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Open Access: Home

Learn the basics of open access publishing: what it is, why it matters, and good sources for open access articles and books.

Open Access LogoWhat does open access mean?

"Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions." - Peter Suber, A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access

Open access literature includes journals, books, and other sources of information. Most are scholarly, quality-controlled, and many open access journals use peer review, just as the more expensive and traditional journals do.

Why Does it Matter?

Have you tried to find a scholarly article on Google, only to reach a screen asking you to pay $35 or more, just to read an article? That's what's called a paywall - if you want the information, you have to pay for it.

As a part of Helena College, you are able to access a great deal of scholarly research through the library's research databases, which are paid for by the library and your student fees. Not everyone has this privilege, and libraries can't afford to pay for access to everything.

Open access publishing has filled the gap, by making academic research available for free - no credit cards or subscriptions required.

Open Access Databases

You can find some open access articles alongside traditionally published articles in our databases and search tools, but you can also search for them online - especially handy if you forget your login information or are no longer a student.  Try these resources for authoritative open access articles and books: