Whilst many subscription databases are still available to IALS Library academic members via the Electronic Law Library during the coronavirus pandemic, some legal resources such as print books and some subscription databases may not be accessible. The purpose of this guide is to help users identify open access and free resources for use in legal research.
Some of the databases to which IALS Library subscribes are offering our academic members expanded access during the coronavirus pandemic. Details of the additional access can be found on the library webpage: https://ials.sas.ac.uk/library/ials-collections/covid-19-open-and-free-access-materials-for-legal-research
Open access refers to research output that is always freely available. This means that anyone can access the content with no financial or login barriers. This guide highlights open access legal resources that may be of use during this time. A full list of the open access resources included in the IALS Library catalogue is available at the following link:
We will be adding more resources to this page as they come to our attention. If you have suggestions, please email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOAB aims to increase discoverability open access books. All publishers included in DOAB are screened for their peer review and licensing policies. DOAB contains around 1000 books with a law subject heading.
The OAPEN library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the areas of humanities and social sciences. Law books included cover the areas of international law, jurisprudence and general isses, and laws of specific jurisdictions.
OBserving Law is an open access book publishing initiative developed with the School of Advanced Study and the University of London Press.
The Australian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) has a page listing a number of open access law books published by the Sydney University Press.
The Australasian Legal Scholarship Library includes 141 law journals published in Australia and 13 published in New Zealand. Some of the journals only provide their archives on an open access basis, but others provide current content. The Library is part of the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII).
DOAJ is a collection of peer-reviewed open access journals from all around the world, including more than 250 law titles.
Law Review Commons is the largest collection of open access law journals. It brings together more than 300 OA law journals published by US universities and a few Canadian universities.
Amicus Curiae is a peer reviewed, official journal of both the Society of Legal Studies and the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.
Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review has been developed by Stephen Mason (founder, publisher and general editor) with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS).
The IALS Student Law Review is a peer reviewed journal established by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
About 40 other open access law journals are listed on IALS Library Catalogue: see Featured List of IALS Open Access Resources
OpenDOAR is a global repository of open access repositories and their policies.
CORE harvests and provides full text access to material from institutional, subject and preprint repositories as well as gold and hybrid open access journals. Core will allow direct searching for open access research content from 145 countries.
SAS-Space is the research repository for the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies area of SAS-Space includes articles, books and book sections, monographs, conference and workshop items, masters and doctoral theses, and other legal materials.
There are various sources of open access full-text law theses. If searching for a specific thesis, try the institutional repository or library of the awarding institution. Collections of theses and services which allow keyword searching across multiple theses repositories at once are listed below.
The DART Europe E-theses portal offers online access to theses provided by a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses.
The British Library's Electronic Theses Online System (EThOS) aims to open access to UK theses in many disciplines, including law. Many theses are available in full-text as pdf documents. Those not yet available in full-text may be requested.
NDLTD is a collection of electronic theses and dissertations provided through links to university and institutional repositories that include theses and dissertations in full text. Information is drawn from over 160 NDLTD member institutions from countries and jurisdictions including the USA, South America, China, the UK, Singapore and South Africa.
PQDT Open from ProQuest provides the full text of selected open access dissertations and theses free of charge. The documents are available in PDF format.
Trove is a National Library of Australia service giving access to doctoral, masters and some honours theses from Australian and New Zealand universities and others higher degree institutions. Trove also includes some theses awarded overseas but held by Australian institutions.