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Open Research

Introduces the open research movement, and goes into more detail about different aspects of this movement, including open access.

Open access content

Recommending open access content to your students is a great way to ensure that everyone can access the resources they need, and using open access content in your research can broaden the scope of the literature. Our guidance below highlights some of the best way to locate open access resources, and explains some of the benefits of using open access content on your reading lists.

Finding open access content video

Please note: we no longer have a subscription to LeanLibrary however LibKey Nomad is still available for use.

Where to find open access content

Databases are a great place to start when searching for open access content. The list below highlights some of the most useful databases when looking for open access resources.

Another way to locate open access content is to find out which open access publications are provided by publishers you may use regularly in your discipline. Follow the links below to see the open access resources provided by different publishers.

The below tools have been created to make locating open access versions of resources more straightforward. The plug-ins can be added to your browser, and if you hit a paywall while searching for material, they will alert you if there is an open access version available, before giving you the option to view this open access version. Please note these browser plug-ins are freely available tools that are not supported by the University of Essex Library Services.

Why use open access content for reading lists?

Why should I use open access content on my reading lists?

Using OA resources on your reading lists means that:

  • All students can access the resource online when they need to, without any restrictions.
  • Access is permanent, so if the institutional subscription changes it will not affect the OA content.
  • Students will be able to access material before the course starts or after they leave university, as they will not rely on institutional subscriptions.
  • You can add pre-prints to your reading list to be discussed in class, as these are early OA versions that haven’t been published or gone through a peer review process yet.
  • You are promoting good practice to potential future researchers through showcasing the benefits of publishing OA.
  • In using OA resources, you are highlighting a wider range of resources from a wider range of researchers.
  • OA resources are shared under creative commons licences, meaning there is less cause for concern around potential copyright restrictions preventing you from adding the material to your reading list.
  • If you add OA resources to your reading list, there will be no delay between adding them to the list and your students accessing them, as the Library does not need to purchase the resource. This is especially helpful when adding resources to your list throughout the year.

If you would like more guidance on finding open access resources for your reading list, please take a look at the webinars delivered by our Academic Liaison Librarians on 'finding online resources for reading lists'. If you have any questions about finding open access content, please do get in touch. Further guidance on creating and editing reading lists can be found in our Reading List guide.

Creative Commons Licence
Except where otherwise noted, this work by University of Essex Library and Cultural Services is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.