Benefits of open access, and further information

Benefits of open access and useful resources.

Benefits of open access

Open access benefits the author, institution, and wider community as well as meeting funder requirements.

Benefits of open access - Green and Gold routes to publication 

Cameron Neylon explains open access and its importance in publishing in the 21st Century in the video Publishing in the 21st Century.

The Research Repository blog features updates on open- access policy.

Open-access resources

For details of over 2000 peer-reviewed open-access journals, see the Directory Of Online Journals (DOAJ).

If you are struggling to find full text for a paper you need to read, the following open access discovery tools aim to quickly locate the full text of articles that may be hidden behind paywalls. Whilst none of them fully index all available open access content, they may result in you finding a readable copy of the specific paper you are looking for:

  • Google Scholar is the academic search engine version of Google, which often finds open versions of papers and usually displays a link straight to the paper.
  • Unpaywall is an open access discovery service that is being integrated into many databases and sites. You can use their browser extension to get a colour-coded padlock with (hopefully) direct access to a PDF.
  • The Open Access Button is another open access discovery source with its own browser extension.
  • CORE is a searchable database of aggregated open access content from repositories and journals worldwide.
  • Kopernio searches the library subscriptions of the user’s institution, pre-print servers and repositories to find a readable copy of the article in question. Kopernio also allows users to save PDFs to their Kopernio lockers so you can read the PDF later.

ROARMAP (The Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies) is a searchable international registry listing open access mandates and policies adopted by universities, research institutions and research funders that require or request their researchers to provide open access to their peer-reviewed research article output by depositing it in an open access repository.

The Global Open Access Portal, hosted by UNESCO, provides an insight into the status of open access to scientific information in 158 countries worldwide.

The JISC Sherpa Services enable authors to check publisher, funder and government open access policies.

  • Sherpa FACT checks if compliance with funder open access policies can be achieved with a particular journal
  • Sherpa Romeo shows publishers' conditions for open access archiving on a journal-by-journal basis
  • Sherpa Juliet shows funders for conditions for open access publication
  • Sherpa REF shows whether a journal complies with the REF open access policy

Resources for your thesis

There are a number of electronic thesis indexes for you to freely search, including:

A number of websites provide Creative Commons Zero (CC0) images, which are available to use by anyone, however they like. The images are in the public domain and can be reproduced, incorporated into other works, modified, and reused, without needing permission and in most cases without even needing to credit the author.

Ned Potter’s Guide to the best sites for CC0 art and stock photography links to many of these public domain image sites, including Pexels, Stocksnap and, amongst others.


For explanations of the terminology see the open-access glossary.

Open Research series

A series of recorded workshops on the benefits and practical application of Open Research:

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