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Citizen science: Scientific literature

Öistä Linnunrataa vesistön äärellä katsova mies

Open access

Research publications made with public funds should be freely available to everyone, including those working outside academic organizations and research institutes ( Broadly defined, open publishing means that a scientific publication can be read and downloaded for free by all internet users. In the open publishing model, the reader does not pay for reading the article, but the costs of publishing the article are covered by author fees.

Publication archives

In relation to open publishing, researchers make versions of their articles available at different stages of the writing process. The manuscript can be sent to the so-called preprint archive. When the manuscript has gone through a scientific peer review and it has been accepted for publication in a scientific journal, the accepted manuscript version of the article may be stored in the research organization's own publication archive.

Searching for open publications

An article published openly on the publisher's page or in the publication archive with manuscript versions can be searched on Google or Google Scholar. Some services, such as  Unpaywall, list open publications from the internet. To make the search easier, you can install Google Scholar or Unpaywall extensions on your browser, or the Open Access Button, which also searches for open versions of the article when you are on the article's home page.

Information about a specific topic

Reference and full-text databases are available in university libraries, which can be used for accurate and comprehensive information searches. There are also some free search engines and databases on the Internet that make searching for scientific information on an interesting topic quite easy.

Open access journals

How can I get a specific article to read if it is not openly available?

  • Request an article from the corresponding author by email
  • Request an article from authors on ResearchGate or, which are social media services for scientists.
  • Order an article from your library's remote service
  • With the open client terminals of the university libraries, you can also read publications behind a paywall. You get the articles as pdf files. You can borrow printed materials with a library card.
  • Scientific magazines often sell individual articles for a few tens of euros. Try all other methods first.

Oulu University Library services

The collections and services of Oulu University Library are generally available for use by everyone. All University Library users may borrow printed library materials and use the electronic resources from computers on library premises. More information: Borrwing and using the library and Use of electronic resources.

Help in information searching

Information service helps in seeking information on your subject, using databases and finding e-books and articles.

Chat Mon - Fri at 9 - 16

Email: informationservice (at)

Call: 0294 483504