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Open Access

Learn about Open Access, including selected Open Access journals and strategies to search for Open Access items.

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What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Open access materials are freely available for viewing and/or use.

More information about Open Access.

Public Domain & Copyright laws

The term “public domain” refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it (credit: Stanford University Library).

More information about Public Domain & Copyright Laws.

Selected Open Access Journals, Publishers, and Repositories

Open Access search via UCI Libraries website

How to search for Open Access material on UCI Libraries web page:

Go to UC Library Search and follow these instructions:

  1. If off-campus, select ‘enter as a guest’ to access the search page
  2. In the search bar enter the keywords that describe your topic and press Enter or click on the search icon, which is the magnifying glass.
  3. On the left side of the page, refine your results by selecting the Open Access filter.
  4. An orange Open Access unlock logo will appear below each entry, symbolizing the item is publicly available.
    1. Please use the "Report a Problem" form in the record for the item if you cannot access the material even though the record indicates the item is Open Access.

Open Access search via HathiTrust Digital Library website

HathiTrust has open access and member library access.

Anyone can do the following without logging in or having an membership with HathiTrust:

  1. Search across the entire collection
  2. Read and view works that are “full-view”
  3. Search within works that are “limited (search-only)”
  4. Download a single page at a time from works that have download restrictions (e.g., works that are in the public domain but were digitized by Google or other vendors with contractual limitations)
  5. Download an entire work that doesn’t have download restrictions (e.g., works digitized by Internet Archive and other organizations, works that have been opened with a Creative Commons license)

If you are associated with a member library, such as UC Irvine Libraries, there are additional member benefits.



Open Access search via Google Scholar

Google Scholar articles are generally an abstract, but some are available with open access full text.

  1.  Look for [DOC], [PDF] or [HTML] on the result list for full text.
  2. If you don't see [DOC], [PDF] or [HTML] on the result list, select all versions--there may be a free full text version listed.
  3. If full text is not available for your article choice via open access, look for related articles under article list to see if articles on the same topic are available full text.


 Three example citations showing the item's link, the All Version link and the Related

Open Educational Resources

Affordable Course Materials and Open Educational Resources (OER) for Faculty

Scholarly Communication and Related Issues

Scholarly communication is the life-blood of the university’s teaching and research mission. Issues of copyright, intellectual property rights, and the long-term preservation of digital assets are posing new challenges to faculty, schools, & librarians.