Off Campus Research for Visitors
Western Libraries provides remote access to our Shared Library Catalogue.
Due to licensing agreements, Western Libraries is not able to support remote access to subscribed electronic databases and resources.
Visitors seeking remote access to databases and online resources may wish to explore the free and open access e-resources below.
Open Access E-resources
Open Access resources are freely available to the general public for viewing and often re-use. There are many ways to access openly available research and scholarship, including through sites and databases like the following:
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): a searchable database providing access to articles from more than 15,000 open access journals.
- Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB): provides access to thousands of academic, peer-reviewed open access books.
- Subject repositories, like Arxiv, bioRxiv, PubMed Central, and SocArXiv
- Scholarship@Western: Western’s institutional repository holds a collection of open access materials (articles, presentations, books) created or sponsored by Western University.
- Statistics Canada public data site: A key resource in Canada that provides statistics about Canada’s population, resources, economy, society, and culture.
You can also find some open access resources through the Western Libraries Shared Library Catalogue and will also be able to read the full text of articles that are Open Access through Google Scholar. To find open access resources in the Western Libraries Shared Library Catalogue, enter your search terms and then limit results by Availability > Open Access.
Other tools, such as the Unpaywall browser extension, can point you to full text open copies of articles that have been published in scholarly journals.
For more information about Open Access, visit our What is Open Access? page.
There are also many ways to find resources that are not Open Access but are still free to the general public. These options include:
- What is available through your local public library. Most public libraries offer online access to their collections. All that is required for remote access is a valid public library card. Contact your local public library for more information.
- WorldCat, a global catalogue of library collections, to search "more than 10,000 libraries worldwide". Narrow your search results to a library near you.
- Wikipedia's list of "free online resources".
- Google, search for "free [subject] databases", or "free [subject] journals", where [subject] is your broad area of research (e.g.: English or Biology).
- Google Books, search for books, some of which may be freely available online. Look for the "Find in a library" link (in the left sidebar, perhaps under "Get this book in print") to find copies in WorldCat.