Searching for research

This is a brief guide to some of the tools that can help you find free open access research.  

The Library's main search page

In the top-right of this page you'll see the blue 'Click to search library resources' button. This takes you to our main search page. From here you can search -

  • EBSCO's Discovery search tool lets you find books, journal articles, conference papers and much more. It searches many of the databases the Library subscribes to.  To find subject-specific databases, visit your Subject Page
  • You can also search for print books and course reading lists from this page.

Scopus and Web Science

  • Scopus is a international database that allow you to search journal articles and a limited number of books. It covers a wide range of subject areas and is particularly good for science and technology research. 
  • Web of Science is a global publication database which gives comprehensive citation data for articles, books and more across numerous academic disciplines.  
  • Both Scopus and Web of Science have a filter to select only Open Access articles. They predominantly display articles that are gold OA rather than articles that are green OA via repositories and pre-print servers.  
  • Each have the facility to set up alerts which will email when articles which meet your search criteria are published.

Academic Journal Guide

  • The AJG is a guide to the range and quality of journals in which business and management academics publish their research. Its purpose is to give both emerging and established scholars greater clarity as to which journals to aim for, and where the best work in their field tends to be clustered.  

Browser Extensions

  • Unpaywall and CORE Discovery are free Chrome and Firefox extensions that find legal open access copies of individual articles from both publishers and repositories.  

Subject repositories

  • There are many subject orientated collections of open access e-publications, including pre-prints, and research data from multiple institutions, which are free to users.  Some examples are: 

     - arXiv - in the high energy physics, mathematics, computer science
     - bioRxiv – biological and biochemical sciences
     - Social Science Research Network (SSRN) – a range of subjects in the social sciences
     - Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) – economics and finance related
     - PubMed Central and Europe PMC – content in health and health-related sciences

    For an extensive list of subject repositories, go to OpenDOAR which provides details on the largest subject repositories on the web and is an excellent way of locating subject repositories relevant to your discipline.

Other resources

  • The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of humanities and social sciences. 

Finding information not held by the Library

The Interlibrary Loan service allows you to request a copy of an extract from a book, an article, conference paper, or the loan of a book from another library.

If you require any further help, please email libraryresearch@port.ac.uk or talk to your Faculty Librarian.