Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder."
From Peter Suber's Very brief introduction to Open Access.
Learn more : Open Access and Scholarly Publishing
OA and the Social Sciences
This box contains links to social science repositories and interdisciplinary repositories with substantial social science material. It is by no means exhaustive and is intended to provide a sense of the range of types of resources available.
DOAJ Social Sciences Journals
The Directory of Open Access Journals has browsable lists of journals in various areas of the social sciences, broken down by specific disciplines.
The Social Science Open Access Repository contains both pre- and post-print articles from a wide range of the social sciences. It is certified by the German Initiative for Networked Information (DINI). It has both English and foreign language publications.
eScholarship (University of California)
Both a repository and publishing service, eScholarship provides access to a wide range of scholarly materials from researchers associated with the UC system. Material is browsable by institution and discipline.
The Social Science Research Network has material from across a broad range of the social sciences and is one of the largest OA repositories in the world. Coverage is also international in scope.
OA and the Sciences
The Sciences have often led the way in the Open Access movement. This list is by no means exhaustive and is intended to provide a sense of the range of types of resources available.
The Directory of Open Access Journals has browsable lists of journals in various areas of the sciences, broken down by specific disciplines.
A pioneer in open access, BioMed Central, now owned by Springer Verlag, publishes over 60 open access journals as well as additional "toll-access" journals.
Public Library of Science
With a core principle of "giving any scientist, physician, patient, or student - anywhere in the world - unlimited access to the latest scientific research", the non-profit PLoS was one of the first, and remains one of the truly significant open access publishing houses in the sciences. Its journals are notable for their high quality and high profile, with new research reports frequently highlighted in major general news outlets.
A freely-available, full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM). NIH grant recipients are required to deposit their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts in the PubMedCentral archive upon acceptance for publication, with this content to be made publicly accessible within 12 months of publication.