20 September 2018 Blogs, Academic, Community College, Corporate, Government, K-12, Public, Administrator, Librarian

Why ProQuest Created a Database of Open-Access Content

A new initiative helps researchers discover and organize the most reliable open-access content from hundreds of global sources

A new initiative helps researchers discover and organize the most reliable open-access content from hundreds of global sources

By Alison Roth

Using open-access content exposes researchers to multiple challenges, including potentially unreliable sources and having to search multiple databases to get the right content. That’s why ProQuest is launching a new database that makes it easier for researchers to find reliable open-access scholarly content – all without leaving the ProQuest platform.

The new Publicly Available Content Database brings together, or links to, full text for published open-access content and preprints from hundreds of sources from around the world. The database includes vetted coverage of reliable scholarly sources – and excludes potentially problematic publications that are inconsistent with ProQuest's editorial guidelines.

It’s our latest step toward making reliable open-access content more discoverable and usable. Now, we’re excited to share that our users can:

Discover the latest research in context with premium content. The Publicly Available Content Database includes thousands of preprints and working papers from arXiv and other collections, surfacing it along with other relevant research.

Easily identify open-access content. Search results will display an “Open Access” icon next to any article from the Publicly Available Content Database. We’ve included content from open-access journals in DOAJ and ROAD, along with dissertations from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global Open and additional content from publishers and sources known to be publicly available.

Access content without authenticating. Anyone, subscriber or not, who discovers open-access content on the ProQuest platform via Google or Google Scholar will be able to access the full text by clicking through the link to ProQuest, enabling researchers to apply the platform’s powerful research tools to publicly available materials.

Link to external open-access content from citation records. We’ve added an indicator of open-access status and dynamic links to external, legitimate open-access sources based on digital object identifiers (DOIs) in citation records. When publicly available, users can locate full text for open-access articles published in journals which are not themselves fully open and do not license the full text of articles to ProQuest.

More than 2,000 open-access journal titles are available in the database today, with more being added. The database has been added to ProQuest Central, and other ProQuest customers can also add it to their subscriptions for no additional cost by request.

Find more details on the Publicly Available Content database on our website.


Alison Roth is the lead business blogger at ProQuest. A former journalist, she enjoys AP style, direct quotes and a good Oxford Comma debate. She was inspired to become a writer many years ago by Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry, and is still influenced by his style to this day. You can follow Alison on Instagram at @five_speed