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Open Access

Open access (OA) is the practice of providing unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed scholarly research. This guide is designed to help faculty, staff, and students navigate the topic.

What is Open Access?

Open access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of research or resources along with the rights to reuse these resources.

Library Services

We can help you...

  • Find an open access journal to publish in
  • Amplify the reach of your works by sharing them open access, no matter where you choose to publish
  • Negotiate publishing contracts to facilitate sharing your work open access
  • Create and adopt open educational resources to provide free learning resources for students
  • Receive discounts on article processing charges (APCs) for selected publishers

For questions or to schedule a consultation, contact us!

Finding Open Access Research

Recommended Tools

Unpaywall logo

Unpaywall browser extension for Google Chrome and Firefox

While you're browsing research, if the extension finds a free, immediately available version of that article, it will light up green. Click the green tab to be instantly connected to the PDF. It's fast, free, and legal, powered by a database of millions of author-uploaded PDFs.

Open Access Button browser extension for Google Chrome and Firefox

This browser extension will also try to connect you to freely available versions of the articles you're looking for. If it's not available online, you can submit a request directly to the author to make it freely available online.

Finding Open Access Journals

There are countless Open Access journals available now. How can you find them?

Start with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The DOAJ aims to index and provide access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

Worried the journal you found might not be legitimate? Try using the Journal Evaluation Tool from Loyola Marymount University. This rubric and scoring sheet will help in evaluating key aspects of a legitimate journal and may help allay concerns about academic publishing scams.

Finding Open Educational Resources

Recommended Tools

Mason OER Metafinder

This tool searches 21 different sources of open educational materials, including textbooks, syllabi, lesson plans, instructional videos and more.

Try a search!

MOM iconMason OER Metafinder (MOM)
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OER at Swarthmore

Digital Humanities Curricular Grants

Highlight Dive into Systems and work by Crouch/Geller?