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Open Access Banner,

There is a move to make publicly funded research more freely available. You can read more about this on the Open Research page. Some of this content will appear in Onesearch and the other resources we subscribe to but there will additional resources you can access, particularly for dissertations and major projects.

There is not one central place to locate open access resources but there are some suggestions below on how to find this information and the subject specific selections will signpost you to some high quality, peer-reviewed journals.
Remember to evaluate all the sources, the Open Access movement has triggered an increase in predatory journals.  These, pay to publish journals, are not academic or truly peer reviewed despite what they say.

  • Find OA content with these browser tools

    Here are browser Apps/tools to help you discover Open Access content online:

    Open Access , Open Access logo 

    EndNote Click

    (formerly Kopernio)

    Automatically search the Library's subscriptions, pre-print servers, institutional repositories and private blogs for free PDFs. Works with Web of Science, Pubmed, Google Scholar and 1000s of other academic platfroms including ScienceDirect and JSTOR.


    Add the Unpaywall app to Chrome. Search for content that you can use legally.  Sources include repositories run by universities, governments, and scholarly societies, as well as open content hosted by publishers.

    Open Access Button

    Use the Open Access search box to locate the OA version of an article, or add this extension to your Chrome browser. 

    Open Access Helper for macOS and iOS

    There are more than 23 million Open Access versions of otherwise "paywalled" scientific articles. Open Access Helper for iOS and Open Access Helper for Safari (macOS) are designed to help you get easy access to these articles, with a lot of help from the awesome APIs from and

  • Multidisciplinary OA Repositories

    A good way to discover full-text peer reviewed research articles is to use an open access repository. Here are some of the main multidisciplinary repositories available to you:

    Open Access , Open Access logo  Insight University of Cumbria's Instututional Repository. Discover outputs from University of Cumbria staff and researchers.

    Base (Bielefeld Academic Search) 

    Access over 120 million documents from 6000+ sources. More than 60% of indexed full text documents are available via open access

    BioMed Central Journals

    BioMed Central is an open access publisher of over 200 free online academic journals specializing in subjects related to science, technology and medicine.

    Campbell Collaboration

    The Campbell Collaboration is an international social science research network that produces high quality, open and policy-relevant evidence syntheses, plain language summaries and policy briefs.


    Self-archived papers in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Linguistics, Philosophy, Biology


    The world’s largest collection of open access research papers


    Discover Open Access books


    Directory of Open Access Journals

    HathiTrust Digital Library

    Offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.

    Google Scholar 

    Not exactly an OA repository, but it does pick up OA content from global repositories

    National Academies Press

    All books published by the National Academies Press can be downloaded as PDFs for free by registering for a free account. Browse topics like aging, children, youth & families, policy, reviews and evaluations, population and fertility studies, women and minorities.  


    A quality-assured global directory of academic open access repositories.

    Public Library of Science (PLos)

    The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource. PLoS journals are concentrated in the areas of biology, medicine and genetics but health policy, mental health, public health and other health areas may be of importance to some social work researchers.


    Open archive of the social sciences, provides a free, non-profit, open access platform for social scientists to upload working papers, preprints, and published papers.

    Springer Open

    Search within over 160 peer-reviewed open access journals and some open access books. Most journals are in the medicine and science but there are some articles covering the social sciences. 



  • University of Cumbria OA Journals

    The University of Cumbria publishes six Open Access journals on topics around education, psychology and health.

    See University of Cumbria | Open Journal System for more information and to read the journals.

  • Subject Specific OA Journals and Resources

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