Searching OA, Browser Extensions and OA Types

The browser extensions given below facilitate access to OA versions of paywalled resources. Along with OA browser extensions, you can also make use of academic search engines and OA specific platforms.

OA Browser extensions are reasonably effective tools to navigate through the peculiarities of OA publishing. Open Access publishing patterns often negatively affects the accessibility of OA resources. For example, the articles published in Diamond and Gold OA journals are fully accessible on journal websites (see OA Types below). But articles in Green OA journals are not accessible on the journal website but are legally made available in other repositories through self-archiving. In the case of hybrid OA journals, only a selection of their articles is available as free. This graded access system prevalent in OA publishing reduces their accessibility. OA browser extensions help to manage this complex web of OA resources.

1) Open Access browser Extensions

OA browser extensions facilitate your browser of your choice with the functionality for searching OA versions of paywalled resources. The installation and usage of OA browser extensions are explained in this guide [PDF, 1.6 MB].

Unpaywall(external link)
Unpaywall is compatible with Chrome(external link) and Firefox(external link) browsers.

EBSCO host passport
EBSCO host passport is a browser extension that works in connection with our new Discovery search interface. Rather than providing access to full text documents from open access resources, EBSCO host passport also redirects you from pay walled documents to full text documents on our library’s subscribed databases. This extension is available on Google chrome(external link) and Microsoft Edge(external link). Please note that this extension does not cover all our databases, but mainly EBSCO databases. This help guide [PDF, 1.2 MB] provides information about EBSCO host passport’s functionalities and the steps to add this extension to the browser of your choice.

Open Access Button(external link)
OA Button syncs with chrome(external link) and Firefox(external link).

Lazy Scholar(external link)
Lazy Scholar is available for Chrome and Firefox.

Open Access Helper(external link)
Compatible with Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

Google Scholar Button(external link)
GSB is compatible with Chrome, Firefox and safari

Lean Library Open(external link)
Though Chrome is the preferred browser, it is also compatible with Edge, Firefox, Opera and Safari. Please note that free version has limited functions.

LibKey Nomad(external link)
Compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave and Vivaldi, Libkey Nomad helps researchers to avoid paywalls. Please note that full functionalities are available only with the paid version.

Endnote Click(external link)
Endnote Click works with Firefox, Chrome and Edge.

2) Academic search engines and networking websites

A list of academic search engines and networking websites are given under the OA section. As many academicians share their copy of articles on websites like Researchgate and academia, it is good to search these websites. It is a good practice to search in academic search engines other than Google scholar. In some search engines like Core, all search queries return with fully downloadable copies.

3) OA specific resources

Diverse types of OA resources are listed under the open access section of our library. One can start with the open access aggregators section, which mainly consist of search interfaces that exclusively return with open access resources. Apart from their search engine characteristics, OA aggregators deal mainly with current resources while general repositories consist mainly of OA resources relatively older and on the public domain. 

Types of Open Access

Gold and Diamond Open Access
Gold open access articles are made accessible immediately upon publication. They are published either in an open access journal or a subscription journal. Many subscription journals provide the option of publishing specific articles open access by paying an Article Processing Cost (APC). Subscription journals that release articles open access on request by the author by charging them an Article Processing Cost (APC) is called Hybrid journals. They contain both open access and closed access articles.
Usually, journals charge APC to publish gold open access. When journals do not charge APC due to subsidy for open access or other reasons, it is described as Diamond or Platinum open access.

Green Open Access
It is also known as self-archiving. Instead of making the article accessible through the journal which published it, here the author shares their article through a repository. Usually, authors are supposed to share the pre-print manuscript, rather than the actual journal article. Some journals may put an embargo on sharing the article through the green OA avenue. Mostly repositories of academic institutions or subject specific ones or pre-print servers are used to deposit green OA articles.

Bronze and Black Open Access
Bronze open access are free journal articles which has no open licence. Lack of clear licence make their reuse somewhat ambiguous. Journal articles which are accessible through illegal avenues are called black open access.

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