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Open Access: Finding Open Access materials

How to find open access resources for scholarly work

Search for Open Access Books

Archive.Org offers access to many older, historical editions and archival version of books but it includes a lending library of digital books

arXiv- Cornell University provides open access to over 900,000 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics.

DOAB: Directory of Open Access Books is a directory of academic peer-reviewed books from many publishers

Openaire Books, theses, articles  and datasets from European Open Access libraries and Institutional Repositories

Google Books If a book is out of copyright, or the publisher has given permission, you'll be able to see a preview of the book, and in some cases the entire text. If it's in the public domain, you're free to download a PDF copy. If the book is out of copyright, or the publisher has given permission, you'll be able to see a preview of the book, and in some cases the entire text. If it's in the public domain, you're free to download a PDF copy.

HathiTrust is a partnership of academic and research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.

​National Academies Press : The combined catalogue of the American National Academies for Sciences Engineering and Medicine, expert level reports and publications from 1994 - now and ongoing, almost 10000 pdfs. 

OAPEN Online Library contains the full text of peer reviewed OA books which are 'free to read' online.

Publications office of the EU : EU Bookshop Publications and Reports published by the EU Institutions and bodies.

United Nations iLibrary is the global search, discovery, and viewing source for digital content created by the United Nations​.

OA Plugins for your browser

If there is an Open Access version of a paper available you can discover it directly from the publisher in your browser by installing one of these plugins: 

Kopernico uses the Web of Science / Clarivate Analytics databases with plugins for Chrome and Firefox, Web of Science is a subscription database.

Open Access Button will search for a known article, no keywords, look for an open access version and offer to email author for a request copy

Unpaywall uses browser plugins to search their database of 20 million articles and reports harvested from institutional repositories.  Plugins are available for Chrome or Firefox.



Big Search Engines for Open Access Articles, Preprints and Research papers

Core : A UK based aggregator, harvesting from many repositories, and supplying data to Openaire and Microsoft Academic Graph and Microsoft Academic AI analytics and research ranking engine

Google Scholar : Searches academic databases, institutional repositories and libraries and presents links to published and also open access texts.

Microsoft Academic : Microsoft's powerful semantic search using the data from Core

Open Access Textbooks

OER Commons : Open Textbooks Open Educational Resources includes textbooks from University publishers in many undergraduate subjects. this collection includes Openstax

Open Textbook Library contains 700+ published textbooks which are licensed for free use in all subjects.

Openstax Rice University's open textbook project, elementary to intermediate levels in mathematics, business, economics, sciences and social sciences.


Finding Theses


DART Europe E-Theses Portal lists theses from repositories around Europe. 

Dissertations and Theses from Proquest  (now incorporates Index to Theses) is the world’s most comprehensive collection of masters and doctoral level dissertations and theses, spanning from 1861 to the present day.

UL Theses Some of UL's undergraduate theses, taught and research postgraduate theses and doctoral theses are available in UL's Institutional Repository. 

RIAN Ireland’s national portal for open access to Irish published research provides a single point of access to national research output and contains content harvested from the institutional repositories of Irish academic and research institutions, including the University of Limerick through the ULIR. This includes masters and doctoral theses from participating institutions.

Open Access Datasets

Ireland's Open Data Portal is Irish public sector data in open, free and reusable formats that the research community can use.

Registry of Research Data Repositories is a global registry that covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. It presents repositories for the permanent storage and access of data sets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers and scholarly institutions. You can browse by country or by content type.

Zenodo Open Access datasets alongside journal articles and scientific publications and reports. The UL community on Zenodo is curated by the ULIR library team and can be accessed at 

Please consult the library's Research Services Department for advice on where and how to store your research data. 

Search for Open Access Journals

DOAJ : Directory of Open Access Journals will search for journal title and also for articles.  It comprises almost 15000 peer reviewed journals whose editorial boards have signed up to the DOAJ 's Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. All DOAJ journals can be searched though the Glucksman Library catalogue

ROAD : Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources, funded by Unesco, searches for journal title only based on the ISSN directory

Open Access Repositories by subject

OAD - Disciplinary Repositories is an extensive list of subject specialist repositories. You may use your institution's repository to share your own work but you should consult this list if you are looking for open advocates in your discipline.