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Learn more about open access

open access

  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library-use only
  • Catalogue record

"Open Access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions." - Peter Suber

Selected readings on open access

Blogs on open access

Open access in Canada

  • CARL-SPARC toolkit for authors
    "Greater Reach for Your Research"
  • Create Change Canada
    "educational initiative that examines new opportunities in scholarly communication, advocates changes that recognize the potential of the networked digital environment, and encourages active participation by scholars and researchers to guide the course of change"
  • Public Knowledge Project
    a partnership of faculty members, librarians, and graduate students "dedicated to exploring whether and how new technologies can be used to improve the professional and public value of scholarly research"
  • Synergies
    a not-for-profit platform for the publication and the dissemination of research results in social sciences and humanities published in Canada
  • Erudit
    a multi-institutional, multi-lingual publishing consortium in Quebec
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
    CIHR policy on access to research outputs
  • Canadian Cancer Society
    open access policy
  • Open Access Law Canada
    the Open Access Law Program, part of the Science Commons Scholar's Copyright Project, provides resources and support for open access scholarly publishing in the field of law

Finding open access publications

Open Access Directories

Search Tools for Finding Open Access Content

  • Both Google and Google Scholar index open access articles (in addition to proprietary content).
  • OAIster searches records from Open Archives Initiative (OAI)-compliant digital libraries, institutional repositories, and online journals
  • Scirus - (NOTE: Scirus is being retired in early 2014) Science-specific search engine that indexes web pages, preprint servers, digital archives, repositories and patent and journal databases.
  • DRIVER (Europe) - Search repositories from across the European continent in 25 different languages.
  • Trove (Australia) - Run by the National Library of Australia, the Trove database indexes indexes and searches Australian research outputs, including: theses; preprints; post-prints; journal articles; book chapters; music recordings and pictures.  Options to filter to freely available material only.
  • IDEAS/RePEc - Internet Documents in Economics Access Service (IDEAS) for Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) includes open access working papers, book chapters and software components.

Open Access Repositories:

  • ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies) - Directory of the open access mandates of institutions worldwide
  • arXiv.org - Open access repository comprising of e-prints in physics and its related disciplines, such as mathematics, non-linear sciences, and computer science.
  • Cogprints - Repository of self-archived works predominantly in the areas of the cognitive sciences, including psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, biology, medicine, and anthropology.
  • E-LIS - International open access archive for preprints, postprints and other documents in the field of library and information science.
  • NDLTD - Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations is a collaborative project between universities worldwide, which disseminates and preserves electronic theses and dissertations.
  • HAL (Hyper Article on Line) is designed for authors to deposit their research, and thereby offer publicly available scholarly documents from all academic fields. The repository is run through CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) in France. Registration is required to contribute.
  • PubMed Central Canada provides free access to a stable and permanent online digital archive of full-text, peer-reviewed, health and life sciences research publications. It builds on PubMed Central in the U.S. through the submission of Canadian-funded research.
  • Social Science Research Network (SSRN) - Repository of current social science research. “Encourages the early distribution of research results by reviewing and distributing submitted abstracts and by soliciting abstracts of top quality research papers around the world.”
  • The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a nonprofit open-access scientific publishing project aimed at creating a library of open access journals and other scientific literature under an open content license.
  • BioMed Central publishes over 200 peer-reviewed open access journals.


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