Friday, April 27, 2012
You may have seen coverage of the recent Harvard Faculty Advisory Council memo about "fiscally unsustainable and academically restrictive" practices by certain large journal publishers, along with a list of actions faculty and the library could consider.
Their first suggestion is for researchers to submit copies of their papers to their institutional repository - cf the UC Research Repository. This makes it easier for researchers worldwide to find, read, and cite your paper even if their library can't afford journal subscription charges. Find out more about adding your papers to the repository.
There are similar repositories at university libraries worldwide, which makes a lot of research freely accessible (depending on authors' submission rates). Of course you don't want to have to look up each university's repository, but lots of places aggregate results from open repositories worldwide.
One of the biggest is OAIster - do a simple keyword search, or try the advanced search to filter results by date, language, or format. Especially useful is the "content" option, which lets you search specifically for theses and dissertations.