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Scholarly articles and books that are made available for free are called open access. There are many high quality open access books and journals online. Sometimes, it is helpful to Google for the broad subject you are interested and add the phrase "open access" to your search (examples: art images "open access" or engineering journals "open access").
General Open Access Resources
Directory of Open Access Journals
The aim of the Directory of Open Access Journals is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals thereby promoting their increased usage and impact.
Project Muse Open Access
Project MUSE offers open access (OA) books and journals from several distinguished university presses and scholarly societies.
JSTOR Open and Free Content
JSTOR is a multi-disciplinary backfile database, which means all the materials included are at least 3-5 years old. It is useful for areas of research for which currency is not essential. Find thousands of open access journals and scholarly books.
A wealth of information from deep-web resources can be uncovered using Google Scholar. When used on campus or by designating SMU in "Scholar Preferences" screen, you can also see materials already in the library's collection.
Join your local library
Many public libraries offer access to research databases which you can access from home. If you find an article you need through Google Scholar or some other index, you may be able to borrow it through Interlibrary Loan.