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Finding Open Access Articles – Tools & Tips

LITA Blog – Ashley Farley – This guide is meant to help individuals, of any background, search more easily for open access articles.

“One of the pillars of libraries is facilitating access to the large corpus of existing knowledge. Typically this requires accessing gated information through a publisher or other service provider. Each institution can manage access to subscriptions in a way that works best for their communities – usually either by IP authentication or login credentials. This can be cumbersome for affiliates when not working onsite as there are often additional barriers to subscription access. Often this can require using Remote Desktop or a VPN to connect to a network before access is recognized. For the institution where I work this involves 10 – 15 clicks with two verification steps (one login and one requiring verification clicks on a mobile phone). This is how each off site journal access begins. I can’t help but think in these moments that open access is just technically easier. Often it is one or two clicks – no additional verification needed. It eliminates the need to know whether or not your institution hosts a specific subscription. You know you have access and you have access now. However, the discovery process for open access articles isn’t necessarily the same as subscription searching. Especially if you do not have access to specific subscription databases.”

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