Efficient research

Top 8 online libraries for open access journals and free books

Nowadays, more and more researchers, educators and students who are interested in science research care about online libraries and different science research resources to support researching. However, most of big or famous online libraries require paywall or subscription fees, which is a challenge for many researchers, especially students or researchers from low-income countries.

That is why we collect and share the top 8 online libraries for open access journal and free books with hope this list will be a good reference for researchers to access to open access journals and free books.

DOAJ – Directory of Open Access Journals

According to one article, nearly one-third of all academic journals provide open access to anyone interested. This includes citing them in their own research. To help researchers find and use published articles of interest, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) was created.

DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. Launched in 2003 with 300 open access journals, today, DOAJ contains over 16 500 peer-reviewed open access journals covering all areas of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities from 130 countries with 80 languages in the world.

Figure 1. Interface of online library DOAJ
Figure 1. Interface of online library DOAJ

On DOAJ, users can search journals by title or broad subject areas and browse articles by article author or title, ISSN, journal title, abstract, or key words (figure 1). Full-text is not searchable but is fully accessible.

DOAJ realizes the goal of scientific research has always been to provide information to everyone interested and to help further the advancement of science. Therefore, there’s no reason we do not try this amazing online library.

OATD – Open access Thesis and Dissertation

OATD (Open access Thesis and Dissertation) is established with the purpose to be the best possible resource for finding open access graduate theses and dissertations published around the world. With its continuous efforts, OATD currently indexes 6,104,042 thesis and dissertations from over 1100 colleges, universities, and research institutions. You can easy to get these free resource by clicking the thesis or dessertations from your search, which will bring you to the original website of the university owning such document to download.

Figure 2. Interface of online library OATD
Figure 2. Interface of online library OATD

Most of these thesis and dissertations are available to search, read and use freely for personal purposes (figure 2). However, you need to follow patent and copyright rules for other usage purposes for these publications.

DOAB – Directory of Open Access Books

DOAB is a searchable database of peer reviewed scientific books that have been made accessible by academic publishers in open access. DOAB contains the metadata of ‘free to share’ e-books and provides direct links to the full text of the publications on the websites of the publishers.

Figure 3. Interface of online library DOAB
Figure 3. Interface of online library DOAB

Established by OAPEN Foundation in 2012, in close cooperation with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) & SemperTool, currently, the collection indexes 46,679 academic peer-reviewed books from 673 publishers covering all disciplines but focuses in particular on humanities, law, and social sciences (figure 3).

The primary aim of DOAB is to increase the discoverability of free books, all books in DOAB have a fully open-access license, making them ‘free to share’.


Launched in 2005 as the product of a collaborative project between the University of Nottingham and Lund University, funded by OSI, Jisc, SPARC Europe and CURL, OpenDOAR is known as a quality-assured, global Directory of Open Access Repositories. This database hosts repository providing free, open access to academic outputs and resources.

Figure 4. Interface of online library OpenDOAR
Figure 4. Interface of online library OpenDOAR

On OpenDOAR, users can search and browse through thousands of registered repositories based on a range of features, such as location, software or type of material held (figure 4).

ETDs – Global Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Search

Global ETDs (Global Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Search) are primary, rich, unique and valuable sources of scholarly information, which is the outcome of focused, extensive and in-depth research work of several years, involving intellectual labor by scholars and their supervisors. This is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations based on keyword, date, institution, language, and subject (figure 5).

Figure 5. Interface of online library Global ETDs
Figure 5. Interface of online library Global ETDs

This new service is based on a growing collection in all subjects of over 6 million ETDs from more than 200 universities that provide full-text, open access to their university’s theses and dissertations. Released July 2015, it was developed in partnership with the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

World Wide Science

WorldWideScience.org is a global science gateway comprised of national and international scientific databases and portals in more than 70 countries.

Developed and maintained by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information in partnership with the British Library, WorldWideScience.org accelerates scientific discovery and progress by providing one-stop searching of databases from around the world (figure 6).

Figure 6. Interface of online library World Wide Science
Figure 6. Interface of online library World Wide Science

Users get the most current findings in fields such as energy, medicine, agriculture, environment, and basic sciences, published by contributing nations with real-time searching and translation of globally-dispersed multilingual scientific literature.

The online book page

The Online Books Page was founded, and is edited, by John Mark Ockerbloom, a digital library planner and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania.

hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, the site facilitates access to over 3 million books that are freely readable over the Internet. It also aims to encourage the development of such online books, for the benefit and edification of all.

Figure 7. Interface of online library "The Online Books Page"
Figure 7. Interface of online library “The Online Books Page”

In addition to keyword searching, there are options to browse by author, title or subject, this latter category arranged by Library of Congress call number (figure 7). Primarily an index to English language materials, there is a page of links provided to several foreign language sites.

Open access resources from big publishers and universities

Cambridge University Press

This is a digital library providing over 50 open access journals with more than 44 million open access articles and over 120 open access books in a variety of subject areas.

Hindawi Open Access Journals

Known as one of the world’s largest fully open access journal publishers, Hindawi publishers believe in openness, in scholarly publishing and research communication. With this database, users can access to over one hundred peer-reviewed, Open Access journals across many areas of science, technology, and medicine, as well as several areas of social science.

Besides, the interface in searching open access journals in Hindawi is very informative with full statistics about journal metrics including acceptance rate, submission to final decision, acceptance to publication, CiteScore, Journal Citation Indicator – Impact Factor.

Open access at Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press makes digital resources available to users in a variety of institutions including academic, public, corporate, medical, and law libraries. Following that, users can get access to digital editions of many of the University’s most acclaimed scholarly and reference works, as well as academic and research journals. Both the journals and online resources cover subject areas across the Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences, Medicine, and Law, and offer excellent functionality for teaching and research.

Sage Open Access Journals 

All articles published in the journals provide worldwide, barrier-free access to the full-text of articles online, immediately on publication under a creative commons license.

SAGE Open seeks to be the world’s premier open access outlet for academic research. As such, unlike traditional journals, SAGE Open does not limit content due to page budgets or thematic significance. Articles on SAGE Open may span the full spectrum of the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities.

Besides, many big publishers are flourishing program of full open access journals enables you to make your research freely and permanently available so anyone, anywhere can read and build upon your work. All research articles published in these open access databases are immediately freely available to read, download and share.

ScienceDirect Open Access 

Hundreds of free journals from Elsevier’s ScienceDirect platform.


SpringerOpen Journals 

Hundreds of free peer-reviewed journals from Springer, across all areas of science.

Taylor & Francis Open Access 

Wiley-Blackwell Open Access Collection 

Maybe you would love to know more about Doasenxanh – home of science research.

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