Monday, January 16, 2012

'Open Access' & Historical Research


For a long time, the 'Open Access' movement has primarily campaigned for free and unrestricted access to scholarly information and research articles via the Internet. However, as the movement has continued to spread and pick up momentum, it has shifted its focus to also now include books, monographs, and other media. See Wikipedia.

Instead of publishers using copyright to restrict access and use of information, new open access licenses now allow authors to retain ownership of their works and grant the public the right to access and creatively reuse their works. New licences, such as those developed by Creative Commons, are now used by many open access publishers like the Public Library of Science (PLoS) and Open Education Resources (OER) Commons.

The following are links to selected 'open access' historical research information, journals, text books, web sites, and other resources:
  • Bentham Open Access - Over 230 peer-reviewed open access journals covering all major disciplines of science, technology, and more.
  • Center for History & New Media - Providing access to collections of digitized historical records & archives.
  • College 'Open' Textbooks - Peer reviewed free and open access textbooks for use in community college courses.
  • Connexions - A virtual environment for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing scholarly content on the Web.
  • Creative Commons - Helping people to share knowledge, research, and educational materials with others around the world.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - A directory of a wide range of freely available online, open access Journals covering the arts and sciences.
  • EIFL Open Access - A global network of national library consortia advocating open access to knowledge for education and research purposes.
  • Global Open Access Portal -  Launched by UNESCO, it provides policymakers with information on the global open access outlook.
  • Google Books - Search and preview millions of eBooks from libraries and publishers worldwide, including free and open access books, using Google Book.
  • Library of Congress - Recognized as the national library of the U.S. Its collections comprise the world's most comprehensive record of American history, human creativity, and knowledge.
  • National Archives - Safeguarding, preserving, and providing access to  the major documents and records of the U.S. Government.
  • OER Commons Textbooks - Information about open textbooks offered through Open Education Commons (OER).
  • O'Reilly Open Books - Publishers of numerous open access eBooks over the years.
  • Project Gutenburg - Offering over 33,000 free and open access eBooks that can be downloaded.
  • Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) - Supporting new communication models that expand the dissemination of free and open access scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries.
  • WikiMedia Commons - An online repository of free and open access licensed educational photos and images available on the internet.
  • World Digital Library - Providing free and open access to historical documents related to medicine from around the world, coordinated by the Library of Congress & UNESCO.
 * There are also numerous free and open access YouTube video channels now available, such as History Channel and My Military History.


Please share with us any other notable 'open access' History journals or information resources that you have used.

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