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Unlocking Libraries

Access & Participation with Cambridge University Libraries

Library Resources: Explore Open Access

Open Access

Open Access Logo, via Mike A Morrison on Wikimedia CommonsOpen Access resources are books, articles and information that have been made available online free of charge by an author, university or publisher. This means that anyone can access them at any time without needing to pay, or needing a university affiliation. 

For school students in later years (e.g. Years 12-13) who are engaged in EPQs or other projects or coursework, or wish to bolster their learning with independent reading around a subject, it can be tricky to find copyright-legal and freely accessible resources. Open Access resources can help.

There are some easy ways to find and explore Open Access resources, which are listed below. 

Finding Open Access Resources

The University of Cambridge Open Access Repository, Apollo, holds the research output of members of the University. It is freely accessible, searchable and can be browsed by subject.

There are several search engines that include Open Access Content, and are geared towards Open Access discovery. These include:

Google Scholar. Google Scholar has much that is full text and available to anyone - indicated by the [DOC], [PDF], or [HTML] on the results list. Click on All versions under an article citation which may show a full text freely available version also.

CORE. CORE is the "world's largest collection of Open Access research papers".

Dimensions. Dimensions contains over 100 million publications, including books, articles and research.

Open Access Button. The Open Access Button is a website and browser plug-in that will automatically search for Open Access versions of papers and articles you want to find.

For help searching for Open Access resources for a project, please see the Search Open Access website from Cambridge University Libraries.

Bio Med Central . Open access journals in biomedicine, physical sciences, mathematics and engineering.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Open access, peer-reviewed journals in all areas of science, technology, medicine, social science and humanities.

JURN. A search tool to find free articles and books. Particularly good for the arts and humanities, but now including also journals in science, biomedical, business and law.

Open Library of the Humanities. An open access platform supporting academic journals from across the humanities subjects.

Open Book Publishers. Open access ebooks. For more Open access ebook collections see the Cambridge Libraries Ebooks LibGuide.

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