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Social Work Research Guide

A guide to resources for social work research at Cal Poly Humboldt.

Finding Open Access Articles

Search Tools for Finding Open Access Articles

  • Google Scholar primarily searches the following: academic publisher websites, Google books, institutional repositories and .edu sites, .gov sites
  • SocArXiv is a repository of articles that have been made available by authors (often referred to as pre-print, post-print, or author accepted). SocArXiv has content across multiple disciplines, and includes a social work specific category
  • PsycArXiv is also a repository. PsycArXiv includes clinical psychology, developmental psychology and other related areas. 
  • PubMed is a federally supported database of health-sciences related articles, including psychology, psychiatry, and public health. PubMed Central is a subset of PubMed and is composed of all open access articles. 
  • ERIC is a federally supported database of education-related articles.
  • BioMed Central Journals BioMed Central is an open access publisher of over 200 free online academic journals specializing in subjects related to science, technology and medicine. Areas of interest to social workers include public health, substance abuse, Alzheimer's research and health care policy.
  • Public Library of Science (PLoS) "The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource." PLoS journals are concentrated in the areas of biology, medicine and genetics but health policy, mental health, public health and other health areas may be of importance to some social work researchers.

OA Journals in Social Work and Related Disciplines

  • Directory of Open Access Journals From the website: "DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals."
  • OpenDOAR - Directory of Open Access Repositories OpenDOAR is a directory which links to open access repositories from around the world. These repositories contain a wealth of freely available scholarly articles, data and dissertations from leading universities. Browse individual repositories or search across all repositories to find articles written by faculty and scholars from these universities.
  • ROAD - Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources Search open access journals, conference proceedings, academic repositories and recent (since 2014) monograph series. 
  • PsycArXiv PsycArXiv is also a disciplinary repository. PsycArXiv includes clinical psychology, developmental psychology and other related areas. 
  • SocArXiv Open archive of the social sciences, provides a free, non-profit, open access platform for social scientists to upload working papers, preprints, and published papers, with the option to link data and code.
  • Social Science Research Network (SSRN) This site acts as a repository for scholars in social sciences fields to share their research. Authors may upload and share their papers for no charge and papers are free or very low cost to download. 
  • Springer Open Search  within over 160 peer-reviewed open access journals and some open access books. Most journals are in the medicine and science but there are some articles covering the social sciences. 

  • Taylor & Francis - Health & Social Care Open Access Research Links to collections of freely available, open access research from Taylor & Francis journals by the following subject categories: Health, HIV/AIDS, Sexuality & Sexual Health and Social Work.

Behavior and Social Issues includes articles on the science of behavior analysis and its sub-discipline of cultural systems analysis. Hybrid OA; some articles open access. 

Open Evidence-Based Practice Resources

Open Evidence-Based Practice Resources

What is Open Access?

Open Access Logo Open access (OA) refers to freely available, digital, online information. Open access scholarly literature is free of charge and has less restrictive copyright. See SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)

Open Access Explained

OA Tools

UnPaywall is a browser extension that connects you to open access versions of articles when they're available.

Open Access Button is a browser extension to help find open access articles and open data. If an item is paywalled, the project will start a request for you to access the research.