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Access to Research

Access to Research banner image

The Access to Research service provides free, on-demand access to millions of academic articles in UK public libraries. It makes it easy for anyone to read publicly-funded research, and helps publishers share content with researchers, students and others who might benefit from it.

The story of Access to Research

Access to Research was launched in response to the work of the Finch Group, a committee that was convened by the UK government to explore ways to improve access to publicly funded research. One of its recommendations was that journal publishers should provide free access to their academic articles to the users of public libraries.

PLS led the creation of Access to Research in partnership with the Publishers Association, Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers and Society of Chief Librarians, now Libraries Connected. Search delivery has been provided free of charge by ProQuest.

How it works

Access to Research enables people to read more than 40 million academic articles on a wide variety of subjects. More than 95% of the UK’s local authorities host the service, and you can find details of participating libraries on the site. All content is accessed online via terminals within public libraries. You can discover articles via a simple search tool, then read them on the websites of their publishers.

For more about the service, including FAQs, tips for finding articles and support for publishers and libraries, visit the Access to Research website.

Getting involved

Many of the UK’s leading academic publishers already provide their articles on the Access to Research platform. If you would like to opt in to the service, email us and we’ll help you get set up.  The service is freely available to all local authorities.

Participating Libraries

It’s important to us that we work in close partnership with libraries to ensure that users of public libraries are aware of this truly unique and valuable service.

That’s why we need your help!

We’re looking for Access to Research Champions, to help promote the service within their library community. To get our Champions started, we have created a digital tools and marketing kit, with material available in both English and Welsh language:

Marketing Kit

Posters & Social Media / Posteri & Cyfryngau Cymdeithasol

Access to Research: Video / Access to Research: Fideo

Access to Research: Searching Journal Articles / Access to Research: Chwilio Erthyglau Cyfnodolyn

Access to Research Champion Badge / Bathodyn: Hyrwyddwr Access to Research

Tool Kit

Access to Research Library Information Guide 2023 / Access to Research: Canllaw Gwybodaeth i Lyfrgelloedd 

A2R IP Address Activation Guide / Access to Research Canllawiau Actifadu Cyfeiriad IP

Desktop Shortcut Setup Guide / Canllaw Gosod Llwybr Byr Bwrdd Gwaith

What next?

Please do familiarise yourself with the tools and marketing kit and make use of it as you see fit.

Make sure you’re following @PLSlicensing and let your community know that you’re supporting the service by using the hashtag #AccesstoResearch


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