Anthropology: Open Access Repositories for Data and Research

Understanding What "Open Access" Means

We are seeing the beginning of a new, very different publishing model for 21st century scholarship: Open Access. The following is the beginnings of a list of open access resources available for students, staff and faculty here at the University.

This recent push for open access sources holds several important implications for the future of academia. There have been increased requirements from funding agencies which ask potential grantees to specify how their data will be preserved, and potentially used in future research. 

Researchers now have a number of open access options at their disposal (such as the ones we list below), yet even with this robust list, there are many materials that can only be accessed through purchase or subscription. This has been termed as the “paywall” and very often can restrict access to sources. Paywalls pose a threat to individual researchers and those associated with institutions, since they can also restrict access based on the country from which the source derives.

By embracing the direction open access data storage and sharing is taking us, we can overcome the obstacles of limited accessibility, and even data degradation over time.

The term "repositories" in this sense refer to many different online tools and modes for collecting and accessing data. Some of the repositories highlighted below are as follows:



Archives: A collection of public historical records, documents, and data.


Databases: A site that stores and organizes data to make it accessible to the user.( I.e. you are searching within that specific site’s collection rather than broadly across the internet)

Forums and Megasites

Forums: An online location where an individual can post digital content, and engage in discussion about said content with the online community.
Megasites: Similar to a search engine, in that it allows for more refined yet broadly sourced resources (i.e. searching across site hosted in many different countries)

Publication Based Sites

Publication Based Sites: These sites are open access journal and are not only peer reviewed, but also highly regarded amongst even pay access journals. Researchers can both submit their articles and manuscripts as well as access the entire repository.

Embracing Digital Material in All Medias

The sources that have been mentioned thus far focus on documents and written records, yet in so many disciplines data comes in multiple forms. Below are two resources that house video, audio, images, as well as 3d models and are open access

Last Updated: Sep 21, 2023 12:57 PM