We are all used to open access to information on the Internet, but when it comes to scientific papers, for most people a barrier comes down. However it is possible to find publicly accessible copies of scientific papers available right now.
I’m building up a list of sites as I find them, as I will use them in my blogging. I’m focussing on Geosciences but many sites are not subject specific. Please make use and if you know of any others, let me know via the comments. I’ll add them to the main text over time.
Usage – Most of these are repositories for organisations. If the primary author of a paper you know of is at one of these institutions then its worth a look. At least some of them are Google searched, in which case that is your best route if you are looking for a specific paper. Either way, don’t assume a recent paper can only be found via the journal.
In descending order of usefullness:
http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/ is a repository for papers produced by UK government agencies, for my purposes the British Geological Survey and British Antarctic Survey. Coverage sketchy before 2010 but good thereafter.
http://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/ All of the GSA’s “GSA Today” are available online and they are keen for bloggers to refer to them.
Open source journals may be the future? EGU has a selection: http://www.egu.eu/publications/open-access-journals.html (thanks Bill). The Solid Earth journal is the one that most caught my eye.
http://oro.open.ac.uk is a repository for the UK Open University. Seems to list all papers since 2009 and about 30-40% have text.
http://dspace.mit.edu MIT seems to have very good coverage.
http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk is pretty good coverage.
Poikiloblastic in the comments has useful stuff about planetary science articles and lists of Open Access Journals.
John Stevenson, aka volcan01010 my blog-neighbour, points me to http://www.pubvolc.net/ which is a rather smart idea. It is a volcanology literature database that allows you to contact the author for a reprint.
http://wiredspace.wits.ac.za/ appears to be just MSc/PhD theses at Wits University in South Africa.
http://earth.usc.edu/~jplatt/Publications.html only papers by John Platt, but each one a gem!
http://ora.ouls.ox.ac.uk/ is a repository for Oxford University and http://www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/ the same for Cambridge. Coverage of geoscience is pretty poor. Oxford is apparently digitising all of its theses, even the old paper ones, which is rather pleasing to me since I wrote one of them.