Well-known Open Access Projects with Scholarly Content

Well-known Open Access Projects with Scholarly Content

PubMed Central (PMC) is a free digital database of full-text scientific literature in the biomedical and life sciences. PubMed Central was developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) as an online archive of biomedical journal articles.  “As an archive, PMC is designed to provide permanent access to all of its content, even as technology evolves and current digital literature formats potentially become obsolete. NLM believes that the best way to ensure the accessibility and viability of digital material over time is through consistent and active use of the archive.”  For this reason, free access to all of its journal literature is a core principle of PMC. Some participating publishers, however, delay release of their articles for a set time after paper publication (often six months).  As of July 2011, the archive contained approximately 2.2 million items, including articles, editorials and letters. 

JSTOR announced on Sept. 7, that its journal content published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere is now freely available to the public for reading and downloading!. This includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals, representing approximately 6% of the total content on JSTOR.  From the JSTOR press release:  We are taking this step as part of our continuous effort to provide the widest possible access to the content on JSTOR while ensuring the long-term preservation of this important material.  To date, we have primarily provided access to people through a growing base of libraries and institutions.  In 1995, only ten journals were digitized and available to just a few universities.  Today, millions of people from more than 7,000 institutions in 153 countries have access to journals on JSTOR through their universities, colleges, high schools, businesses, research institutions, museums, historical societies and public libraries.”  From Laura Brown, JSTOR Managing Director. (  More details on their Early Journal Content are at

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) applies the Creative Commons Attribution License (CCAL) to all works they publish.  Under the CCAL, authors retain ownership of the copyright for their article, but authors allow anyone to download, reuse, reprint, modify, distribute, and/or copy articles in PLoS journals, so long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers. 

This broad license was developed to facilitate open access to, and free use of, original works of all types. Applying this standard license to your own work will ensure your right to make your work freely and openly available.

Project Gutenberg offers over 36,000 free ebooks to download to your PC or other portable device.  The Project carries high quality ebooks that were all previously published by bona fide publishers. The works are digitized and diligently proofed with the help of thousands of volunteers. No fee or registration is required, but if you find Project Gutenberg useful, they kindly ask you to donate a small amount to put into the poject.   Over 100,000 free ebooks are available through our Partners, Affiliates and Resources.   Project Gutenburg ebooks are free in the United States because their copyright has expired. They may not be free of copyright in other countries. Readers outside of the United States must check the copyright laws of their countries before downloading or redistributing Project Gutenberg ebooks.

The Open Access Directory (OAD) consists of simple lists of open access to science and scholarship.  The list of journal titles is limited to brief factual statements without narrative or opinion.  The Open Access Directory provides listings for OA titles.

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Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. (However, it is not free to produce).

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Last modified: 8/27/2014 7:14 PM by R. Neugebauer

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