Commercial publishers have responded to the rise of open access by making some of their content freely available and also implementing open access policies Here follows a list of scholarly publishers, their open access material and how to find it and other freely available content. Note that some content is free, but not open access, so if you are provided with a way of limiting your search, choose 'Content I have access to' (or similar wording) rather than 'open access'. Note also that this is not intended as a comprehensive list of scholarly publishers; smaller and specialist publishers are omitted, but the same principles should apply to finding free content on other publishers' sites.
Commercial scholarly publishers have been around for quite a while so have their advantages:
- Good quality (most of the time)
- Well established processes and policies
- Publish the "best" journals
There is increasing dissatisfaction with them however because:
- Too many different publishers, so it can be difficult to keep track
- Content is can be difficult to find
- You have to pay for access
- Their model isn't really the best way of doing things in the 21st century
- Keeping research being a paywall can cost lives
Free content from commercial publishers
CUP offer a small number of open access journals and books. Free content can be found by using the 'Search all journal and book content' box on the top right hand side of the page and on the results page, refine your search by ticking the 'Only show content I have access to' box under the 'Access' heading
De Gruyter are a German scholarly publishing house who publish around 450 open access journals. Free and open access content can be found by searching the platform and on the results page ticking the 'Free Access' and 'Open Access' boxes under 'By Access' on the 'Search within results' column on the right hand side of the page.
Elsevier publishers around 500 open access journals, some of which have more content than others. To find full-text material to which you have access without any kind of subscription on Science Direct, the Elsevier platform, you need to register an account - which simply requires your name and an email address. Once you do this, you can filter results to display only open access material.
JSTOR is not technically a publisher but do offer access to a large number of journals and books, some of which are open access and can be searched at the link above. All journal content in JSTOR published prior to 1924 in the United States and prior to 1876 elsewhere is freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world.
OUP offer around 60 open access journals. To find full-text material you can access, search for a topic and tick the 'Open Access' and 'Free' boxes at the bottom' of the 'Modify your search' column on the left hand side of the page.
Similar to JSTOR, Project MUSE offers open access (OA) books and journals from university presses and scholarly societies.
Springer publish 200 open access journals. To find full-text material to which you have access on SpringerLink, Springer's online platform, search for a topic and then untick the 'Include Preview-Only content box on the top left of the filters column on the left hand side of the page
Taylor Francis publish around 150 purely open access journals and over 2000 "hybrid" journal where open access articles might be available. To find full-text on the Taylor Francis platform to which you have access,, run your search and then use the filter on the left hand side of the page to restrict results to ' Only show content I have full access to'
Wiley offer nearly 150 open access journals. On Wiley Online, the Wiley platform, you can find full-text material to which have access by searching for a topic and restricting results to the 'Open Access Content' filter under Access Status in the Filters column on the left hand side of the page.