Top 10 Open Access Library Databases: Best for Academic Research

calendarFeb 21, 2023 |clock10 Mins Read

Open access gives the public unrestricted online access to academic content found in scholarly publications. Over a third of all research articles are now published in Open Access (STM Association 2021). The increased adoption of Open Access in research fields comes as no surprise. Open Access creates value by streamlining the process of publishing for authors and enhancing readership by making more quality academic content available for free.

Open access publishing drives a wider conversation with scholars, policy makers, practitioners, clinicians, and the public to be able to read and circulate research. This dissemination of research can potentially improve current methods of practices and policies across a variety of fields and disciplines.

The surge in Open Access publishing and usage has created a movement with ardent support from social impact groups who are campaigning for open access to help bridge the gap of inequality that exists in academic publishing. Open access allows for greater inclusivity in scholarly communities. Open Access research means more people can make evidence-based decisions and continue learning with our barriers throughout their life. Learning should not stop when you finish school or complete your degree.

Benefits of Open Access

  1. Increased readership: The ease of Open Access publishing means more people around the world can read the latest research for free. This helps build knowledge communities globally and supports lifelong learning.
  2. Opportunity for citations: citations act as a roadmap in research. The more citations an article gets, the greater the chance for future research. Since Open Access is free and available globally, more people can cite the research
  3. Transparency: Integrity is strengthened by the free availability of research. Especially if access is openly granted to this data. Thereby making said research more transparent.

If you’re a student, researcher, or professional, you can join the Open Access movement and access millions of journals, proceedings, articles, and more for free now. Here are 10 of the most popular Open Access library databases:

Zendy Open

Zendy is an online library that provides open access research worldwide. With over 43 million articles, journals, and e-books, Zendy is a publishing platform that offers a diverse selection of research across all major disciplines. From science to mathematics, technology, humanities, biology, physics, and more. What makes Zendy unique is that we help you make research easy. You can save lists based on your projects, favorite articles you want to read later, and even access your full reading history.


Research4Life equips institutions in low and middle-income countries with online access to academic peer-reviewed resources. This open access library specialises in teaching, research, and policymaking in health, agriculture, environment, and physical and social sciences.

DOAJ – Directory of Open Access Journals

DOAJ was launched in 2003 and started with 300 open access journals and has now grown to 18,000 journals. This publisher offers community-curated lists of open access material and holds together a variety of reputable researchers and content.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a freely accessible search engine that locates full text or metadata of scholarly literature in an array of fields and formats. Google Scholar offers peer-reviewed online academic journals and e-books, conference papers, dissertations, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature.


OAPEN is a non-profit organization that is based in the Netherlands. This open access library is a great source for open access academic research. Creating a platform for a diverse set of fields and disseminating the research within those fields, OAPEN is a very reliable publisher of peer-reviewed books.


ScienceOpen functions as a research and publishing network. Offering over 74 million articles in all areas of science, all you need to do to access full-text articles is register for free.


Established in 2008, ResearchGate is a valuable platform that allows researchers to connect, collaborate and share their research with everyone. Most researchers on the platform specialize in medicine or biology however academic content on engineering, computer science, agriculture sciences, and psychology is also abundant.


OpenDOAR was launched in 2005; the platform is a collaboration between Lund University and the University of Nottingham. OpenDOAR serves as a global directory of open access repositories.

Social Science Research Network

The social science research network houses academic sources across all scientific disciplines. Dedicated to worldwide open access dissemination of research, SSRN is a great open access platform that works across a plethora of networks and disciplines.

arXiv e-Print Archive

arXiv is an open access archive for over 2 million scholarly articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, electrical engineering, and economics. Publishing across these various disciplines, the network has well-rounded academic content that is posted after a series of moderation but is not peer-reviewed.

It’s a transformative time for Open Access. Together with leading global publishers, Zendy is committed to empowering discussions about how Open Access content can contribute to a more equitable future.

Discover millions of journals, proceedings, e-books, and more now on Zendy

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9 Best Alternatives to Z Library: Consume Research Seamlessly on These Platforms

