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Stony Brook University

Researching Without an SBU ID

This guide is meant to help high school and other community groups who are looking for freely available high quality research materials, such as peer-reviewed journal articles.

What is Open Access?

At Stony Brook University Libraries, we subscribe to a large number of resources that are behind a “paywall,” and therefore expensive or inaccessible to the general public. SBU faculty, staff, and students have access to these databases, and when you come to campus for an instruction session, we are also able to allow you temporary guest access while you are in the computer lab during the instruction session. Unfortunately, you will not have this same access when you leave campus.


However, there are an increasing number of opportunities for the public to access peer-reviewed journal articles, dissertations, historical materials, and other resources for free through “open access” initiatives. If you are not able to come to campus, or, if you would like to find these resources after your visit, here are some freely available ways to find high quality academic resources.

Open Access Resources

For scholarly articles, either peer-reviewed or self-archived:

For books, ebooks, dissertations, theses, reference, & OER:

  • DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books):  collection of peer-reviewed open access ebooks.
  • DPLA Open Bookshelf: open access ebooks, freely available to download and keep.
  • free public domain eBooks that you can download in the EPUB format.

  • Google Books: Previews and full-text ebooks. Full-text books are out of copyright, or books in which Google received permission from the publisher to reproduce.

  • Hathi Trust Digital Library:  a repository providing access to public domain and in-copyright content from a variety of sources, including Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and in-house partner institution initiatives.

  • Internet Archive: Ebooks and Texts Archive:  contains a wide range of fiction, popular books, children's books, historical texts, and academic books.

  • Journalist's Resource: A project of Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center and the Carnegie-Knight Initiative, Journalist's Resource curates, summarizes, and contextualizes high-quality research on "newsy" public policy topics.

  • JSTOR Open Content: Open Access books and peer-reviewed journals, as well as journal content published before 1923 in the United States (and prior to 1870 elsewhere).

  • Mason OER Metafinder: provides a real-time, simultaneous search of 21 different sources for open educational resources.

  • OAPEN Library: Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN) Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of humanities and social sciences. 

  • Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD): OATD currently indexes more than 2,000,000 theses and dissertations.

  • Open Book Publishers:  freely-available ebooks and e-textbooks in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

  • Open Textbook Library: 700+ open textbooks

  • The Online Books Page: over 3 million free books on the web, maintained by John Mark Ockerbloom at University of Pennsylvania.

  • Project Gutenberg: first and largest single collection of free ebooks that are out of copyright in the United States.

  • Project Muse: open access e-journals and ebooks from university presses and scholarly societies.

  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Open (PQDT Open):PQDT Open provides the full text of open access dissertations and theses free of charge. You can quickly and easily locate dissertations and theses relevant to your discipline, and view the complete text in PDF format.

Even more options: