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AGSPS Professional Development Guide: Open Access Resources

Open Access Journals

Open-access journals contain journals that are freely accessible and do not require payment of a fee to access.  They may be found on the internet, in Open Access journals or in institutional repositories. 

Open Access articles are usually not in the public domain.  This means that in most instances authors retain copyright.

Open Access is not an indicator of an article's quality.  The material within an open access journal may or may not be peer reviewed.

Some sources of Open Access journals include:

This website has an extensive list of Open Access journal databases.

Finding OA journals

The journal options flowchart (pdf) published by the  Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) is a useful starting point, but there are a number of tools and services that may help you find a suitable open access journal in which to publish:

Directory of open access journals hosted by Lund University, Sweden, with details about '... 12000 open access journals covering all areas of science, technology, medicine, social science and humanities'. A 'community-curated' list of journals with standards for inclusion, aimed at ensuring credibility as research publications. Directory entries include article processing charges (APC) and Creative Commons licences.

Database of journals and country scientific metrics indexed in the Scopus database. Search results can be limited to open access journals.

Database of publisher copyright and self-archiving policies

Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory is a database providing detailed information about serials (periodicals) published throughout the world. It covers all subjects, and includes publications that are published regularly or irregularly and are circulated free of charge or by paid subscription. covering nearly 1000 subjects. Search results can be filtered to only list open access publications.
The are different levels of Open Access, associated with reader rights; reuse rights; copyright; author or automatic posting rights of copies to a repository or website; and machine readability [crawling by search engines]. These different levels of access are described in the HowOpenIsIt? guide published by SPARC and the PLoS.
Other sources
Some  Library database publishers also provide lists of journals that that they index, that include open access status. Contact a Faculty Librarian for help with accessing this information.

Searching for Open Access content

Digital collections containing open access (OA) publications, including reports, journal articles, conference papers, data and theses.

  • AOASG list of Australian OA Repositories
  • CORE - find and access full-text (typically PDF format) content from many OA journals, repositories and systems
  • CSU Research Output (CRO)
  • DOAB - academic peer-reviewed books and book chapters from 300+ publishers
  • Knowledge Unlatched - monographs and journals in a wide variety of disciplines
  • OAPEN - academic books in humanities and social sciences
  • OpenDOAR - international directory of OA repositories and their policies
  • Primo Search - limit search results to 'Open Access'
  • SPARC (Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition) repository resources
  • Unpaywall - an open database of free scholarly articles

Other Library databases where search results can be easily limited to AO content, e.g. Scopus


Using google effectively

Other Resources

Charles Sturt has a guide on Open Educational Resources.

And another guide on Australian Government Resources with useful links to Government information available online.

Try Google Scholar to find and access some journal articles.

And look at the video above for some search tips when using Google for your research.

Institutional Repositories

Many universities and research institutions now have an institutional repository.  Institutional repositories usually give open access to that institution's research output.  They can usually be searched through the institution's catalogue/search interface, or directly within the repository.

CSU's institutional repository, CRO (CSU Research Outputs) 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. 

To access other university repositories access the website of a university that you are interested in and search within the website for their institutional repository.  Alternatively, search Google for "institutional repository" university.  Limit your search results to Australia if that suits your topic. Try searching the CORE database, which aggregates open access research outputs from repositories and journals worldwide and makes them freely available to the public

Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.