Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Free research resources: Welcome

A guide to free and Open Access resources available to students, alumni and the public.
Someone studying with a laptop, notebook and book
 
 
Who is this guide for?

It is for anyone carrying out research without access to publications, data and other research material through membership of an academic library or via institutional or personal subscriptions. This includes University of Reading alumni, students between courses and the general public anywhere.

Browse through the tabs to find out what you can discover!

What's in the guide?

We recommend ways of finding academic articles, books and other resources useful for research, including maps, theses, data and images.The resources that we highlight are available to read online or download for free because they are made available legally by the copyright owner, publisher or author. 

In our section about libraries, we explain how you can search their online catalogues, and we recommend some different UK libraries to visit or join. We also explain how public libraries in the UK can provide access to research resources.

Searching by subject? You might like to start with the subject guides for our students, which you can access through the link below.

What is Open Access?

Open Access is a significant worldwide movement to increase the percentage of academic books and articles which are free to access and download without the reader or their institution needing to pay a subscription. Many research funders and universities have Open Access policies stipulating that their authors should publish with publishers who provide an Open Access publishing option.

You will come across the term 'Open Access' when searching for articles and books in this guide. An Open Access publication will be freely downloadable for you and will usually have a Creative Commons licence explaining how you can use it.