The Journals page in the Information Sources section describes the purpose of scholarly journals, which is to advance knowledge in a field of study. Traditionally, scholarly journals have been published by commercial publishers, who charge for access to the journals. Without getting into the details, many people, including learners, teachers, librarians and researchers don't think this is the best way to provide access to scholarly research. The cost of access can be quite prohibitive for a learner or researcher and there are so many publishers and journals that it's impossible for individuals and libraries to subscribe to them all. Think about video streaming services: do you subscribe to Netflix? Amazon Prime Video? Disney Plus? Maybe you can afford to subscribe to all three, but imagine if there were hundreds or thousands of streaming services, all with shows that you wanted to watch, what would you do? That's what scholarly publishing is like right now.
In recent years, there has been a move towards making scholarly articles & journals freely available with no access restrictions. This Open Access movement involves a set of principles and a range of practices through which scholarly research is made available online, free of cost or other access barriers. Traditional publishers of scholarly content have responded by making some of their content freely available, while new publishers and new journals have been set up that make all of their content free. Research and teaching institutions have also responded by creating repositories of scholarly output, while apps and browser extensions are available to help find free and legal full-text of articles.
This section is intended to introduce the various methods that can be used to find full-text scholarly material that is freely available without subscription. There are pages detailing: