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What are Open Access Resources?


Open Access refers to resources that are digital and are freely available for viewing and/or use. Open Access is not the same as Public Domain, and most Open Access creators do retain their copyrights but it means availability to all, if you want to read or use.

Types of open access materials

Many sources have more than one type of document, just as a print journal may also publish conference papers or technical papers. 

  • Journals-either full open access or open access to back issues.
  • Books
  • Links to collections of textbooks, theses and dissertations 
  • Teaching materials like slides, tutorials, graphics, etc. Textbooks are listed separately under Books.



The Open Access Directory (OAD) is a compendium of simple factual lists about open access (OA) to science and scholarship, maintained by the OA community at large. OAD is a wiki and OAD makes it easier for everyone to discover them, use them for reference, and update them.

Open Access Organizations

Open Access Network (OAN) is made up of committed individuals, organizations, societies, publishers, libraries, and institutions working together to make knowledge public. Their focus is on humanities and social science disciplines.

Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) represents the interests of OA journal and book publishers around the world.

Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) is a global non-profit organization focused on educating organizations about open data, and to use it to take action on social issues.

Open Science Foundation (OSF) is a non-profit alliance of scientists, writers, jorunalists, educators who are makers and advocates for open data, open access, and open source and standards.

The Right to Research Coalition is a student-founded, student-focused that advocates for campus and national policies that promote Open Access, and to educate the next generation of scholars and researchers about Open Access so that it becomes the norm.

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) works to enable the open sharing of research outputs and educational materials in order to democratize access to knowledge and accelerate discovery. They are committed to making Open the default for research and education by supporting people and organizations who adopt policies and practices that advance open access, open data, and open education.



Open access Polices

SHERPA has developed two databases of great benefit to researchers and authors.
JULIET: Research funders' open access policies.
ROMEO: Journal publisher copyright policies re: self-archiving.

Green and Gold Open access


Green Open Access also known as ‘self-archiving’,
  • Authors archive publications in their institutional repository or a subject repository.
  • The version archived is usually the final author version as accepted for publication.
  • No additional charges are payable.
  • Access may be subject to a publisher embargo period.

Gold Open Access

  • The final publisher version is open access via the journal website without any embargo period.
  • The publication has a license intended to maximize reuse.
  • An additional article processing charge may be charged by the publisher.


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Smitha Sumod
Emirates College for Advanced Education, Abu Dhabi