How to find Open E-Resources During the Coronavirus Lockdown?  

Are you looking for online materials without a University of Helsinki user account? With the help of these tips, you can use Open Access publications! Open Access publications are available to everyone even while the libraries are closed.  

Search Engines and Databases  


Core is a large UK-based database that harvests open repositories effectively from various sources. It is also a source for other services, for example for the Iris.AI platform.  The Core database welcomes all open repositories and journals that are interested in joining. Helda, the Digital Repository of the University of Helsinki, is one of the repositories that has joined Core’s set of repositories. Compared to Google Scholar, Core’s harvesting technique is more systematic. All material in Core is openly available. It indexes currently more than 135 million documents.   


BASE is a German search engine that provides more than 150 million documents. About 60% of these documents are Open Access. BASE is a user-friendly way to search for free versions of research articles from different publishers. It also offers versatile search and sorting functions.  


Dimensions is a large international database that is free of charge for personal use. It has over 100 million articles, books, book chapters, manuscript versions of articles and congress presentations. You can filter the database to show only open materials by using the "Open Access" menu on the side of the page. The level of academic quality in indexed materials varies, which is something to keep in mind when looking for information is a search service that provides materials from Finnish archives, libraries and museums. The service contains a lot of documents that are openly available online, for example Finnish research articles. In order to search for online content, narrow your search with the option “Available online”.  

Google Scholar  

Google Scholar is a search engine designed especially for scholarly texts. It contains a lot of openly available material. The service indexes materials in several languages, including in Finnish.  

Microsoft Academic 

Microsoft Academic is a search engine for scholarly literature. It uses semantic search techniques. The service is currently indexing more than 230 million documents, out of which more than 80 million are articles.  


The OpenAIRE portal, funded by the European Commission, harvests European and international repositories. It has an Open Access database of around 10 million publications or datasets. The basic search in OpenAIRE shows the level of the openness, discipline classification and type of the document (e.g. thesis or pre-print). 

Books and Journals  


DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books) is the most extensive critical directory of scientific Open Access books. For those interested in Open Access publishing, DOAB website contains a useful listing of subject areas including information about the publishers. 


DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) is the most extensive critical directory of scientific Open Access journals. For those interested in Open Access publishing, the DOAJ site contains a useful listing of subject areas including information about the publishers. 

You can search for openly published journals in, which is a journal service provided by the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. The site features 80 Finnish scholarly journals. 


The OAPEN database contains freely available scientific monographs, mainly in the humanities and social sciences. 

Open Publishing at the University of Helsinki  


Editori is a University of Helsinki open journal publishing service. The journals published in Editori are openly available.  

Helda Open Books 

The Helda Open Books virtual collection contains literature related to research and teaching as well as classic works from different disciplines. Contact e-mail:  

Helsinki University Press (HUP) 

Helsinki University Press, HUP for short, is a scholarly Open Access publisher of peer-reviewed books and journals. All of its publications are freely available online. The main publishing language is English. 

More Information

More information on the open e-resources can be found in the following library guides:  
The descriptions of services are based on for example content in the library guides and a Think Open blog post “Testing Alternative Access – some other ways to reach research articles” by Markku Roinila.  
This list was curated by Juuso Ala-Kyyny, Mika Holopainen, Markku Roinila and Kimmo Koskinen.