calendarAug 8, 2023 |clock8 Mins Read

Z-library is an e-book and journal database that has sparked controversy, conversation, and reform since its launch in 2009. After countless lawsuits and domain seizures, the rise and fall of Z-library have allowed many non-pirated alternative digital libraries to emerge and provide students and researchers with legal content gateways. The steady increase of these non-restricted alternatives has elevated the dissemination of quality research globally for students, researchers and lifelong learners to benefit from. In this blog, we uncover legal and safe academic platforms that are great alternatives to Z library. These platforms do not violate copyright or privacy laws and offer a far better navigation experience with advanced features to aid research consumption and comprehension. Project Gutenberg This project initially started as a volunteer-driven effort to organise and digitise the literary content, it features more historic books for which US copyright laws have expired. Since its establishment, it has grown to offer over 60,000 literature and academic resources from an array of subjects and areas of study. The platform is completely free of cost and offers the available material in different formats to ease research consumption and dissemination. The Open Library Established in 2008, this library is a partnership between California State Library and Kahle-Austin Foundation and is an initiative overseen by Internet Archive. The Open Library specialises in e-books and offers over 20 million academic and literary sources to browse through and download without any restrictions or paywalls. The main goal of this library is to “create one web page for every book ever published” in an effort to make all library material accessible by anybody, anywhere. Libby - Overdrive Overdrive is one of the leading digital reading platforms globally, the organisation disseminates reading material within 88,000 libraries and schools in 109 countries. It is a very secure method of downloading and utilising ebooks and requires a student ID or public library pass to access. The platform houses everything from academic essays, university press books and freshly released novels. Overdrive also operates Libby, which is a new app under their umbrella that allows readers to borrow ebooks, audiobooks and magazines from local libraries, it stands to be accessible for all ages and offers a very wide range of reading material to encourage reading from a young age. Zendy Launched in 2019, Zendy offers unrestricted academic research across all mediums like ebooks, journals, articles, case studies and much more. The platform was launched with the intention to bring diversity and global collaboration across various fields of scientific research; to ease research discoverability and consumption Zendy also hosts AI-powered features, advanced search and filtering options, personalized lists, and automatic citations. LibreTexts This is an organisation that is run by the University of California, Davis. The platform hosts free courses and textbooks in an effort to make academia accessible worldwide, LibreTexts is centred around the value of providing open education resources in an ethical and legal way. Arguably, the best offering of this platform is the interactive visuals that can be enabled when reading a piece of research; this feature was launched to ease comprehension and aid visual learners. Standard Ebooks This digital library offers free ebooks that have been thoroughly and professionally typeset and designed. It features a user-friendly browsing and reading experience and offers a wide range of content; everything from novels to academic research. Standard Ebooks is a volunteer-based project that formats, typesets, proofreads and corrects reading material and creates new editions that are compatible with e-reader technology. The website is not only widely accessible but also easy to use. Open Textbook Library Run by the University of Minnesota and supported by Open Education Network, this platform covers public domain and open access textbooks. It allows users to download, edit and disseminate textbooks at no cost. With a current offering of over 1,200 textbooks across several areas of study, Open Textbook Library has been gathering academic content for over 10 years in the industry and is a well-reputed resource. HathiTrust Founded in 2008, HathiTrust is an esteemed collaboration between research libraries and academics worldwide. The platform offers over 17 million digitised academic materials and access to some of the most prestigious libraries globally, like the Bodleian Library in Oxford and original digitised collections from the Harvard University Library. It is a valuable academic platform that houses research content across an array of disciplines without paywalls and restrictions. SciHub Launched in 2011, SciHub is a resource that provides free access to scientific and academic research papers. It was established with the goal to eliminate all barriers in science to foster global collaboration, promote open access practices and provide academic research to individuals regardless of their institutional affiliations, financial situations and geographic location. The website hosts over 80 million academic research papers across an array of disciplines.

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Struggling to find research papers? Try this fast and easy way on Zendy!

calendarJul 25, 2023 |clock5 Mins Read

Sick of wasting hours jumping between databases trying to find relevant research papers? Discover Zendy, the fastest and easiest way to discover over 85 million academic resources on one intuitive platform. While research brings valuable discoveries, the very process of research discoverability can be considered challenging. Needing to access an array of databases and being met with paywalls and other restrictions can cause a researcher’s productivity to significantly decline. We value your time as a student, researcher, professor and lifelong learner hence we’ve built an intuitive platform that is an easy and effective method of conducting research. Zendy houses millions of journal articles, books and proceedings across a wide range of disciplines that are all accessible for free. Try Zendy Open Ease of Location & Accessibility Undoubtedly, the open access movement has made significant strides in the world of research and academia. However, it is still challenging to locate relevant research papers across a number of open access databases and libraries without accessing a number of third-party websites. On Zendy, locating relevant research is not only simple but also quick. The platform utilises advanced filtering and intelligent search algorithms to deliver personalised search results. Furthermore, the academic online library is designed with specific features to make locating, reading and consuming research much easier. Zendy’s latest AI-powered features which are summarisation and key phrase highlighting, have both been implemented to efficiently give readers a gist of the lengthy and informative research papers. It doesn’t stop there, Zendy also provides reading, favorites, and history lists to ease the process of re-locating previously visited research papers. Find Research Papers Dissemination of Quality Research As an academic library, Zendy deeply recognises the importance of quality research that is available and accessible for students, researchers and professionals. In the current sphere of misinformation, evidence-based research is imperative for informed decision-making. We aim to make this simple, our academic library houses research content across all major disciplines within journals, proceedings, e-books, articles and much more. Discover Top Research Striving For Equality Within Research To promote and implement equality in the field of research, building easier access to scientific research is important. Moreover, creating and maintaining legal gateways to access research is beneficial for readers and researchers alike, this not only boosts the reach of the study but also allows for significant improvement with key contributions from emerging regions. Zendy stands as a safe and legal gateway to provide access to scientific research to anyone, anywhere. Get unlimited Access

