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History Research Guide

Open Access Content

Open Access LogoWhen you are affiliated with a higher education institution, you have information privilege. That is, you have access to Library-subscribed scholarly content that is not freely available on the open web. Little known fact: this access usually ends when you graduate.

Led by academic libraries and information activists, the Open Access (OA) movement provides an alternative: a bridge to to open scholarship, no matter your institutional ties. OA expands the content that is available across access barriers, and is gaining ground in the scholarly community.

OA resources will be available to you after you leave IUPUI. For more information on open access at IUPUI see the Center for Digital Scholarship website.

As you engage in your research, explore the following OA repositories:


BASE is a vast cross-disciplinary international metasearch for OA content.


The Directory of Open Access Journals covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals and aims to cover all subjects and all languages.

OpenDOAR Logo

OpenDoar is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. From University of Nottingham, UK.


ROAR provides up-to-date visual access to a huge database of open access repositories.

Publishing OA

When the time comes to publish your work, you may wish to consider a publisher's stance on open access. To check if a journal is published OA or partially OA, you can check the DOAJ. To check on a publisher's copyright and OA policies, use the link below to the SHERPA/RoMEO database. 

You can also upload your scholarship to our institutional repository, ScholarWorks. See the link below for information on how to upload your work.

Additionally, you may hear that OA journals have less quality than traditional journals, or that they are not peer-reviewed. There is a healthy debate and there is also some misinformation out there. There are also challenges for some new faculty who are applying for promotion & tenure, a process that may not recognize alternative ways of measuring impact of those articles that have been published OA. If you have questions about this please contact us!

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Here's how: when you browse to a paywalled paper, unpaywall checks to see if there's a free copy in their database. If there is, you'll see a green tab on your screen. Just click and read! Click the link below to download the extension for Chrome/Firefox.