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Research Guides

Reading, Writing and Publishing After You Leave U of T

Supports the course of the same name in the Graduate Professional Skills Program.

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is the practice of making scholarly publications openly and freely available on the web. These publications may be formal scholarly publications such as peer-reviewed articles or theses, or quasi-scholarly publications such as conference proceedings and presentations, pre-prints, and so on.

Open Access sites include:

OA Journals 

Peer-reviewed journals on the web; generally resemble traditional journals

Institutional respositories

Digital collections maintained and made available by research institutions, for example U of T's T-space (theses are now archived here).

Subject repositories

Digital collections organized by subject.

Further reading:

Budapest Open Access Initiative 

"By 'open access' to this literature we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself."

Open Access: A Briefing Paper 

Provides a brief overview.

Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook (OASIS).

Provides a comprehensive look at Open Access principles, advantages, approaches and methods.

Search tools

Google Scholar - Searches online repositories and other web sites, as well as scholarly databases.

BASE - searches over 33 million documents at 2100+ sites.

OAIster - "millions of digital resources from thousands of contributors"

DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals

JURN - indexes free journals in the arts & humanities

OpenDOAR - Directory of Open Access Respositories. Allows you to find repositories and to search repository contents.

ROAR - Registry of Open Access Repositories

SHERPA/RoMEO - Searchable directory of publisher copyright & self-archiving policies

Ranking Web of World Repositories