Open Access Scientific Information
A series of links to open access journal repositories and other freely available scientific publications, data resources, news services, etc.
Open access publications are available to anyone, anywhere with a suitable internet connection.
The trend for publishing open access papers has increased year-by-year since it took off around 2000. A 2009 report in Science demonstrates that articles that are published via open access are twice as likely to be cited by scientists in developing countries, although this effect was less apparent in those countries with limited internet connectivity. A report in SciDev.Net also highlights the fact that publishing scientific work through open access outlets also makes the work more readily available to other interested parties, including the media, government officials and students.
With these benefits in mind – and allied with TWAS’s goal of making scientific information more readily available throughout the developing world – this page provides links to a number of valuable open access resources.
One resource directly supported by TWAS is the:
TWAS-OWSDW Thesis Repository. Open-access resource of theses produced by awardees of TWAS and OWSDW (formerly TWOWS) postgraduate fellowship awardees. See: http://twas.assaf.org.za:8080/
For the most complete listings of open access journals, please visit:
www.doaj.org: Directory of Open Access Journals. This service covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals.
- www.opendoar.org: Directory of Open Access Repositories. OpenDOAR is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories.
- www.openj-gate.com: A service by Informatics dedicated to the promotion of
the open access movement for scholarly journals.
- The arXiv.org e-Print Archive, hosted by Cornell University Library, also provides open access to more than 700,000 e-prints in physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance and statistics.
- The UNESCO-hosted Global Open Access Portal (GOAP) presents a current snapshot of the status of Open Access to scientific information around the world.
For institutions in developing countries:
The Research4Life consortium provides access to eligible institutions through three subject-wise portals:
- HINARI provides access to more than 5,500 journals in the health and social sciences;
- AGORA provides access to some 1,200 journals in the agricultural sciences; and
- OARE provides access to more than 2,000 journals in the environmental sciences.
Thanks to the consortium, journals listed on these sites that are not usually 'open access' are made available for free to eligible institutions.
Other resources with links to open access journals:
- The electronic Journals Delivery Service (eJDS) facilitates free access to current mathematics and physics literature. The programme – which is run by ICTP in Trieste, Italy – distributes scientific articles via e-mail to scientists in institutions in least developed or low income countries without sufficient bandwidth to download material from the Internet.
- ICTP's Science Dissemination Unit runs other programmes, too, and has published a book on 'Science Dissemination using Open Access, A compendium of selected literature on Open Access' (eds E. Cannessa and M. Zennaro). It is freely available in English and Spanish.
Sciyo.com provides barrier-free access to books and journals covering the latest research developments, knowledge and ideas in science and technology, e.g. electrical engineering and robotics. See http://sciyo.com.
www.plos.org/: The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource.
International E-Publishing Resources Online The Electronic Publishing Trust for Development (EPT) facilitates open access to the world's scholarly literature and supports the electronic publication of reviewed bioscience journals from countries experiencing difficulties with traditional publication.
Hindawi publish more than 200 open access journals.
Bentham Open publish over 250 peer-reviewed open access journals. These free-to-view online journals cover all major disciplines of science, technology, and medicine.
A selection of links to international e-publishing resources is available from the Electronic Publishing Trust for Development here.
Links to open access data repositories:
OpenThesis. Upload your thesis, or search for other people's theses and download them. See http://www.openthesis.org.
The US National Academies Press is making all its publications available for free download, including the 40,000 books in the back catalogue. See http://www.nap.edu.
US National Academies: NAS/NRC/PNAS reports and other resources are given to many developing nations free of charge. Check out this link: http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/04052004?OpenDocument.
The NATO Research Technology Agency finished the initial development of its "science, technology and research network" (STARNET; http://starnet.rta.nato.int) -- a collection of scientific data sources freely available on the Internet. The purpose of this network is to facilitate access to the non-classified scientific information already existing in many different countries. The STARNET virtual library focuses on seven different topic areas or "nodes": Aerospace and Aerospace-Related Research Information Node (ARIN); Defense Against Terrorism Node (DTIN); Environmental and Biological Sciences Node (EBSIN); Information Science Node (INSCIN); Land-Based Operations Node (LBON); Naval, Marine and Sea-based Operations Node (NAVMAS) and Research Planning Node (RESPLAN). NATO is currently seeking feedback on STARNET as well as suggestions for additional resources to include in the network. [Source: Internet Resources Newsletter].
