Open access resources are a great way to boost your business research without opening your wallet, and the resources are often just a click away!
Now in its 5th year, Open Access Week (Oct 24-31, 2011) is a global event promoting the spread of open access resources for scholarship and research. About open access (from the Canadian Association of Reserach Libraries (CARL): "Open access (OA) is the free availability of scholarly journal publications over the Internet." These resources are divided into two categories, academic journals containing newly published articles, and open repositories that offer full or limited access to publications such as theses, dissertations, or back-issues of slightly dated journal articles.
What kind of open access resources would you want to look for? The first place to start is the Directory of Open Access Journals. Currently there are 229 open access journals from around the world that cover Business / Management. The journals listed here are too numerous to list, but a few notable titles include: Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, Journal of Interactive Advertising, or Annals of Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
Another resource you might want to consult either in business planning or for general knowledge on a specific subject, are previously published academic theses and dissertations. Most UBC theses are listed in the UBC Library catalogue. Note call number(s), location(s), and format(s) available. Not affiliated with UBC or unable to visit a campus location in person? Here are a few alternative ways to access these resources through open access:
cIRcle: UBC's Institutional Repository
UBC theses and dissertations submitted after Fall 2007 are available in full text in cIRcle: UBC's Institutional Repository. A project is underway to digitize older UBC theses, starting with 1992.
Summit: SFU's Institutional Repository
Summit is the Simon Fraser University institutional repository. Here you can search for theses and dissertations published by Beedie School of Business graduates.
Theses Canada Portal
Indexes theses and dissertations on microform in Library and Archives Canada's collection. Electronic theses and dissertations are harvested monthly from Canadian universities.
ProQuest Dissertations and Theses - Full Text (library access required)
Searchable index of dissertations, some theses. The full text of dissertations and theses added to the database since 1997 are available to UBC users. Covers more than 90% of North American doctoral dissertations plus growing international coverage.
Visit UBC Library Web Pages - FAQ: Dissertations and Theses - for more information about how and where to find theses and dissertations. Also keep in mind that many researchers and scholars are increasingly turning to self-publishing drafts or final versions of their work online, often hosted on their own personal websites. If you know the name of a published thesis, a keyword search in Google may be enough to help you find a freely available online copy, or you might be able to contact the author directly for full access.
Photo credit: Open Access Week homepage