Search and find open access publications

Many OA publications are listed in the catalog of the library, including titles from DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books), OAPEN or OA publications of individual publishers such as De Gruyter, Nomos and JSTOR. Freely available journals and databases can be found in the EZB and DBIS ("green titles").

Many different search (and find) tools are available for specific searches for open access publications. We give you a selection on this page.

Databases and search engines


Directory of Open Access Books Lists scientific peer-reviewed open access books. Only the metadata is displayed, full texts are accessible via the providers. The individual titles are included in the library catalog.


Directory of Open Access Journals Directory of peer-reviewed open access journals, most of which can be searched down to the article level.


OAPEN Library Offers free access to scientific open access books, primarily from the humanities and social sciences. The individual titles are included in the library catalog.


Bielefeld Academic Search Engine The world's largest specialized search engine for OA publications from journals and repositories. BASE does not exclusively detect OA content, but it is possible to narrow down the search to OA documents.

"Digital Media" in the KVK

Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog "Digital Media" Overarching search in a segment of the KVK book search engine, which is used to search many important portals for all types of OA publications.


1findr International search engine for scientific documents, especially for Open Access publications.

Plugins for web browsers

Unpaywall Browser plugin (available for Chrome and Firefox) that automatically searches for and links to a freely available version of the currently accessed non-full-text scientific document.

Open Access Button Checks (like Unpaywall) the free availability of scientific articles after entering DOI, title, URL or similar and redirects to freely available versions of scientific content.

Specialized repositories and publishers

Specialized repositories and pre-print portals

Subject-specific servers on which full texts of working papers, pre-prints and articles made openly accessible are listed, e.g.

  • Open Access Information Platform: "Information for different subjects" The Information Platform (IP-OA) offers a uniform and convenient access to the most important questions concerning Open Access, in addition, under "Information for different subjects", information about subject-specific repositories, relevant Open Access journals as well as general information on the dissemination and acceptance of Open Access in the relevant subject
  • SSRN: humanities, humanities, social sciences and economics
  • PsyArXiv: focus on psychology
  • SocArXiv: focus on social sciences
  • peDOCS: Focus on Educational Science
  • Econpaper: focus on economics

Publishers and other providers

Many publishers publish their publications at least partially in open access and present them for free access on their publishing platforms. Examples of this are (the links in each case lead to DBIS, the individual titles are partly listed in the library catalog):


Open Access