ChEMBL - Neglected Tropical Disease archive - an open-access repository of primary screening and medicinal chemistry data. See http://www.ebi.ac.uk/chemblntd.
Biodiversity Heritage Library. Ten major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries, and research institutions are digitizing the published literature on biodiversity held in their respective collections and making it available through a global 'biodiversity commons'. See http://www.archive.org/details/biodiversity.
Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Free and open access to biodiversity data. See http://www.gbif.org.
NERC Open Research Archive. This archive is a central repository for published material such as academic papers or reports that have resulted from research funded by the British Natural Environment Research Council. See http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/.
The Water Information Center, a Web site created by the US National Academies, provides free access to more than 100 peer-reviewed reports on water-related issues and support to all who are working to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable world. See: http://nationalacademies.org/headlines/20061127.html.
TropIKA.net - Tropical Diseases Research to Foster Innovation & Knowledge Application - provides a wealth of information, including open access papers, on research into tropical diseases. See www.tropIKA.net.
Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of social science research and consists of an abstract database and an electronic paper collection. See http://www.ssrn.com.
- Using Google Scholar, available at http://scholar.google.com/, one can search for key words and phrases in peer-reviewed journal articles, theses, books, technical papers, as well as preprints. It does not return any non-academic websites.
Links to databases:
- ChemSpider - is a free chemical structure database, available at www.chemspider.com, that provides fast text and structure search access to over 26 million structures from hundreds of data sources.
- The Paleobiology Database - available at www.paleodb.org, contains more than 40,000 records and is aiming to provide researchers and the public with information about the entire fossil record.
- AntBase - available at www.antbase.org, provides access to the ant species of the world.
- FlyBase - a database of Drosophila genes and genomes - is available at www.flybase.org.
- The Allen Human Brain Atlas - available at www.brain-map.org - is an online resource that integrates genomic and anatomic human brain data with integrated data visualization and mining tools that enable scientists to uncover connections between structure, function, and the brain's underlying biochemistry.
Links to open access teaching resources:
WikiPremed is a comprehensive open access course in college physics, chemistry, organic chemistry and biology. See http://www.wikipremed.com.
The Library of Alexandria Supercourse is a collection of over 4,700,000 academic PowerPoint lectures categorized into various disciplines. Educators are encouraged to borrow slides to improve their teaching.
Open Door - multinational science teaching site: www.saburchill.com
EUROGENE, a project sponsored by the European Commission, is a multilingual reference portal for genetics training. It brings together top quality digital educational content, which allows educators to search for and assemble multilingual pedagogic and scientific peer-reviewed materials into customizable lecture support materials. See www.eurogene.eu.
Mathematics: Dr. William Trench's Introduction to Real Analysis, originally published by Pearson Education, can be downloaded here.
The African Virtual University (AVU) operates an interactive Open Education Resources (OER) portal 'OER@AVU' containing resources developed together with 12 universities in 10 African countries.
Links to open access scientific software:
- Ubuntu Science Alternatives To Proprietary Software.
- Zotero is a powerful, easy-to-use research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyse sources and then share the results of your research.
- Scribus is an open-access desk-top publishing software programme suitable, for example, for the design of poster presentations.
Links to science news sites:
- Alphagalileo - www.alphagalileo.org - The world's independent source of news from science, health, arts, humanities, technology and high-tech business.
- Eurekalert - www.eurekalert.org - Science news service run by AAAS.
- ResearchSEA - www.researchsea.com - is a specialized research news dissemination service for Asia. It aims to get good research into mainstream media for better public understanding of research. Registration is free.
- SciDev.Net - www.scidev.net - Science and Development Network. News, views and information about science, technology and the developing world.