Guide to Open Resources

Open Access full texts (comprehensive searches)

Open Access full texts in EconBiz
Check the box "Open Access only"  below the search field to limit your search to Open Access full texts. You should also consider remote access options. Licensed publications may be available in remote access through your university library, e.g. with a vpn-connection. Ask your librarian.

Open Access publications in EconStor
With over 200 000 full texts, EconStor is one of the largest publication servers in economics and business studies. Full texts are all freely accessible according to the principles of Open Access and can be found permanently and downloaded directly in EconStor or through EconBiz and other databases. If you are publishing in economics and business studies, you can use EconStor as a repository for your own publications. Publishing on EconStor is free of charge for individual authors and institutions.

Open Access publications in IDEAS/ RePEC
IDEAS is the largest bibliographic database in economics and is freely available on the Internet. Based on RePEc, it indexes over 3.5 million titles (working papers, books, book chapters, journal articles, software), of which over 3.2 million can be downloaded in full text. In IDEAS, you will find both licensed and many freely available Open Access publications (indicated by the green download icon). If you enter your search terms in the search box and limit your search to "Papers," the vast majority of results should be accessible in Open Access.

Open Access documents in BASE
Use BASE to search for Open Access online documents in economics and business studies by limiting your results to publications in "Economics" (Dewey Decimal Classification: 33*) and Open Access publications (Access: Open Access) with the filter options on the right.

CORE Open Access Research Papers
CORE provides free and seamless access to millions of research papers. It is one of the largest Open Access collections of scholarly information worldwide. You can access papers from institutional and professional repositories as well as journal articles from all disciplines. Enter your search terms in the search box. Use the filters on the left to narrow down to a specific repository or journal.

Open Access Economics Research Papers in the Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
SSRN contains research papers from over 60 disciplines. The network provides access to more than 400,000 Open Access texts in economics. Search for your topic in titles, abstracts and keywords or browse the Economics Research Network (ERN).

Open Access articles and journals

Open Access articles in the directory of Open Access journals (DOAJ)
Search for journal articles in DOAJ to find full texts in over 2 000 Open Access journals in the social sciences and in economics. Use the filter on the right to limit your search to a specific subject area (e.g. "Economic Theory" or "Finance") and add your search terms in the search field.

Open Access journals in the directory of Open Access journals (DOAJ)
In the DOAJ, you can not only search for free full texts, but also for entire journals. All journals are available in open access and are subject to peer review. Limit your search to social sciences journals using the filter "Social Sciences" and add your search terms in the search field, e.g. "econ*" or "tourism".

Open Access journals in the Electronic Journals Library (EZB)
In the EZB, you will find more than 10 000 freely accessible Open Access journals for economics and business studies and another 15 000 journals that are accessible via ZBW. Select economics in the "List by subject" and use the menu on the right to limit your search to Open Access journals that are freely accessible in full text.

Relevant Open Access jorunals in economics and business studies (on
The following journals are among the most important Open Access journals in economics and business studies – especially in Germany:

Open Access books/ e-books

Open Access books in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)
The DOAB provides full-text access to Open Access books in economics and business studies that were subject to a peer review process.You can browse subject collections using the "Browse by subject" function. Enter the first letters of your search term (e.g. "econ") to view different collections (e.g. "Economic growth" or "Econometrics").

Free textbooks

Freely available textbooks in EconBiz
With this search, you can find freely available textbooks in EconBiz: type_genre:Lehrbuch AND accessRights:free
You can also add your own search terms to the query.

Open Textbook Library
Since textbooks are becoming more and more expensive, free textbooks provided by the Open Textbook Library are a great alternative. All textbooks in the collection are freely available, many may also be used to create your own teaching resources (CC-BY-SA license). Click on "Browse subjects" and select "Business" for management textbooks or "Social Sciences" > "Economics" for economics textbooks. You can also use the search function to look for textbooks on a specific subject, such as "statistics" or "macroeconomics".

Textbooks in the Open Library
Especially if you are looking for older textbooks, you should also take a closer look at the Open Library. In addition to bibliographic data, the Online Library often also features digitized versions, thus providing full-text access to many textbooks. With "Browse" > "Subjects" and "Business & Economics" in the textbooks category you can limit your search to textbooks from economics and business studies.

CORE-textbook: The Economy. Economics for a changing world
In addition to the free CORE textbook "The Economy", you can find a lot of teaching materials here, e.g. visualizations, simulations and video courses.

American Institute of Mathematics Open Textbook Initiative
The American Institute of Mathematics publishes a list of approved textbooks that are freely available, many of them under a Gnu Free Documentation License or a Creative Commons License.

Free materials for teaching

Free case studies in EconBiz
You can search EconBiz specifically for case studies (e.g. in case study journals or in textbooks with case study collections). Click on the link above to open a search for free case studies in EconBiz. You can also find free case studies on the websites of many universities and other academic institutions:

Economics Textbooks and Full Courses Collection in OER Commons
Many universities and other institutions make some of their teaching materials available as Open Educational Resources (OER) under an open license to use, adapt and share. With the OER Commons search, you can find resources in economics and business studies, either by directly accessing the collection linked above or by searching for resources using your own search terms in the search box.

MIT OpenCourseWare
On the MIT OpenCourseWare platform, the MIT makes teaching materials freely accessible, including videos of lectures and seminars (many under a CC-BY-NC-SA license), slides, reading lists, assignments and exams. With the Course Finder you can easily access courses from the MIT Sloan School of Management or the MIT Economics Department.

American Economic Association (AEA) research highlights podcast (AEA)
In this podcast series, AEA conducts interviews on cutting-edge economics research such as inequality, populism, climate change, and migration. (The podcasts are freely available on the AEA's website. There are no license details).

Working Knowledge from Harvard Business School (HBS)
The editors of HBS Working Knowledge translate current research results into practical insights for business executives and others interested in economics and business studies, for instance on the topics of remote work or business strategies in response to the Covid-19 crisis. (Working knowledge articles are freely available on the HBS website. There are no license details).

MERLOT Collection
MERLOT Collection contains nearly 100.000 learning materials for all audiences and disciplines, including assignments, presentations, complete courses as well as textbooks. For materials from economics and business studies, select the filter "Business" or browse through "Mathematics and Statistics" or "Social Sciences". Narrow down your search to the type of material you're looking for (e.g. Case Study, Online Course or Open (Access) Textbook). It is also possible to limit your results to materials with a Creative Commons license.

Free databases

Free Databases in the Database Information System (DBIS) (in German language)
DBIS lists about 360 databases in economics and business studies, including many that are freely accessible from any location and some that are only accessible from Germany. Click the link above to access a list of all free databases or click here to see our top 6 free databases in economics and business studies (in German language). If you are accessing DBIS with a vpn-connection from ZBW or from your university, you may also be able to access other databases that require a license. 

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