
    Creative Commons licensed medical journals.

Finding Open Access Books

 

  • HathiTrust logo

    HathiTrust is a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future. The Hathitrust collection includes nearly 16,000,000 digitized items, and almost 6,000,000 are in the public domain, available to anyone with an internet connection.

 

The DPLA (Digital Public Library of America) is a large-scale digital public library in a single platform and portal, providing open and coherent access to our society’s digitized cultural heritage. 

Searching for Public Domain Content

Public domain works are not protected by copyright either because their copyright term has expired or they fall within a category of works that are not subject to copyright law. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission. More information on the public domain is available here.

Works that are in the public domain can be found almost anywhere so this is far from an exhaustive list. The following is merely a selection of sites that have large collections of content in the public domain.

Searching for Creative Commons Licensed Images

The following sites may contain content licensed under Creative Commons. Note that not all content on the site is necessarily licensed under Creative Commons. If you are in doubt about the license on a work contact the copyright holder.

  • Google Image Search Use the usage rights dropdown menu from the advanced search page to search for content licensed under Creative Commons.
  • flickr Use the advanced search to limit to Creative Commons licensed content.
  • Open Clip Art Library All clip art on the site is in the public domain and may be used freely.
  • Pixabay >Images that have been placed in the public domain and may be used freely.
  • Creativity 103 Abstract background designs licensed under Creative Commons.
  • Pexels A stock photo website where all images are licensed under a CC0 license.

Searching for Creative Commons Licensed Audio

The following sites may contain content licensed under Creative Commons. Note that not all content on the site is necessarily licensed under Creative Commons. If you are in doubt about the license on a work contact the copyright holder.

  • Jamendo Use the advanced search to limit to Creative Commons licensed materials.
  • ccMixter An entire site of music licensed under Creative Commons.
  • Free Loops Free downloadable music loops.
  • freesound Sound effects all licensed under Creative Commons.
  • OpSound Creative Commons licensed music.

Searching for Creative Commons Licensed Video

The following sites may contain content licensed under Creative Commons. Note that not all content on the site is necessarily licensed under Creative Commons. If you are in doubt about the license on a work contact the copyright holder.

  • YouTube After your search use the filter dropdown menu below the search box to limit to Creative Commons licensed videos.
  • Vimeo
  • Al Jazeera Creative Commons licensed video footage from Al Jazeera.