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Open Access and Birkbeck Library


Birkbeck Library is fully committed to Open Access and does so in practice as follows:


BIROn is an online repository designed to host full texts of published research from Birkbeck College academics. Full-text files account for around 30% of the current content. Material is freely available to anyone over the Internet, except where publisher embargoes are in force.
Repositories are being developed by academic institutions worldwide, as mechanisms for making research available. They are intended to open up scholarly research literature, in the spirit of the Open Access Movement. BIROn is not a publishing mechanism, nor a substitute for peer-reviewed journals. It has been developed to store and share material that has already been, or is about to be, published elsewhere.

Birkbeck Research Data (BiRD) is The College’s research data repository. Any data that underpins publications or other work at Birkbeck can be stored there. Many Open Access publications require that data be available, and a statement included in the publication stating where that data can be found. To deposit in the BiRD, either visit the website or contact


Birkbeck Library is fully committed to Open Access and is currently participating in the following projects:


Independent Voices is a digital collection of alternative press newspapers, magazines and journals, drawn from the special collections of participating libraries. These periodicals were produced by feminists, dissident GIs, campus radicals, Native Americans, anti-war activists, Black Power advocates, Hispanics, LGBT activists, the extreme right-wing press and alternative literary magazines during the latter half of the 20th century.

  • Knowledge Unlatched Pilot Project

    A collaborative initiative enabling open access books. Knowledge Unlatched is helping stakeholders to work together for a sustainable open future for specialist scholarly books. Their vision is a healthy market that includes free access for end users.
  • Open Books Publisher

    Open Book Publishers are changing the nature of the traditional academic book. Their books are published in hardback, paperback, pdf and ebook editions, but they also include a free online edition that can be read via our website, downloaded, reused or embedded anywhere.


Other national open access schemes

Other national open access schemes to be aware of when undertaking research:

  • Access to Research for all [] The Access to Research service is a new (2013) initiative to give free, walk-in access to a wide range of academic articles and research in public libraries across the UK.
  • CORE [ ] provides access to over 25m articles and “supports the right of citizens and general public to access the results of research towards which they contributed by paying taxes. It also “ facilitates access to open access content for all by offering services to general public, academic institutions, libraries, software developers, researchers, etc.”
  • BASE [ ] provides more than 70 million documents from more than 3,000 sources. You can access the full texts of about 70% of the indexed documents.

 Open access - beyond paywalls

  • The Unpaywall extensions for Chrome and Firefox [] enables you to access paywall research papers for free.  
  • The Open Access Button [ ] open access button icon2   You can search for free, legal research articles and data delivered instantly or automatically requested from authors.

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