Open access resources

When searching for open access content, there are several tools and databases that make articles, books and other research outputs openly available. Below is a selection of open access related online resources to get you started. Contact your Outreach Librarian for discipline-specific content.

Browser plugins

Installing one of the following browser plugins automatically searches for open access versions of articles wherever you are, on or off campus.

Unpaywall - available for Firefox and Chrome

Open Access Button – available for Firefox
If an open access version is not available, this extension provides the option to request copy from authors.

LibKey Nomad – available for Chrome (Choose UNSW Sydney as your institution)

Journal articles, book chapters and books

Library collection
Find peer-reviewed open access articles and journals in Library collection. UNSW Library provides access to open access content sources such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), BASE, and SciELO. Easily identify open access items in your search results by the OPEN ACCESS logo. Refine your results by selecting the Availability item Open Access.

Open access articles and research papers.

Indexes more than 130 million articles and more than 60% are open access.

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)
More than 13 000 academic peer-reviewed books and chapters from hundreds of publishers.


Preprints are versions of works that precede peer-review. In the context of UNSW systems:

  • A postprint is the author's final version of a paper that has completed the peer-review process, with revisions made. A postprint is generally the version deposited in an institutional repository. It does not include the formatting of the published version, such as publisher imprints, pagination and type-settings, but it may include a citation reference to the published copy of the work.
  • A preprint is a draft journal or scientific research article that has not yet undergone peer-review or been published. However sometimes a publisher may refer to a preprint as a finished article that has been peer-reviewed and ready to be accepted for publication, but not yet published or formatted by the publisher.

In some disciplines, preprints can be useful sources of early findings and help the author establish their scientific claims. There are preprint repositories for nearly all disciplines. A selection of these include: is a preprint server for astrophysics, condensed matter, general relativity, high energy physics, mathematical physics, nuclear physics, general physics, quantum physics, mathematics, nonlinear sciences, computer science, electrical engineering, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, and economics.

Astrophysics Data System (ADS) Article Service
This is a NASA-funded project that provides free access to the full text of articles in astronomy and astrophysics. Historic back files of most of the major astronomical journals are included. In many cases articles published in the current year are not available through ADS.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
This service covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals.

E-print Network
A searchable gateway to over 16,000 web sites and databases worldwide containing e-prints in basic and applied sciences.

Pubmed Central
Full text scholarly articles in biomedical and life sciences

Research Papers in Economics (RePEc)
RePEc is a collaborative effort of hundreds of volunteers in more than 100 countries to enhance the dissemination of research in economics and related sciences.

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
SSRN has access to worldwide social science research and is composed of a number of specialised research networks in each of the social sciences.

Publishing data

Open data sets are published by researchers, governments, NGOs and several other sources.

Research Data Australia
Data contributed by over 100 Australian research organisations, government agencies and cultural institutions.

Open science research data repository is Europe-based but open worldwide.

Contact Us