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Q. How can I find Open Access or free materials?

Answered By: Beth Juhl
Last Updated: Jul 06, 2022     Views: 117


OneSearch is the "all in one" library search engine that covers many of our books and ebooks, journals and full-text journal articles, videos, and even manuscript or digital collections. 

In OneSearch, you can filter your search results for Open Access materials by using the limiter "Availability: Open Access." 

OneSearch results page Open Access limiter

While browsing search results, you can also look for the Open Access icon, indicating the article is freely available to you.

Open Access Icon


Unpaywall is browser plugin that connects to an open database of more than 28 million free scholarly articles from more than 50,000 publishers. 
Unpaywall harvests data from services like DOAJ and CrossRef, from institutional repositories, and from monitoring individual journals for OA content. Unpaywall gathers all the Open Access articles it can find into one database, so you don’t have to search multiple places to find a free copy of an article of interest.
The Unpaywall browser plugin for Chrome and Firefox allows you check for open full text automatically.

Open Books

Check HathiTrust for public domain books and journals (generally pre-1930s) and the Internet Archive Books Page for more recent ebooks you can borrow freely for short periods of time. 

Open Textbooks

Check our Research Guide for Open Educational Resources with links and tips for locating freely available textbooks that can be used in your class. 

Open Databases

In addition to OneSearch, which does not require a log in for searching, the Libraries offer dozens of specialized research databases that are freely available. Browse our list with the link below.  

About Open Access

Open Access (OA) means free access to information and unrestricted use of electronic resources for everyone. Any kind of digital content can be OA, from texts and data to software, audio, video, and multi-media. Like other libraries worldwide, your U of A library is helping authors make their content open. Read more about Open Access initiatives and programs on our research guide. 

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