Locating freely-available material, legally (Open Access)

It can be frustrating when you come across an article you need and because the Library doesn’t subscribe to the journal, you’re asked to pay a fee in order to read it. Try these tools below. Some perform similar functions but search different sources.



Via this British Library service, EThOS, you can find details of over 475,000 UK doctoral theses. Many of them are available for immediate download and where they are not yet available you can order a scanned copy.

Find out more about EThOS


Add the free Chrome or Firefox browser extension from Unpaywall to get access to millions of research papers. Unpaywall harvests these from institutional repositories and pre-print servers providing you with free copies, legally.

Visit Unpaywall


CORE provides access to over 80 million open access papers, harvesting the full text from thousands of sources around the world.

Learn more about CORE

LibKey Nomad

The LibKey Nomad browser extension flags up open access journal articles, as well as articles we subscribe to when you’re browsing the web. You can download it to your computer for free from the LibKey Nomad webpage

Go to LibKey Nomad

Open Access Button

Similar to Unpaywall, the OA Button enables you to search for articles which are otherwise hidden behind paywalls. Search from the web page or add the Chrome or Firefox extensions to your browser. The OA Button also offers the option of contacting the author for a copy if it’s not yet available.

Find out more about Open Access Button

Quick links

Information and Digital Literacy workshops and webinars

Doctoral Development Programme (DDP) workshops

Find your librarian

Open Access explained

Ask a question

Email: library@sheffield.ac.uk

Phone: +44 114 222 7200

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