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Open Research

Open access content

Recommending open access content to your students is a great way to ensure that everyone can access the resources they need. Our guidance below highlights some of the best way to locate open access resources.

Databases

Plug-ins

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 pug-ins are freely available tools that are not supported by the University of Essex Library Services.

Publisher content

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.

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.

Finding online resources for your reading list

Finding online resources for your reading list - Science and Health

Finding onine resources for your reading list - Humanities

Finding online resources for your reading lists - Social Sciences