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Get to Know the 5 Influential Women Who Revolutionised Science

calendarJul 19, 2023 |clock9 Mins Read

Various branches of Science have spearheaded the latest advancements we witness in our world. The field of Science is ever-evolving because researchers and scientists work rigorously; churning out compelling developments to ensure that life on Earth thrives in terms of longevity and universally beneficial conditions. While Science evolves, it has not always been the most welcoming field to diversity; even now, women and minorities struggle to break through scientific fields in several parts of the world. While setting foot in a research laboratory in itself is a recognised achievement, this blog highlights the work of 5 influential women who trailblazed their scientific disciplines at a time when their very presence was not accepted in these settings. Katherine Johnson - Mathematician As a pioneering Mathematician, Katherine Johnson was one of the first African American women to work for NASA. Her role at NASA entailed calculating and analysing the flight paths of NASA space crafts. She is best known for generating the revolutionary calculations that enabled the first Americans to launch into the Earth’s orbit and set foot on the moon in 1962. This involved a complex networking system that linked worldwide communications and tracking stations to the IBM computers in Washington. The calculations that ran through the computers were thoroughly analysed and double-checked by Katherine Johnson because the astronauts were wary of trusting machines. In 2015, at the age of 97, Katherine Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in an effort to recognise her pivotal contributions to NASA’s first human space flight. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson - Doctor/Physician Making significant strides in Medicine, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was the first female doctor in England. She practised Medicine when women were not allowed to, and she spent 6 months at Middlesex Hospital and had to leave when male students began to protest against her on the basis of her gender. However, she received an honours certificate in Chemistry & Material media due to her incredible scores. After applying to several Medical schools and being rejected on grounds of gender, she was finally accepted into the Society of Apothecaries. In early 1865, Elizabeth went on to establish her very own practice. However, the general public was reluctant to be treated by a female doctor so her patients were often poor or female. This changed in late 1865 when the cholera epidemic caused a demand for doctors and the traffic at her practice showed a steady increase. In 1870, Elizabeth found out that the University of Sorbonne in Paris was welcoming female admissions into their medical programmes; this encouraged Elizabeth to learn French and attain her medical degree to become a qualified doctor. Finally, in 1874, she recognised how scarce female doctors were in Britain and how beneficial they were to treating female medical conditions. This led to her co-founding the London School of Medicine for Women which was the first teaching hospital for women. Chein-Shuing Wu - Physicist Nicknamed the “First Lady of Physics'' - Chein-Shuing Wu was a Chinese-American immigrant that grew to be recognised as a pioneer in the field of Physics. She is widely recognised for the Matthan Project which led to the creation and development of nuclear weapons in war research; however, her most notable work is the Wu experiment which proved that identical particles do not always behave and react in the same manner. In 1978, Wu was awarded the inaugural Wolf Prize in Physics for her revolutionary discovery. Rosalind Franklin - Scientist The very photographer of the famous “Photo 51” - Rosalind Franklin is now widely known for discovering the double helix structure of DNA and RNA by utilising X-ray crystallography. While her impact on Science is critical, the credit for discovery was given to James Watson and Francis Crick who were her male colleagues at the time. Due to the lack of recognition, Rosalind Franklin moved on to Birkbeck College and thoroughly studied the molecular structures of viruses, coal and graphite. Her most notable work was on the structure of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus which enabled her to travel the globe and deliver seminars about the coal & virus molecular structure. Marie Curie - Physicist & Chemist Taking the world of Physics & Chemistry by storm, the discoveries and contributions of Marie Curie are invaluable. She conducted crucial research on radioactivity and discovered 2 chemical elements, radium and polonium. Marie also led the first research project on the impact of radiation treatment on tumours, her generous work specialising in cancer research resulted in her spearheading the Curie Institute which was formerly known as the Radium Institute. The establishment is the leading medical research centre in Paris which focuses on cancer research and radiation therapy, now, it has also expanded to cell biology and biophysics. Furthermore, Marie Curie is the first person and only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice and the only person to have won the esteemed award in 2 scientific categories, those being Physics and Chemistry. Read research and breakthrough discoveries from pioneering women in science on Zendy now.