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Open Access to Journal Literature: A Guide

What is open access? This guide includes evidence-based public health resources, grey literature, free full text journal articles ("open access"), domestic access and more.


The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

World Health Organization (WHO)

July 1, 2014: WHO joins (Europe) PubMed Central

The World Health Organisation (WHO), announced the launch of a new open access policy to ensure the widespread dissemination of scientific research. The policy, which applies to all WHO-authored or WHO-funded research published in external journals and books, kicked into action on 1st July 2014. From this date forth, articles authored or co-authored by WHO staff or WHO funding recipients will have to be published in an open-access journal or a hybrid open-access journal (a subscription journal with some open access articles) The research must be published under the terms of the standard Creative Commons licence or in a subscription journal that allows for the depositing of the article in Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) within 12 months of the official publication date.

United Nations

National Library of Medicine (NLM)

As the world's largest biomedical collection, NLM has a mission which has been extended to encompass its international activities:  to assist the advancement of medical and related sciences through the collection, preservation, dissemination and exchange of information important to the progress of medicine and health. NLM's international partnerships strengthen and expand global access to the world's health literature. 


POPLINE® contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of population, family planning and related reproductive health and development literature. It  is a free resource, maintained by the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs and is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The intended audience are developing country program managers and planners, policymakers, health care providers, researchers and teachers.

It consists of bibliographic citations and abstracts to a variety of materials including journal articles and other scientific, technical, and programmatic publications as well as unpublished documents and project reports (gray literature).

For low- and middle-income country users who have little or no Internet access, POPLINE delivers the full text directly

in There’s not a mechanism to order from Popline if you are the US. Email requests to  


Through the Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERii), INASP cooperates with over 50 publishers and aggregators to facilitate access for eligible institutions and individual researchers to their resources within our partner and network countries. To see which publishers, resource and activities are available within your country, please go to your country page using the Country Finder on the top right section of this screen.


Peace Corps

Duke University Medical Center Library and Archive

Electronic Journals and Public Access: Changes in Scholarly Communication

The most common method of scholarly communication in the health sciences is publication in a peer-reviewed book or journal. Peer-reviewed journals were formerly available only through paid subscription, but recent developments in scholarly communication are changing how journal articles are accessed. Greater accessibility of scientific and clinical journal articles was driven in part by a desire to see government-supported research made easily available to its funders: the taxpayers

"Open access" is a term used differently by different groups to describe journals or articles that are freely available online. The rights to download, copy, distribute, and use these freely available works vary from publication to publication.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.