Open access (OA) resources are digital, online, and free to use. They also often carry less restrictive copyright and licensing barriers than traditionally published works, offering both users and creators a level of access to their work otherwise impossible under strict paywall models, and promoting the spread of knowledge unimpeded by the current structure of scholarly publishing. An easy way to remember what OA is: "free availability and unrestricted use."
And just because they're free, that doesn't mean OA materials are not legitimate! While open access is a newer form of scholarly publishing, many OA journals do comply with well-established peer-review processes and maintain high publishing standards.
If you're interested in learning more about the details of OA, check out Peter Suber's overview of Open Access.
Please note that some of the resources listed here are temporarily available & open thanks to corporations & institutions lifting restrictions to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In essence, these are free trials of subscription resources and can be discovered through the lists below, or by searching databases on the Electronic Resources page. JSTOR & Ebsco are two platforms that have provided temporary expanded access.
If you do not have access to the GTU Library's subscription resources, you can still use a Summon search to find Open Access resources. Just use the Open Access filter after you perform your search, as shown in the screenshot below.
Digital Commons Network The Digital Commons Network brings together free, full-text scholarly articles from hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide. Curated by university librarians and their supporting institutions, the Network includes a growing collection of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings, and other original scholarly work.
Project Muse Open Access Search In response to the current pandemic, Project MUSE has partnered with the community of not-for-profit scholarly presses providing journals and books on our platform to offer significant amounts of that content for free. More than 50 publishers have chosen to temporarily make content freely available to assist with access for the many students, faculty, and researchers now working remotely due to the global public health crisis of COVID-19. As of today, more than 15,000 books, and over 230 journal titles - comprising well over 10,000 issues and more than 185,000 articles - are available through this initiative.
JSTOR is offering expanded access to the JSTOR databases during the pandemic (now through Dec. 2020). If you do NOT have a GTU library card, please use this link to find out more about this expanded access. Please note (as with most of the COVID-19 expanded access to resources listed on this page) that these extra results will not appear in a Summon search. To find out more, read the JSTOR update.
PubMed Central PubMed Central is a full-text, open access database (to be distinguished from PubMed which is a citation database) administered by the National Library of Medicine. Depending on publishers' policies, authors can submit published articles for inclusion and are required to do so in the case of NIH-funded research.
UC Press Journals "In recognition of the impact of coronavirus on campus instruction and the rise of unplanned distance learning, University of California Press is pleased to make all of our online journals content free to all through June 2020."
Elsevier's OA Journals Elsevier publishes many journals and scholarly works in various disciplines. This site provides a list of this publisher's open access journals.
SpringerOpen Journals SpringerOpen journals and books are made freely and permanently available online immediately upon publication. They are subject to high-level peer review, author and production services ensuring quality and reliability of the work. Authors publishing with SpringerOpen retain the copyright to their work, licensing it under a Creative Commons license.
Public Library of Science PLoS publishes several well-established open access, peer-reviewed journals covering an array of disciplines in the sciences including PLOS Biology, PLOS One, and PLOS Pathogens.
HathiTrust Digital Library Contains open-access book-length items. A catalog search, limited to Full View Only, brings up not only full-text materials, but also a set of conditions by which you can limit your search (e.g. subject heading, date range, author, language). It also aggregates full-text materials from various sources and displays bibliographical information that may be more useful than Google Books.
Globethics.net Library The Globethics.net Library is a free, open online library aimed at providing quality resources on applied ethics, education and religious studies from all over the world. Content in the library is available in multiple languages and is harvested from more than 3,000 open access repositories. Free registration required.
UC Press Ebooks Collection (1982-2004) Includes almost 2,000 books from academic presses on a range of topics, including art, science, history, music, religion, and fiction.
University of Pennsylvania Press Temporary free access to 6400+ publications, mostly ebooks.
Ohio State University Press Ebooks Temporary free access to 699 books. Collection is strong in literary criticism and general humanities topics.
Project Gutenberg Provides free access to more than 60,000 (primarily older public domain) books which can be downloaded in a variety of formats including ePub, Kindle, HTML and plain text.
Internet Archive A non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. The site includes the Wayback Machine, a digital archive of the World Wide Web. For more information on how to download books from the Internet Archive, see their helpful guide & FAQ.
OASIS A large user friendly OER search engine that allows for users to search by subject or by course material type (e.g. textbooks, simulations, audio).
The Mason OER Metafinder (MOM) The Mason OER Metafinder helps you find Open Educational Resources. Unlike other OER discovery sites (e.g, OER Commons, OASIS, MERLOT, OpenStax, etc.) with our Metafinder you aren’t searching a static database that we’ve built. Instead, the OER Metafinder launches a real-time, simultaneous search across 21 different sources of open educational materials as you hit the Search button.
Google Advanced Search allows searching by Usage Rights. To find open access materials use filters, "free to use or share," "free to use or share even commercially," "free to use, share, or modify," and "free to use, share, or modify, even commercially."
Numeridanse A multimedia dance platform. It offers free access to a unique video base: filmed performances, documentaries, interviews, fictions, dance videos. Every single genre, style and form is showcased here.
BBC Archive News segments and clips from BBC broadcasts through time including material on the arts, travel, history, food, politics, and more.
Frontline PBS Documenary Series Includes documentaries on criminal justice, religion, social issues, politics, terrorism, war and conflict, environment, education, health immigration, world, and more.
Brave New Films Brave New Educators creates powerful videos and documentaries for educators to start a dialogue with students at colleges and high schools across the country. All of these social-justice-focused resources are completely free. A thoughtfully crafted discussion guide accompanies each film. Topics include justice, security, inequality, and gun violence.
Moving Image Archive A massive digital library with four million videos, including 1.6 million television news programs, 4.5 audio recordings (including 180,000 live concerts).
National Film Board of Canada Includes films, documentaries, animations, and interactive web experiences.
Open Culture A privately sponsored site, it offers 1,150 free films, free online courses, audio books, and e-books for iPad, Kindle and other devices. Closed captioning available.
The Open Video Project - The Open Video repository provides video clips from a variety of sources, especially various video programs obtained from U.S. government agencies such as the U.S. Records and Archives Administration and NASA. Although the government agency videos were produced with public funds and are freely available from the Archives, no copyright clearance has been obtained for audio or video elements in these productions. We encourage researchers to use the data under fair use for research purposes. Those wishing to use these video clips in any commercial enterprise must bear the burden of obtaining copyright clearances.
Ted Talks A clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world's most inspired thinkers. Includes closed captioning options.