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Using Open Access Resources OR How to get free stuff

How to use repositories and other tools to find open access resources for your research

Using Open Access Resources OR How to get free stuff

Open Access is having a big effect on the academic world but how can you find open materials to help your research?

Repositories Most academic institutions now have a repository to record and showcase their research outputs. A repository record should tell you a lot about an article, it might tell you where to access it or contain a file of the full text.

Have a look at a TeesRep record here: es/handle/10149/111573

Off the Handle? When items are added to a repository they are given a handle number, this can help you to pick repository records out of your search results:

Here’s our TeesRep record: Here’s the handle number

Here is another TeesRep record, this time found by searching the article title in Google:

This is the repository host /the owner (Tees Uni)/ The handle no./ & the file name

Using Open Access Resources OR How to get free stuff

Here’s a Google search result for one of the previous articles references, this one is also from a repository: Here the Handle No. File Name Repository owner is Edinburgh Napier University

You can analyse the web address of PDF documents found online in this way to discover their origin and confirm their scholarly credentials.

Using Open Access Resources OR How to get free stuff

DOI’s DOI: The best way to locate an article is using it’s DOI (digital object identifier) This is a unique number like an ISBN for an article, searching for a DOI is likely to produce accurate results

Even where the full text of an item is not included in a repository you should find information, like links to the publisher’s website or a DOI that will help you track down the full text.


This is what a DOI might look like, click on the link to find out more.

Using Open Access Resources OR How to get free stuff

In addition to allowing you to find repositories, ROAR (the registry of open access repositories) also allows you to search the content of repositories in the register for open access articles, try your search terms to discover freely accessible documents.

Using Open Access Resources OR How to get free stuff

Online Thesis There are several places where you can access doctoral and postgraduate thesis online, many Universities will hold the details of thesis in their repository but there are also national and international repositories where thesis may be deposited:;jsessionid=AB2593D0CE BCE3F542EC1BBDAA8CED70 EThOS Thesis service from the British Library for UK thesis. -bin/Main/BasicSearch?coll=18&l=0&v=1 Thesis Canada from the Canadian national library and archives Dart – European libraries partnership 650 ProQuest thesis search, commercial database used by many US universities

Using Open Access Resources OR How to get free stuff

Directory of Open Access Journals Is a database which allows you to search through a collection of open access scientific and scholarly journals from reputable sources

PubMed This is a medical database run by the National Centre of Biotechnology Information, allowing searching of open access journals in the field. Some no-fee OA journals have direct or

What is an open access journal? 'We define open access journals as journals that use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access.' [16/10/13]

indirect subsidies from institutions like universities, laboratories, research centres, libraries, hospitals, museums, learned societies, foundations, or government agencies. Some have revenue from a separate line of non-OA publications. Some have revenue from advertising, auxiliary services,

Some journals may be all or partially open access and show which content is available through a traffic light scheme (green for open, red for closed access) a phrase like ‘supports open access’ or the open or closed padlock symbol.

membership dues, endowments, reprints, or a print or premium edition. Suber, P. (2006) SPARC ( [16/10/13]

Using Open Access Resources OR How to get free stuff

Open Archives? Many institutions are now making their archival resources available online, you can find out what is available using repository discovery tools like ROAR and OPEN DOAR. -This is different from the Open Archives Initiative The open archives initiative is a scheme were repositories can share the data records where their remit overlaps, for example; Teesside University Thesis are added to our repository (TeesRep) the information is added to a standard which allows the British Library Ethos repository to automatically incorporate the same information so users searching either location will be directed to the full text. Find out more here: Some open archives: Chopin Early Editions From the University of Chicago Original sheet music English Heritage Archives Historic Photographs and plans Documenting the American South Primary historical sources from the University of North Carolina World Digital Library Historical sources from worldwide sources from the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Using Open Access Resources OR How to get free stuff

Datasets Researchers are increasingly making their research data available openly, making datasets available allows others to validate the research or reuse the data in further research projects. Some researchers prefer to work this way others are required to do so by their funding body, you can find research data in a variety of repositories: Figshare A sharing site where users can upload any file. DataOne A collaborative site for sharing Earth Observational Data Freebase A community database for file sharing

You can find a list of data repositories from the Open Access Directory wiki here: *Many of these repositories are user contributed so there is no guarantee that they will hold quality research, remember to assess the origin and quality of the source the same as you would with a research article.

Using Open Access Resources OR How to get free stuff

Images Library of congress prints and photos online Getty Images 2Open+Content+Images%22&rows=10&srt=a&dir=s&pg=1

You could also try Flikr Commons, NASA images and the National Gallery of Art.

Slides and Presentations You may find helpful or reusable slides/presentations and other resources: Prezi Slide Share Jorum (for open educational resources)

Using Open Access Resources OR How to get free stuff

E-Books and Open Access Hathi Trust ‘…a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future’ (Hathi Trust [23/10/13])

Directory of Open Access Books A database to help users discover open access e-books

Project Guttenberg Searchable collection of out of copyright books

Using open access resources  
Using open access resources