Open Access refers to journals and scholarly information available digitally for free on the Internet with no licensing or copyright restrictions. There are various levels of open access available. Some journal articles are available free to anyone at the time of publication. Publishers may have the option to restrict access to some journal articles for a few months up to a few years before allowing the article to become open and posted to the web without restrictions.
After leaving the educational setting, many social workers find that their access to research literature is severely diminished. Therefore, building awareness of open access resources among social work students is important. Access to research is a key component to ongoing professional development and evidence-based practice.
Open Access Directories and Indexes
This international directory indexes freely available online journal titles and individual articles listed by subject area. To be included journals must be peer-reviewed or editorially reviewed.
OpenDOAR allows users to search for and in academic open access institutional repositories, worldwide. A simple Google custom search allows you to find many dissertations, theses and articles submitted to these repositories.
Search open access journals, conference proceedings, academic repositories and recent (since 2014) monograph series.
PubMed Central provides free access to biomedical and life sciences journals and acts as a repository for the National Institutes of Health(NIH) open access mandate which requires public access to research funded by by the NIH.
Look up journal titles to find publishers’ copyright policies and if they allow self-archiving.
An open access publisher of over 250 free online academic journals specializing in subjects related to science, technology and medicine.
Search within over 160 peer-reviewed open access journals and some open access books. Most journals are in the medicine and science but there are some articles covering the social sciences.
This site acts as a repository for scholars in social sciences fields to share their research. Authors may upload and share their papers for no charge and papers are free or very low cost to download.
All books published by the National Academies Press can be downloaded as PDFs for free by registering for a free account. Browse topics like aging, children, youth & families, policy, reviews and evaluations, population and fertility studies, women and minorities.
Open Access Social Work Journals
Peer-reviewed articles on current issues, challenges, and responses facing social work practice and education.
Articles that advance the scientific analysis of human social behavior, particularly with regard to understanding and influencing important social problems.
An interdisciplinary peer-reviewed platform for research, multimedia and art “aimed at furthering the ideals of social justice, broadly defined.”
An open access, peer-reviewed online journal that provides an international platform for communication on child and adolescent mental health across different cultural backgrounds.
Published by the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Education and Communities in collaboration with the National Rural Social Work Caucus. This journals focus is on the promotion of excellence in rural social work practice.
Critical Social Work is an international peer-reviewed journal hosted by the School of Social Work at the University of Windsor (Ontario). It aims to explore the current and future potentials for social justice which includes legal, moral and economic issues.
Online peer-reviewed journal, featuring articles related to the development, care, and education of children with an emphasis on practice-related research and development, issues related to practice, parent participation, and policy.
This open access journal has been published by the First Nations Caring Society of Canada since 2004. It covers aboriginal social work issues related to child protection, child development, adoption, and mental health from a First Nations Aboriginal perspective.
Depression Research and Treatment is a peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes original research articles, review articles, and clinical studies related to all aspects of depression.
The Future of Children is published by Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Brookings Institution. It covers child health, education and welfare public policy issues.
Harm Reduction Journal is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal whose focus is on the prevalent patterns of psychoactive drug use, the public policies meant to control them, and the search for effective methods of reducing the adverse medical, public health, and social consequences associated with both drugs and drug policies.
An interdisciplinary, cross-national journal that is committed to scholarly excellence in the field of research about and services for children, youth, families and their communities.
An open access, online journal that provides a home for the latest mental health system research, policy and debates, as well as for articles with educational intent that will build capacity for mental health system research and development.
Dedicated to all aspects of developing international social work practice, including practice methods, skills building, theoretical framework development and professional tactics and techniques.
Formerly the Journal of Indigenous Voices in Social Work. JISD publishes on education, practice, research and policy making relevant to indigenous peoples’ social and economic well-being.
Publishes articles that contribute to current knowledge and understanding of the social processes that marginalise individuals, families and communities.
This is the journal of the Society for Social Work and Research. It has been purchased by University of Chicago Press and is no longer open access.
This journal publishes original research articles, reviews and letters in the field of pre-clinical and clinical addiction and substance abuse research. Topics covered in this interdisciplinary journal include: pharmacology; neuroscience; co-dependence; epidemiology; genetics; psychiatry; diagnosis; prevention; therapy; policy of addiction and substance abuse.
This journal aims to highlight engaged scholarship and the very important social change work done by professionals and activists. It is published by the Lewis & Clark College Graduate School of Education and Counseling, Department of Counseling Psychology
Dedicated to critical analysis of the relationship between social work, social policy, the state and economic forces.
This interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal covers issues dealing with the social, cultural, economic, political, and philosophical problems associated with the struggle for social justice.
SATPP is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal that encompasses all aspects of research concerning substance abuse, with a focus on policy issues.