Open access (OA) refers to freely available, digital, online information. Open access scholarly literature is free of charge and often carries less restrictive copyright and licensing barriers than traditionally published works, for both the users and the authors.
Open Access is not related to an item’s quality; the material may or may not be peer-reviewed.
While copyright and licensing may be less strict than traditional publishing this does not mean all OA works are in the Public Domain. Most authors retain copyright.
CRO (CSU Research Output) is the CSU Institutional Repository and is an open access digital archive. CRO includes CSU scholarship and research output of various types, including refereed journal articles, conference papers, books, chapters, and creative works. The aim of CRO is to collect and make available to the world the research output produced by CSU.
Google Scholar allows you to search across many disciplines and locate resources such as articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions.
It is a useful search tool as it makes use of Google's sophisticated search algorithms, allows natural language searching, and locates related and citing articles.
You can use Google Scholar to locate Open Access resources, however without having an institutional login you will not be able to access everything in your search results.