Finding open access articles using Google Google Scholar OAIster and OpenDOAR.pdf (67.89 kB)

Finding open access articles using Google, Google Scholar, OAIster and OpenDOAR

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journal contribution
posted on 12.01.2009 by Michael Norris, Charles Oppenheim, Fytton Rowland
Purpose – The paper seeks to demonstrate the relative effectiveness of a range of search tools in finding open access (OA) versions of peer reviewed academic articles on the WWW. Design/methodology/approach – Some background is given to why and how academics may make their articles OA and how they may be found by others searching for them. Google, Google Scholar, OAIster and OpenDOAR were used to try to locate OA versions of peer reviewed journal articles drawn from three subjects (ecology, economics, and sociology). Findings – Of the 2519 articles 967 were found to have OA versions on the WWW. Google and Google Scholar found 76.84% of them. The results from OpenDOAR and OAIster were disappointing, but some improvements are noted. Only in economics could OAIster and OpenDOAR be considered a relative success. Originality/value - The paper shows the relative effectiveness of the search tools in these three subjects. The results indicate that those wanting to find OA articles in these subjects, for the moment at least, should use the general search engines Google and Google Scholar first rather than OpenDOAR or OAIster.



  • Science


  • Information Science


NORRIS, M., OPPENHEIM, C. and ROWLAND, F., 2008. Finding open access articles using Google, Google Scholar, OAIster and OpenDOAR. Online Information Review, 32 (6), pp. 709-715


Emerald Group Publishing Limited (© The authors)


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This article was published in the journal, Online Information Review [Emerald Group Publishing Limited / © The authors 2008] and the definitive version is available at:






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