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Open Access scholarly resources

Guidance for alumni, prospective doctoral students, and anyone else looking to access scholarly material without a full academic library subscription.


Scholarly research is increasingly becoming more openly accessible than ever before.

Whether you're an RRU alumnus, a prospective doctoral student preparing a
dissertation proposal, or simply a member of the public with a yen for research, there
are many avenues available to access scholarly content online without a library subscription.

The best way to find openly available scholarly articles is to use an open access browser 
in combination with a Google Scholar search. Learn more about how to do that

For help finding other types of open access resources, consult the left-hand menu.

"Open Access cookie" by biblioteekje is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Open Access cookie

Finding scholarly articles

Unpaywall and Lean Library Open are free browser extensions (add-ons) that enable you to access millions of peer-reviewed journal articles. It's fast and legal.

How does it work?

  1. Download one (or both) of these browser extensions (instructions below).
  2. Use Google Scholar to search for articles on your topic of interest.
  3. Click on the article you're interested in. Your browser extension will check across a vast database of open-access articles (nearly 30 million and counting) to see if there's a legal, openly available version available.
  4. If there is, an icon will appear providing a link to the open version.

Download instructions

  1. Download the unpaywall browser extension.
  2. Click the green tab beside a research article to read the full text (if unpaywall can't find full text, you'll see a gray tab instead).



  1. Download the Lean Library Open browser extension.
  2. Select ‘Lean Library Open’ to get the free browser extension, which does not need a library subscription.
  3. Find the icon in the toolbar of your browser. The icon will turn green when you have access to an article.

For further information, see this animated video from Lean Library.